Second Cup to launch loyalty program push for more renovations this year

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – After another tough quarter, Second Cup hopes coffee drinkers chasing their java fix will also get behind the company’s new loyalty card this spring.The chain plans to expand “Perks from Second Cup” across the country in the coming months after a test run in Calgary. The program will allow users to accumulate and redeem points for every dollar spent through either a plastic card or smartphone app.The rewards launch is part of a three-year turnaround plan that chief executive Alix Box expects will change the perception of the brand.“We’ve taken it to a much more premium type of experience,” she said in an interview on Monday, after the company reported a quarterly loss.“I felt the brand was playing way too much in the middle, and too close to the McDonald’s and Tim Hortons of the world.”Second Cup has been trying to overcome an identity crisis that stunted its growth just as a barrage of new competitors entered the market about four years ago in hopes of taking a share of the basic and premium coffee markets.While McDonald’s has chased the low-priced segment in competition with Tim Hortons, others like Starbucks have stepped up their Canadian expansions at the same time independent coffee shops see a resurgence in popularity.But a recent study suggests the traditional bean has lost flavour to some Canadians.An ongoing study of consumer consumption habits from research firm NPD Group says that Canadians drink about 2.1 billion cups of coffee per year, their out-of-home consumption declined by more than three per cent in 2014.Even though coffee orders are down, the study found that consumer visits to coffee shops remain steady, which suggests more people order non-coffee items from the menu.Box joined the top ranks of the Toronto-area coffee company a year ago as part of an effort to turn around its eroding market share in an already pressured coffee business. She previously held senior positions at Holt Renfrew and Starbucks.When she arrived there was “no question the business needed a complete overhaul,” Box said.But those widespread changes will take time before any positive the impact is seen in the financial results.During the fourth quarter, the Second Cup Ltd. (TSX:SCU) posted a net loss of $469,000 or four cents per share, as it booked a $391,000 provision for cafe closures and a $692,000 item for acquisition of some franchise cafes.A year earlier, the franchisee operator turned a profit of $1.2 million or 12 cents per share in the same period, even with restructuring charges and a provision for store closures.Fourth-quarter revenue was $8.4 million, up from $8 million a year earlier, while sales within its cafe network fell to $49.4 million from $51.9 million.Same-store sales at locations open at least a year was down 3.9 per cent in the fourth quarter and down 4.7 per cent for the full year, while the number of cafes as of Dec. 27 was 347, down from 356 a year earlier.In December, Second Cup launched a key part of that plan by opening a store in downtown Toronto that had a new look and notably different approach to making coffee.The remodelled store featured a curved bar to encourage a more communal experience while an array of high-end brewing machines added character to the brewing process.“Once we’re really satisfied with it, then we will roll that (design) out to new cafes and cafes that are under renovation,” Box said.Second Cup aims to renovate 35 to 40 per cent of its franchised locations by the end of 2017, which amounts to as many as 139 stores across the country.Follow @dj_friend on Twitter. by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 9, 2015 7:51 am MDT Second Cup to launch loyalty program, push for more renovations this year read more

