Friday 19 July 2024
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DAVIDsTEA will close 82 Canadian stores and exit all its 42 stores in the US

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MONTREAL, Canada — DAVIDsTEA Inc. (Nasdaq:DTEA, a leading tea merchant in North America, announces that further to obtaining an Initial Order pursuant to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) (“CCAA”) from the Quebec Superior Court in order to implement its restructuring plan, the Company is sending notices to terminate leases for 82 of its stores in Canada and all 42 of its stores in the United States. The lease terminations will take effect in 30 days.

“With the upcoming closure of 124 unprofitable stores across North America, we are certainly making good progress in creating a stronger business model for the future and ensuring the long-term success and sustainability of DAVIDsTEA and our beloved brand,” stated Herschel Segal, Founder, Chairman and Interim CEO of DAVIDsTEA.

“Today, we are moving forward with the closure of a significant number of money-losing stores. With all our stores closed in the U.S., we will focus exclusively on our very successful e-commerce sales which had a penetration rate of close to 43% in this market prior to COVID-19,” said Frank Zitella, CFO and COO of DAVIDsTEA. “With regards to our brick and mortar network in Canada, negotiations with landlords for our remaining 100 stores have started and, at this time, the outcome of these discussions remains uncertain. To the extent we cannot reach agreements with the landlords on more favorable lease terms, we may terminate the leases and permanently close additional stores. However, we are fully committed to continuing to serve our loyal tea-loving customers with passion and ensuring that their favorite blends of tea are available online and in grocery stores and pharmacies, both during and after this restructuring process,” added Mr. Zitella. All 100 remaining DAVIDsTEA stores have been closed since March 17, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will remain so until further notice.

As previously announced, DAVIDsTEA’s restructuring efforts are focused primarily on exiting unprofitable stores and right-sizing its Canadian brick and mortar footprint, in the context of an increasingly challenging retail environment, further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. DAVIDsTEA’s objective is to create a leaner and more efficient company and to accelerate its transition to an online retailer and wholesaler of high-quality tea and accessories, better positioned for long-term growth.

DAVIDsTEA also announces that the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware today entered an order in favor of DAVIDsTEA and its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary under Chapter 15 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The Court order provisionally recognizes the proceedings under the CCAA and enforces the initial order issued yesterday by the Quebec Superior Court, in effect providing protection to DAVIDsTEA and its U.S. subsidiary from creditor action against its U.S. assets.

A copy of the Initial Order and related documents are available at www.pwc.com/ca/davidstea. The Company will continue to provide updates throughout the restructuring process as events warrant.

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