The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is returning to New York City through its new franchisee, Hudson River Coffee & Tea. The franchise will open its first location in Manhattan and plans to open a total of 100 stores there in an effort to ramp up competition with Starbucks, which has approximately 240 stores in Manhattan and 14,000 in the U.S. Starbucks recently said it would shutter more than 150 stores in 2019 and slow the number of licensed store that it opens.
“One of the things we are doing now is we are embarking on aggressive franchise growth in the U.S. to keep pace with what’s going on internationally," said John Fuller, President and CEO at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in a statement. “[New York] came to us. We’ve had a lot of inbound interest for growing the brand, and we haven’t really put a lot of energy against it, which is something we are changing and doing now."
Expanding the number of its coffee shops in the U.S. also will allow Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to bolster its packaged coffee and tea business, according to Fuller. The company currently has a partnership with Hilton to stock its hotel rooms with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf products.
The Los Angeles-based retailer currently has approximately 310 stores in the U.S. and more than 1,200 locations across 30 countries worldwide.