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DAVIDsTEA Plans to Reopen Only 18 Stores in Canada and Will Close 166 Stores

DAVIDsTEA Plans to Reopen Only 18 Stores in Canada and Will Close 166 Stores

By Ambia Staley

Earlier this month, DAVIDsTEA announced plans to shutter 82 Canadian store locations as well as all 42 U.S. stores, however it seems plans have changed, as the company announced late yesterday that it plans to only re-open 18 Canadian stores -- meaning that a total of 166 stores in Canada will be closing their doors this month.

In recent weeks, DAVIDsTEA announced plans to restructure amid struggling sales and focus the bulk of their energy on their e-commerce and wholesale business.

"The plan was always to significantly reduce our retail footprint and the strong performance of our e-commerce and wholesales channels in recent months has provided further validation of that strategy," chief operating officer Frank Zitella said in a statement.

When the company initially announced plans for the closure of 82 Canadian stores, they also said they were seeking more favourable lease terms for their remaining stores, leaving the option to close stores in which they could not negotiate for better leases. In an update made on July 30, the company announced that they will instead be closing a total of 166 Canadian store locations and re-opening only 18 across the country.

In a statement, Herschel Segal, Founder, Chairman and Interim CEO of DAVIDsTEA said, "We believe that a select group of our best-performing stores, complementing our growing online and wholesale business model and supported by an entrepreneurial organization, will enhance DAVIDsTEA’s ability to emerge from the CCAA restructuring process as a more sustainable and resilient organization."

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, DAVIDsTEA operated 186 locations across Canada. They company says it is sending notices to terminate leases for 82 of its other locations, which are expected to take effect within 30 days.

The remaining 18 DAVIDsTEA stores are expected to open by the end of August 2020 and are all located in major shopping malls. 7 stores will be in Quebec, 5 in Ontario, and the rest spread out between Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and New Brunswick.

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