DavidsTea is closing down many of their physical stores in Canada, with the LloydMall location closing along with them.
The Montreal based beverage company has begun re-tooling their business, shutting down all 42 locations in the United States and another 82 in Canada. While the stores originally closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they now say they are restructuring by focusing more on online sales and supplying their product to grocery stores and pharmacies.
Lloydminster store manager Janelle Morneau says she received word last Thursday that her store was among the closures, and she then had to undertake the difficult task of informing her staff and customers that they will not be re-opening.
“We’re definitely heartbroken. It’s really hard, and we’re really sad to not have the chance to say goodbye to all of our regulars and our community. And it’s heartbreaking to leave a company that we all love working for so much, but it’s understandable.”
The only stores that will be left open are within the top 100 in terms of profitability, which the company said the LloydMall location was not among.
DavidsTea has reported that they lost $23.2 million last year in sales on $146.5 million in revenue. In Mid-June, they also stated that they’d not paid rent on their physical locations between April and June of 2020. In the future, DavidsTea also plans to seek more favourable terms with their remaining landlords. If this cannot happen, they may look at closing additional shops.
After breaking the news to the community at large this week, Morneau says she had many people reach out to her to share their stories about the LloydMall DavidsTea.
“We’ve had quite a few people reach out to us in that time, just thanking us for the experience that we got to give them. We’ve had a lot of people message us and share really nice stories that they had with us or favourite moments they’ve had with us. There’s a lot of fuzzy feelings right now, for sure.”
Morneau adds that the staff has formed a tight bond working together, which they’ll hold on to in the future.
From here, the LloydMall team is waiting for next steps from the company to pack up the LloydMall location, and ship all remaining supply back to the DavidsTea headquarters in Québec.