Another Blenz Bites the Dust: Prestigious Landmark Robson at Burrard Location Gone Forever

Another Blenz Bites the Dust: Prestigious Landmark Robson at Burrard Location Gone Forever

2013 was clearly a tough year for Blenz the Canadian Coffee Company LTD completely losing the prestigious Cambie & 17th and Howe & Hastings locations from its previously expanding chain while experiencing temporary yet unusual and unexplained shutdowns at the Robson & Bute location as well as the Main Street location, not to mention the extremely high number of Blenz current sitting for sale on the world wide webs.  It is also the year that started just months after Blenz made the corporate decision to re-instate previous leader Mark West to steer the Blenz ship – while he remains owner of My Cup Coffee and Tea (currently their website is shown as ‘suspended’ but here is a PDF of the page that was visible until recently: www_mycupcoffeeandtea_com_Franchising_html ) which still competes directly with existing Blenz locations, one location at Georgia and Seymour which chips away at the sales of three different Blenz locations that are steps away.

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As if that battle story were not bloody enough for the Vancouver chain, Blenz finished off their year with the colossal and damaging blow of losing their most prized location: Robson & Burrard – One of – if not the – most highly visible and high foot traffic locations in the city.  Although not yet confirmed, it is rumoured that Lulu Lemon will be taking over the location.  The previous franchisee has not been availble for comments yet.  Apparently transparent stretchy pants and yoga gear are well liked by commercial landlords.

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Although the economy and ‘coffee saturation’ has been blamed by some for the challenges that franchise model brands like Blenz are facing, it has not seemed to stop corporate chains like JJ Bean and Cafe Artigiano from encroaching on their native territory.

2014 is upon us and it will be most interesting to observe how large number franchise chains like Blenz and Waves play their game.  If 2013 was any indication of the future…

 

Prestigious Blenz Gone

Prestigious Blenz Gone

What’s Going on at Blenz Coffee? Blenz at 4198 Main Street in Vancouver Closes

Brown paper covers the windows of this closed Blenz on Main street in Vancouver

Yet another sudden closure without notice has occurred at Blenz Coffee, this time on Main Street in Vancouver.  Customers in the area reported to us that they were attempting to patronize the location but found the store closed with brown paper on the wall (see photo).

So far we are unable to get details on what is taking place at this location.

This closure is the 4th closure of this type in the last 3 months, following quickly on the heels of Robson and Bute on May 1, and 815 Hastings on March 3, and 3297 Cambie on March 29th.

 

What’s Going on at Blenz: Blenz at Robson and Bute Silently Reopens

On May 1st, 2013 we published an article about how the first ever Blenz location suddenly closed it’s doors.  At some point last week, it was reported to the VCSFA that the doors silently re-opened.  At this point we do not know who the new Franchisees are, and Mr. Kormi remains unable to comment further at this point, and has strongly encouraged us to seek out further details from Blenz head office.

In times past, and at all known locations, Blenz performed a re-opening party where the public was offered free drinks, live music, and munchies to showcase the fact that the location is now under new management.  In this case, there was no such party and detailed information about the new Franchisee has apparently not been released to the chain.  When we asked a few Blenz Franchisees of nearby downtown locations about the closure most were unaware that the store had closed and re-opened until we had asked the question.

Stay tuned as we bring you the latest updates.

What’s Going on at Blenz Coffee? First Ever Blenz at Robson and Bute Location Mysteriously Closes Doors

Last night Blenz Coffee at the corner of Robson and Bute closed its doors at the usual time. This morning, however, when customers started arriving for their morning coffee they were surprised to find it still closed.

When a few curious people contacted us this morning and asked if we knew what was taking place, or if Blenz the chain was closing down, we contacted the Franchisee, Ali Kormi, who was unwilling to comment further about the situation.  He did confirm that he would not be opening the store today.

What we have learned is that during the summer of 2012, this particular location was closed for nearly two months while it underwent a renovation.  Before and during the renovation staff and customers alike were told that it would take about two weeks to complete – similar to the recent renovation at the Bentall 5 renovation which took well under two weeks and much longer than the Seattle’s Best location takeovers which Blenz was known for completing in a single weekend.  For any retail operation, especially in the coffee industry, each day closed results in notable damages from lost revenue and the loss of the regular customer base as they are forced to change their buying habits during the closure.

This mysterious closure follows just weeks after the closures of 815 Hastings on March 3, and 3297 Cambie on March 29th.

Perhaps most noteworthy about this closure is the fact that Blenz on Robson and Bute was the first ever Blenz location.

You can read more about Blenz the Canadian Coffee Company LTD at this Wikipedia page. *Note: Number of locations appear not to have been updated to reflect recent changes throughout the chain.

Be sure to check back here for updates as they develop.