Le Palais Des Thes to Open Two NYC Shops

PARIS, France

Le Palais des Thés, a premium dry tea merchant that frequently partners with retailers in countries outside France in November will add two Manhattan tea shops to its 30 locations worldwide.

The company will settle in Manhattan where it has secured a 700 sq. ft. Upper West Side location with a boutique in SoHo. The shop at 194 Columbus Ave. is situated in a 300-sq. ft. former dry cleaner while the downtown location at 156 Prince St. is a former street-level apartment. The company has operated a showroom near Bryant Park in midtown since 2010.

This will be the company’s second foray into the U.S. The firm was founded in 1987 and established its first foothold in Beverly Hills on North Canyon Drive in 2003. David Barenholtz later rebranded his venture The American Tea Room at the same location.

Aurelie Bessiere, president of the U.S. operation told Crain’s New York it chose Manhattan based on the number of its customers in the immediate area. “We're planning to expand in the U.S. so it will be a question between N.Y.C. and other areas where we have a large customer base," said Bessiere.

He told the news magazine that the firm expects each of its new stores to post $1 million in annual sales.

New York City has become crowded with beverage retailers including Los Angeles-based Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (five new locations); Atlanta-based Teavana (three locations); Chicago-based Argo Tea (three locations) and Montreal-based DavidsTea (two locations).

"We're thrilled that Le Palais des Thés is headed to New York, to continue to build the tea retail trend and increasing popularity of premium tea in the U.S. marketplace," said Kim Jage, sales and marketing director at World Tea Media, which organizes the World Tea Expo. She noted that tea experts expect tea to trump coffee sales by the year 2017.

Source: Crain’s New York