My experience at Teavana.

For general/other topics related to tea.

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Dec 21st 08 2:17 pm
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by capheind » Dec 21st 08 2:17 pm

greenisgood wrote:if they actually sold good tea i think i would feel the urge to liberate it from those horrible stores where it could be enjoyed by people for its own sake and not debased and tainted by such dirty capitalist marketing strategies. there's a special ring in tea hell for those in charge at teavana.
Hey now, lets not forget that Capitalism is the source of much of the diversity in tea. Half the varieties of tea we know and love, oolong, puer, black tea, gunpowder, etc., originated as trade products. If not for commerce and trade we'd probably only have a few regional varieties of green tea.

That said, I think we need a picture of this prick tearing down some college-high-school girl round back with the caption "Capitalism: Your doin it wrong"...

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Dec 22nd 08 3:50 am
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by neowolf » Dec 22nd 08 3:50 am

Wow. Just read all of that. I've never been to a Teavana storefront, though now I'm finding it highly unlikely I'll ever bother even if given the chance.

Dec 30th 08 7:16 am
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by bsteele » Dec 30th 08 7:16 am

Teavana lured me in to the world of tea. A plus. But I'm glad to get some inside info about their business practices and corporate strategies. I knew there was something about them that irked while there.

Thanks for the post and effort put into it.


Jan 3rd 09 11:42 pm
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by ahlatimer » Jan 3rd 09 11:42 pm

Great read. I've only been to one Teavana and had no idea at what I was even looking.

Stories like this are one of the many reasons I've avoided retail as a job. While working in sales can be very rewarding when you have quality staff and management and a quality product, but all too often, you end up with nothing more than a pure money-making endeavor where no one seems to care about the end product.

There's a reason I go to a local guitar shop over Guitar Center, a local tea and coffee house over Starbucks, local restaurants over P. F. Changs and Macaroni Grill. I know most of the people that work at my coffee house, including the owner; I know both the people that run my guitar shop (father and daughter). All of them are interested in making sure that I keep coming back because there's no huge corporate entity willing to bail them out. This is a deep part of their lives, and they've risked quite a bit to start up this shop. They take the time to get to know me personally, and they will work to make sure that I'm completely satisfied. If I'm not satisfied at a Starbucks, who cares? If that store closes, the manager didn't cough up the change or get a loan to open it, but any local place surely did.

Even though they sent your manager off to meet the owners of the company doesn't mean that they are extremely invested in the people at that one store. Sales associates can always be replaced...

Jan 4th 09 4:34 am
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by TEACUP21 » Jan 4th 09 4:34 am

Hmm... I've visited several Teavana stores and am actually in love with them.

Jan 6th 09 2:00 am
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by disillusioned » Jan 6th 09 2:00 am

just something i wanted to point out because i thought we all might enjoy the irony, teavana lists in its employee manual that one of its company goals is to make the forbes top 100 places to work list...hahahhahahahahahahahahahha

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Jan 7th 09 12:54 pm
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by JAS-eTea Guy » Jan 7th 09 12:54 pm

Thanks for taking the time to relate your experience.
Hope that you have been able to remove much of that kind of stress from your life.
Our time here is just too short to endure that kind of stress.

Jan 8th 09 12:23 am
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by Cecilia » Jan 8th 09 12:23 am

I'm fairly new to tea, and I do like some of their teas. I was recently in line, (a long line), there. Many people were waiting. The woman who was being served had stated what she wanted, but was asked no less than FOUR times if she wanted X,Y, or Z as an add on to her order. Every time she said no, the poor salesgirl, who I'm sure didn't want to harass the customer, kept looking over at what I assume was her boss, asking yet another add on question to the beleaguered customer. This was taking forever, and all of us in line were getting cranky. The poor customer felt the need to explain each time why she didn't want X. Why she didn't want Z. Why she didn't want Y. After quite some time, it became apparent that the salesgirl was not going to release the customer, (the "but do you want...." questions just kept coming......I was waiting for her to offer the customer her first born child at 10% off) and after the FOURTH add on pitch, I walked out and went to Lupicia.

That is one way that over the top aggressive sales tactics can LOSE money.

I still like some of Teavana's products, and their salespeople are always super nice, but I think I'll order online from now on. ;-)

Jan 8th 09 1:03 am
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by Pentox » Jan 8th 09 1:03 am

Cecilia wrote:and after the FOURTH add on pitch, I walked out and went to Lupicia.
Wooo! Good call. I'm guessing you were in Valley Fair / Westfield?

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Jan 8th 09 1:22 am
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by Chip » Jan 8th 09 1:22 am

Pentox wrote:
Cecilia wrote:and after the FOURTH add on pitch, I walked out and went to Lupicia.
Wooo! Good call. I'm guessing you were in Valley Fair / Westfield?

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Jan 8th 09 2:52 am
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by scruffmcgruff » Jan 8th 09 2:52 am

I'm no fan of Teavana, but to be fair their store at the Stanford shopping center was not this bad when I went. It may well have changed since then (I'm sure the staff has, it's been a few years), but it might be worth a try if you really like their products and are in the area.

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Jan 8th 09 4:50 am
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by bi lew chun » Jan 8th 09 4:50 am

Wow, that was a great read. A few weeks ago I stepped into a Teavana that is new to my local mall, and quickly stepped out. The feel was all wrong. I overheard an associate awkwardly explain to a customer that brewing loose tea results in a release of more "vitamins, minerals and antioxidants" in comparison to bagged tea. The associate noticed me listening to his spiel, and when we made eye contact he looked desperate and uncomfortable.

I was also turned off by the fact that much of the tea was hidden behind the associates. The layout of the store encouraged browsing through the teaware , but if you wanted to get at the tea (even to find out what tea they offered), you had to talk to an associate or pick up a pamphlet. I'm sure the layout is well studied and purposeful when it comes to pushing tea on those in need of help, but it seems ill suited for tea lovers and even return customers.

I also wonder if most of the soda-drinkers Teavana ends up converting won't just move up the tea chain, leaving them constantly scrambling for first-time tea drinkers, a lot that probably requires much more effort to sell to than regular users.

I've never sampled their tea, and see no compelling reason to start.

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Jan 8th 09 5:29 am
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by chamekke » Jan 8th 09 5:29 am

That is quite a saga.

I don't have much to add, except that this approach betrays (1) disrespect for the customer, (2) lack of confidence in the product, and (3) all-round corporate neurosis.

"Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cosy, doesn't try it on."
- Billy Connolly