davids tea canada

David's Tea is closing down most of its stores for good

Gourmet loose leaf tea purveyor David's Tea, known for its huge variety of quirky flavours and its Tiffany blue branding, is making a transition to online sales that will mean the permanent closure of the majority of its brick-and-mortar stores.

The Montreal-based retailer, which has more than 240 locations across Canada and the U.S., was hit hard by the pandemic, and as a result, didn't end up paying rent on any of its storefronts for at least three months of this year.

While in-person sales diminished amid forced closures, David's saw massive e-commerce growth, inspiring the forthcoming restructuring, which will include "a significant reduction" in its footprint of physical stores while it "will continue to operate its online business through its e-commerce platform at www.davidstea.com and its wholesale distribution channel," it said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

"David's Tea has experienced a multi-year decline in brick-and-mortar sales and the post COVID-19 retail environment creates significant challenges for our unique in-store customer experience. As a result, we have to accelerate the transition of our business away from brick-and-mortar."

The company has yet to confirm how many of its shops will be closing but has said that its pivot to virtual will include access to "tea experts" and other features that made its in-store experience special.

David's Tea products will continue to be available in grocery stores and pharmacies for flavoured tea lovers nationwide. It has filed for creditor protection in Canada and plans to do the same in the U.S. under the country's Bankruptcy Code.

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