REAL ESTATE

Starbucks expanding in Latin America

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Starbucks Coffee Company is expanding its presence in Latin America, with plans to open locations in Colombia, Bolivia and Panama.

Starbucks said it is on track to open its first store in Colombia, in the city of Bogota, in mid-summer 2014 through a joint venture between two of its longest-term business partners in the Latin America region – Alsea and Grupo Nutresa. During the next five years, the joint venture plans to expand aggressively in Bogota and to other major cities in Colombia.

Later on in 2014, Delosi, Starbucks’ business partner in the Andean region, plans to open Starbucks first store in Bolivia, in the commercial center of Santa Cruz. Starbucks sees an opportunity to add up to 10 stores in Bolivia over the next several years.

In early 2015, Corporación de Franquicias Americanas, Starbucks’ Central America business partner, will open Starbucks first store in Panama. Over the long term, Starbucks and CFA plan to open more than 20 stores in Panama.

“We see significant opportunity to grow our retail presence beyond the more than 740 stores and 10,000 partners we currently have in 12 countries in the region in a way that will continue to celebrate the region’s rich coffee heritage while also deepening our relationships with each of the communities we serve,” said Cliff Burrows, group president, Starbucks Americas, U.S., and Teavana.

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News

Buc-ee’s streamlines POS with NCR solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

Jackson, Texas – Convenience store operator Buc-ee’s is using a complete software, hardware and services solution from NCR. The NCR solution is helping to streamline operations as well as increase speed and reliability at the point-of-sale.

Buc-ee’s operates 29 convenience centers throughout Texas. Prior to working with NCR, Buc-ee’s was experiencing system issues impacting their customer’s experience including uptime problems. The retailer’s legacy technology was unable to keep up with the volume causing operational challenges and unexpected financial expenses.

Buc-ee’s initially asked NCR to pilot its NCR Radiant Point-of-Sale (NCR RPOS) technology, fuel controller, and services capabilities in one of Buc-ee’s smaller footprint locations to prove their effectiveness within the retailer’s business model. Given the success with 64 fueling positions, Buc-ee’s has recently added a second fuel island, doubling the site’s capacity.

“Our goal is to not make the customer wait on us,” said Don Wasek, co-owner at Buc-ee’s. “What we have seen here by installing the NCR software solution is a dramatic improvement both inside, at the POS systems and outside at the island card readers. It’s a marked improvement over other transaction systems I’ve seen; especially with credit card processing, it’s blisteringly fast.”

In addition to providing hardware support services, NCR will also remotely monitor and troubleshoot locations, including remotely upgrading software when needed. This will further reduce Buc-cee’s total cost of ownership and increase availability.

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FINANCE

Compare Metrics secures $3.8 million funding

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – Compare Metrics, a provider of adaptive commerce navigation and discovery tools, has secured $3.8 million in follow-on financing. The financing is led by Austin Ventures with additional funding by existing investors Julie Allegro of Allegro Venture Partners, Bob Greene of Contour Ventures, Capital Factory, Mike Maples Jr. of Floodgate, Brett Hurt of Hurt Family Investments and independent investors Ralph Mack and Adam Ross.

This brings the company’s total amount of funding to $8 million. This latest funding will be used to drive continued product and company growth. The company’s client services and product development teams will continue to expand. The follow-on funding is an inside round. No changes will be made to the Compare Metrics board structure.

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