Peter Thiel became New Zealand citizen in California in 2011

by Nick Perry, The Associated Press Posted Feb 1, 2017 10:29 am MDT Last Updated Feb 1, 2017 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Peter Thiel became New Zealand citizen in California in 2011 FILE – In this Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, file photo, PayPal founder Peter Thiel, right, listens as then President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York. Thiel was able to gain New Zealand citizenship in 2011 despite never having lived in the country because a top lawmaker decided his entrepreneurial skills and philanthropy were valuable, documents reveal. Thiel didn’t even have to leave California to become a new member of the South Pacific nation. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Silicon Valley billionaire and President Donald Trump adviser Peter Thiel was able to gain New Zealand citizenship in 2011 despite never having lived in the country, because a top lawmaker decided his entrepreneurial skills and philanthropy were valuable to the nation, documents reveal.Thiel didn’t even have to leave California to become a new member of the South Pacific nation. He was granted citizenship during a private ceremony held at the New Zealand Consulate in Santa Monica.The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs on Wednesday released 145 pages of partially redacted documents detailing how Thiel became a citizen.His status was first reported by The New Zealand Herald newspaper last month and raised questions because Thiel didn’t fulfil the usual criteria requiring people to live in the country.In his application, Thiel wrote that he owned a home in New Zealand but if he was granted citizenship, he would need to continue residing in the U.S. to manage his California-based companies.He said he realized his circumstances wouldn’t usually qualify him for citizenship, but that he believed he was an exception.“In the course of pursing my international business opportunities, my travel, personal philosophical commitments and benefaction, I am happy to say categorically that I have found no other country that aligns more with my view of the future than New Zealand,” he wrote.He said that as part of his study into how he could contribute to the local entrepreneurial environment, he had consulted with John Key, who was New Zealand’s prime minister at the time.Thiel wrote that “it would give me great pride to let it be known that I am a New Zealand citizen.”Thiel didn’t immediately respond to requests made Wednesday for additional comment.However, Thiel’s citizenship status only became publicly known following last month’s newspaper report. The 2011 documents show that Thiel also remained a citizen of Germany, where he was born.Thiel, 49, co-founded PayPal and was the first professional investor in Facebook. He secretly bankrolled a lawsuit against the news and gossip site Gawker which led to its bankruptcy and closure. Forbes estimates his net worth at $2.7 billion, which makes him one of New Zealand’s wealthiest citizens.He has been an important adviser to Trump, who has vowed to put “America first.”When considering Thiel’s application, New Zealand officials noted that he had established a venture capital fund in New Zealand which had invested in a Wellington-based online accounting business, Xero.“Mr. Thiel has demonstrated his philanthropy through making a million-dollar donation to the Christchurch earthquake relief fund,” officials wrote as part of a letter recommending his application be approved.His citizenship was granted through a special approval by lawmaker Nathan Guy, who at the time was the Internal Affairs minister.Opposition lawmaker Iain Lees-Galloway tweeted Wednesday that the decision was “entirely about money” and that citizenship shouldn’t be for sale.Government figures show that over the past five years, New Zealand has received about 150,000 citizenship applications, with 92 receiving special approval by the minister after taking into account exceptional circumstances. read more

Traces of horsemeat DNA found in Polish beef

first_imgONE OF POLAND’S top veterinarians said today that traces of horse-meat DNA have been found in beef samples taken from three meat processors — the first acknowledgement that the country could be a source of the horse meat that fraudulently ended up in processed meat products sold as beef across Europe.Deputy National Veterinarian Janusz Zwiazek said the DNA was found in three samples out of 121 tested. They came from cold storage at processing plants in central Poland. The meat arrived there from various suppliers in Poland and abroad, including from the Netherlands, Zwiazek told The Associated Press.Dutch authorities also announced today that their large-scale testing program has uncovered horse meat in two samples out of 370 tests it has carried out since Europe’s horse meat scandal erupted.The country’s Food and Wares Authority said it found horse DNA in a batch of beef cuttings and in a meatball labeled as containing only beef and pork at a meat processor and a frozen storage center.The authority did not release the names of the companies where it found the horse meat traces.In Greece, authorities said they detected traces of horse meat in salami labeled as containing beef that was imported from the Netherlands, and in frozen kebabs packaged locally. It was unclear whether the kebab meat was locally produced or imported, and food safety authorities were not available for comment.Greece first detected horse DNA in meat labeled as beef on Wednesday, in frozen meat from Romania.Polish authorities said some 80 more samples are to be tested, and separate tests are needed to determine the proportion of horse meat.All three contamination cases have been reported to the prosecutors, Zwiazek said.“I want to find the culprit, or culprits,” he said.Read: Ikea withdraws Wiener sausages as they await horsemeat DNA tests>last_img read more