Tetley to launch branded tea bars

Tetley GB is considering rolling out a new tea-bar format, following the closure of its Manchester-based trial store, Gaffers.

The café was themed around the Tetley’s cartoon “tea folk”, serving snacks and tea, and was decked out in blue and white fittings, including tea folk coats and slippers.

The outlet, launched as a pilot to test tea’s potential in the retail sector, closed earlier this year. The company blames its poor location – in the basement of the Manchester Royal Exchange shopping centre – for the closure.

But Tetley says the concept has not been written off and the company is in discussions with potential partners about opening a chain of tea shops, possibly branded Gaffers.

A spokeswoman says: “We feel there is potential for a branded tea retail business and we are looking to develop partnerships with experienced food operators.”

Meanwhile, Unilever Bestfoods has closed one of its Ch’a branches. The Brighton store, which opened on a short lease in 1999, pulled down the shutters this year.

But a second outlet is still open in Bristol, and the company has opened a third, smaller tea bar in Windsor Royal railway station.

The Windsor outlet is branded Lipton Ch’a in an attempt to raise the profile of the Lipton brand in the UK.

Unilever this week recalled some plastic bottles of its Lipton Ice Tea in the Netherlands, after yeast was mistakenly added to drinks, increasing the risk of bottles exploding.

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