Tea House: How ‘Pure Leaf’ Tells Its Story

The Wall Street Journal: At the Pure Leaf Tea House, fans of the beverage can enjoy it in various ways. The emporium, which opened in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in late June, offers everything from iced chai to a Japanese-style hot ‘popcorn’ tea … the airy, 3,000-square-foot space essentially is a promotional vehicle for Pure Leaf itself, a tea brand created in partnership by PepsiCo and Unilever.”

“Brands say they are going the open-your-own-store route as a way to tell their stories—rather than relying on other retailers to do it for them. ‘You can’t do this in the grocery’ store, said Pure Leaf senior marketing director Laraine Miller, speaking of the tea house’s elaborate setup. The shop incorporates museum-style installations featuring the history and uses of tea. Company-branded stores also afford the opportunity to test-market new products and showcase tried-and-true favorites in unusual ways.”

“Retail experts say the approach can pay off in terms of creating buzz for a brand, especially given New York’s reputation as a taste-making city. And the stores can become profitable, providing a brand with another income stream.” Ms. Miller says: “In terms of return on investment, that’s not how we’re measuring it.”

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