Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 21, 2012 03:03 PM
Starbucks has been spreading its wings in recent months. First the news came that some of its outlets would start serving beer and wine. Then Starbucks opened its first Evolution Fresh juice bar in suburban Seattle. Earlier this month, the ubiquitous coffee chain purchased the Bay Area's La Boulange bakery for $100 million in a bid to upgrade its food offerings. (That deal was done in cash, by the way. No word if the money was in a briefcase handcuffed to anybody’s wrist.)
That’s a lot of wing-spreading, but Starbucks execs over there must be cranking down extra double espressos these days because now comes word that Starbucks is giving more love to another sub-brand by opening its first Tazo tea store this fall in the hopes of doing for tea what the company has done for coffee drinking.
The plan is for the Tazo store, located in its corporate hometown of Seattle, to “sell more than 80 varieties of loose-leaf tea and other tea products,” Reuters reports, and “also offer hot and cold tea drinks, brewing equipment, pastries, packaged chocolates, infused sugars and honey.” As it is now, Tazo is a $1.4 billion brand for Starbucks, but the company would like to grow it since it estimates that the global market for tea is $95 billion.
And today Starbucks announced its first Seattle's Best Coffee "commuter concept" store in Brooklyn, near the NYC borough's new Barclays Center sports arena that will be home to the Brooklyn Nets this fall.
According to a press release, SBC's "concept menu, which debuted as a test in Chicago in March, boasts delicious coffee beverages, and commuter-friendly sandwiches and snacks that will appear for the first time on the East Coast." We assume that Brooklyn Nets co-owner Jay-Z will approve.
Posted by Barry Silverstein on June 21, 2012 12:09 PM
Maybe we haven't seen the return of the roaring global recovery everyone has hoped for. The U.S. economy is sputtering, and the European continent isn't looking very bullish at the moment. But none of this seems to be terribly concerning to the luxury hotel market. There has been a spate of recent openings — hotel extensions of luxury brands — to prove it.
Bulgari, which operates a luxury hotel in Milan, a luxury resort in Bali, and restaurants in Tokyo, has just opened the doors of its fourth Bulgari Hotel, with its latest five-star property opening in a chi-chi pocket of London.
Located in the city's prestigious Knightsbridge section, its well appointed rooms (such as the one above) are opening just in time to take bookings for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Bulgari gushes about the property: "It is a perfect expression of the Bulgari aesthetic of timeless glamour. Innovative artistry and a lavish use of precious marble and silver blend harmoniously, exuding an understated elegance. The quality of the service, magnificent elements such as the spa, pool and private screening room, and the distinguished location beside Harrods and Hyde Park all contribute to an uncompromising sense of excellence."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 15, 2012 04:17 PM
It seemed a little odd last year when punk metal icons Motörhead decided to do a little brand extending and it took the form of a red wine, Motörhead Shiraz. Fans of the band aren’t exactly known for playing polo and collecting antiques.
According to Gibson.com, though, the vino sold well enough that the band has decided to expand on its alcohol-based brand extensions. So prepare ye, world, for Motörhead Bastards Lager, a beverage that aligns with the popular perception of the group’s heavy metal fan base.
One small problem, thöugh — the new brew is only available in Sweden (it debuted at the recent Sweden Rock festival).Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 13, 2012 11:55 AM
For decades, new Las Vegas hotel/casinos have been incredibly over-the-top and, let's face it, garish: a pyramid, a pirate-themed one, a mini re-creation of New York City, King Arthur’s castle, the list goes on. But now a casino is heading in the opposite direction by leveraging the Nobu brand to attract a new clientele.
Nobu Hospitality partners including Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, along with designer David Rockwell and principals from Caesars Palace, held a press conference this week at the original Nobu in New York City to reveal the concept for the world's first Nobu Hotel, set to open in Las Vegas late 2012.
The design for the Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace looks to bring the zen palate of Nobu restaurants to life — an oasis for well-heeled high-rollers to calm their nerves and enjoy the good life after making (or losing) more cash at the city’s many gambling tables.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 11, 2012 05:02 PM
It can be difficult to find anyone holding up a lighter anymore at concerts. There are few smokers, for one thing, and most concertgoers just hold up their phones (annoying anyone behind them not doing the same). There’s an app for everything, apparently.
But that doesn’t mean that lighters aren’t out there. Zippos has continued to crank them out no matter what the music of the day or what exactly needs to be set on fire. The brand just passed a major milestone, celebrating the production of its 500 millionth windproof pocket lighter on June 5th. The event (coincidentally?) fell on the birthday of the Pennsylvania company’s late founder, George G. Blaisdell.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 30, 2012 11:01 AM
From his humble roots as a seller of vinyl LPs to the spotty youths of Great Britain, Sir Richard Branson has extended the Virgin brand name from record shops to an array of businesses including airlines, mobile phones, space and deep sea travel, hotels, bridal boutiques, cheeky health clubs, beverages (including vodka, cola and wine), gaming, banking and beyond. Now Brits will soon be finding the Virgin brand on another product: water.
The home of the elastic brand today announced a partnership with Israel-based Strauss Water to rebrand its Strauss Water UK business as Virgin Pure, a system that filters water straight from the plumbing system to provide consumers with chilled or boiling water “at the touch of a button.”
"I love businesses that help to improve our way of life,” Branson stated. "Pure, chilled and boiling drinking water at the touch of a button means no more lugging bottles home, waiting for filter jugs to trickle through or kettles to boil for that great cup of tea."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 23, 2012 01:41 PM
Discerning bicycle enthusiasts with a taste for the finer things in life are in luck. Both Audi and DeLorean are producing cycles worthy of some attention. While the DeLorean sticks to the conventional man-made energy source, Audi’s concepts will provide a motorized option to help any cyclists who get a little bored with the continued cranking.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2012 11:55 AM
Since Miami-based Zumba Fitness got started back in 2001, it has rapidly grown into a global phenomenon, bringing new music and dance moves to millions of people, of all ages and shapes, worldwide. The dance class can now be found in 125 countries and has grown nearly 800 percent in just the last three years, according to the company.
Over time, it has introduced a number of different classes in order to hit as many markets as possible: Water! Wheelchair-bound! Kids! You name it. Now the company is expanding into the apparel business. According to a press release, Zumba Fitness has a new line of branded clothing that will be sold exclusively at Harrod’s in Britain for the next two months and then, naturally, beyond.Continue reading...