FINANCE

Report: Buyout firms eye Safeway

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. – Several buyout firms are reportedly considering attempting a partial or total purchase of Safeway Inc., with Cerberus Capital Management LP among the potential bidders, according to Reuters.

Safeway has retained Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as an advisor, the report said.

Safeway, which is in the process of selling its Canadian operations to Sobey’s, also recently said it will exit the Chicago market, adopted a “poison pill” to limit how much stake in the company any one stockowner can hold, and authorized a $2 billion stock buyback plan.

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News

Teavana makes debut in New York City’s Upper East Side

BY CSA STAFF

Starbucks previewed the first-of-its-kind Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar in New York City’s Upper East Side. The tea bar offers a curated assortment of handcrafted tea beverages, premium loose leaf teas, tea-inspired food offerings and tea merchandise.

It’s been almost one year since Starbucks acquired Teavana, and the company plans to expand the new tea bar format to additional stores throughout the course of the next year.

“Tea has been a part of Starbucks heritage since 1971, when we were founded as Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spices, and this new store concept elevates the tea experience in the same way we’ve done for coffee,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and CEO. “As the second most-consumed global beverage behind water, tea presents a $90 billion global market opportunity, and we are excited to celebrate the first retail example of how our two companies are coming together.”

According to Starbucks, the company leveraged its strengths in store design and customer experience, combined with Teavana’s expertise in tea sourcing and blending, to develop the new format. The new format keeps the Teavana “Wall of Tea,” which features a wide range of loose leaf teas and tea blends, and will offer a collection of curated tea merchandise. Additionally, customers will be able to choose from a range of food items, including pastries and breakfast items, salads, flatbreads and small plates, and macaroons, shortbreads and other desserts.

“By selecting only the finest premium loose leaf teas and botanicals to be sold in Teavana mall stores, Teavana has built a strong reputation among tea enthusiasts and introduced casual tea drinkers to new experiences in tea,” said Cliff Burrows, Starbucks group president, Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa and Teavana. “We are excited to work together to help create new and innovative ways to delight tea drinkers and continue growing the overall tea category in a variety of ways. The Teavana Tea Bar is a critical first step for us to meet the needs of tea drinkers everywhere by providing a place where tea enthusiasts and casual tea drinkers alike can learn about, enjoy and share in the tea experience.”

Teavana Fine Teas + Teavana Tea Bar, located at 1142 Madison Ave., in New York City, is a modern tea bar with a wide range of hot brewed and iced teas, tea lattes and distinctive sparkling and tea fusion beverages.

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REAL ESTATE

Starbucks’ new Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar format debuts in New York City

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Starbucks Corp. unveiled its newest retail format, Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar, with the first location opening on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Starbucks purchased the 300-store Teavana Holdings last year as part of its ongoing efforts to diversify and push beyond its signature beverage.

Teavana Fine Teas features a wide variety of hot brewed and iced teas, tea fusion beverages and curated tea-related merchandise. It also offers a range of food items, from salads to flatbreads to pastries and other sweets.

“As the second most-consumed global beverage behind water, tea presents a $90 billion global market opportunity, and we are excited to celebrate the first retail example of how our two companies are coming together,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and CEO.

Starbucks purchased the 300-store Teavana Holdings last year as part of its ongoing efforts to diversify and push beyond its signature beverage. It expanded into the juice arena with the purchase of the Evolution brand in 2011, and has opened some Evolution Fresh juice bars. It also bought La Boulange, a San Francisco-based bakery chain.

The new Teavana Fine Teas shop is accented with light woods, comfy seating and low lighting. It has no Starbucks branding.

"When you walk in, you see a shrine to tea," Schultz said in a USA Today report. "The store demonstrates our knowledge of tea and romances the theater of tea with a visual experience."

In addition to tea, Starbucks is pursuing other areas of growth as well. It expanded into the juice arena with the purchase of the Evolution brand in 2011, and has opened Evolution Fresh juice bars in select locations. It also bought La Boulange, a San Francisco-based bakery chain.

Teavana was not Starbucks’ first tea-related purchase. It bought Tazo tea in 1999 and built it into a billion-dollar brand through sales at Starbucks stores and supermarkets.

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