Teavana is basically your fourth (or fifth) Ring of Hell

Riddle me this: When is tea time ever stressful?  When you’re shopping at Teavana.  It’s ironic that this swanky little tea shop gets its name from a play on the word Nirvana, a transcendent state of peace, because you are not given a moment’s worth the moment you step in.  Tea is supposed to induce calm and pause.  The act of making tea and slowly sipping the hot liquid is supposed to impart a warm and calming feeling.  Even the term “teabagging”  invokes a sexually pleasurable connotation, but stepping into this place just raises your blood pressure levels.  The sales staff is shamelessly aggressive and they know nothing about the fine art of the soft sell.

I walk in because I love tea and the place is beautifully laid out with elaborately decorated tea pots and china, fancy but completely useless brewing gadgets, and loose leaf varieties of exotically flavored teas, etc.  It’s a bit expensive, but the place is really attractive and smells great.

Normally, I like to look and see what catches my eye.  I’m a casual shopper and though I don’t always have an agenda to buy something specific, I’ll buy it if I like it enough.  But if you shadow my every step and try to strike up awkward and unsolicited conversations, I’ll take that as you will hound me and make me feel unwelcome until I buy something.

Read on:

The salesgirl: “Hello, is there something specific you’re looking for?”

Me: Not really, I’m just browsing, but if I have a question, I’ll be sure to ask you.  Thanks.

30 seconds later…

The salesgirl: I just want to let you know that everything on this wall is 30% off.  They’re designer gift boxes with a sample variety of our most popular teas.

Me:  Thank you

15 seconds later…

The salesgirl:  Do you like sweetened or unsweetened tea?

Me:  (ever so slightly cheesed off)  I like unsweetened

The salesgirl: Well, here’s a sample of our….

Me: No, that’s really ok.  Thanks, I just want to look around and see what catches my eye.

Salesgirl:  Ok, We have great mugs that now have built in steeping mechanisms…

aaaand I’m outta there.

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2 thoughts on “Teavana is basically your fourth (or fifth) Ring of Hell”

  1. So true Mike. Teavana has some really exquisite pieces, but I can’t even go in there just to enjoy what they have, without being approached by some obnoxious salesperson trying to sell me some overpriced item that I don’t really need.

    Even if I don’t buy something, you would think anyone’s presence can create a general interest for other people. Nothing says “stay away” like an empty store. But that’s exactly what Teavana wants. You are literally attacked the minute you walk in.

  2. Another Tea Party that has worn out its welcome! Boutiques need to understand that their attraction lies in being able to “take it all in” without pressure to buy something NOW!

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