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Judge says that Starbucks can not close some stores of Teavana

Starbucks (SBUX) must keep 77 Teavana stores open as a lifeline for the shopping centers they are in, a judge has ruled. The move has serious potential implications in what has been called the year of the "retail apocalypse."

Starbucks said in July that it would close the 379 stores of Teavana citing the lower traffic of the shopping centers. But Simon Property Group, a mall operator, sued to stop the closures at its shopping centers, the New York Post reported.

Simon argued that Teavana's departure would be a financial blow to its shopping centers, leading other stores to close, according to Fox Business. He also argued that Starbucks, which is valued at $ 84 billion, was better equipped financially to keep stores open.

An Indiana judge agreed and issued a preliminary injunction requiring Starbucks to keep 77 stores open in Simon's shopping centers, according to the Post.

The unusual move could lead other shopping center operators to sue to avoid losing tenants. It is particularly significant in the year of the "retail apocalypse", which has already seen close to 6,800 stores.

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