Monday, March 5, 2012
An Average day in a Teavana Store
Everyday is a good day for tea...but not everyone can agree! While everyone seemingly busying themselves throughout the day, walking frantically from shop to shop, window shopping, and downing ounces of coffee, this lonely little place called Teavana is a desert amongst a sea of shoppers in the Galleria! There are no long lines for Youthberry or Bin Hao Yinzhen White Tea, or patrons yammering away in their phones while waiting 5 minutes for their Chai, or even chairs, tables and comfy sofas ocupied by patrons with laptops looking into their facebook while sipping on Mate. Its justs the sounds of quiet, the muted murmers of crowds going by, the anguish of another day gone by without tea! The day goes as usually, a trickle of customers comes and comes out with not a tea in tow, while other shops seemingly that have bought over to a "starbucks style" that gets the most customers of cookie cutter coffees and drinks, with cookie cutter stores that look alike staffed with cookie cutter employees!
Not much is different with Teavana, every so often a new batch of employees mostly in their twenties fills in for the last batch that just got their hours slashed or laid off! A bunch of young, impressionable, " Yes Sirs"
willing to subsist on a meager salary, spend hours staring into oblivion, all the while slacking off and chastising the occasional "potentials" who walks off with tea samples!( A reason for smaller tea samples). Hours pass, days and years, not a soul has yet bought some tea other than a few customers always coming in buying the cheapest and most usual teas, never bothering to taste "Darj" or to sip on fine Oolongs, they always seem to buy teas that are usually black and can be easily blended, sweetened, or fruity teas drowning in German Rock Sugar! If I did not know any better, we could have sold them Lipton and they'll just deal with it than Teavana teas!
The same goes with a prospective customer amazed by the varieties of tea than just Lipton, of course the ever helpful and knowledgeable staff tires to snake oil customers with the prospects of health, medicine and even virility of all things just to up-sell at a point 5 ounces for 50 something dollars! As if tea can be a crutch than an enjoyable drink! There was this one instance a customer tasting a White Tea who found it to be pleasing, an employee came over knowing an opportunity lectured the customer about White being grown in
Kenya of all Places and that it can go well together with Darjeeling! The sell did not work after all for the employee, but the customer was actually interested in a future purchase to which she walked out and took a sample before disappearing into the crowds never to return. Its with most customers after all, that a shop like Teavana is something to look in, take a sample, smell the teas, talk about teas but not really invest a "fortune" for some colorful, smelly, and tasty beverage! After all, what is Lipton, Starbucks, and CoffeeBean there for anyway? Certainly not a tea for twenty dollars per two ounce, that needs 5 minutes of waiting whereas in a second a cup of joe is instantly handed over to carry on some other business while drowning in an ocean of coffee!
Tea to anyone used to being pumped up with milky, sugary coffee and "Liptea" is certainly not going to buy something that tastes awfully weird like earth or grass, with very little kick, and just down right expensive! Just explain why a would be customer who finds Oolongs to be weak and awfully to earthy, or Darjeelings to be light and to flowery, or green teas too vegetal or hay-ish that would rather buy in bulk amounts of sweetened Tisanes ?! Its simply not sugary, and/or milky, and otherwise exotic to their palates! The day grinds to a close in the end with almost nothing bought by customers, margins in quota in another all time low, and yet murmurs of another layoff! Just another day with out tea!