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: : Jul-Dec 2003

Blenz Coffee's tall order: Taking on Starbucks in China. With a whiff of tobacco smoke and a sly hint of anti-Americanism, the upstart Blenz Coffee chain from Vancouver is mounting a brazen challenge to the mighty Starbucks empire in China. .... [more] 31 Dec, 2003
Trivest Partners acquires Herbal Magic weight-loss centre franchise firm. U.S. investment firm Trivest Partners said Friday it has acquired Herbal Magic Systems International Inc. of London, Ont., a franchiser of health counselling centres, primarily for weight loss. .... [more] 19 Dec, 2003
A touch of Italian-America comes to town. The first East Side Mario's restaurant franchise in the province is opening on Regina's east side. .... [more] 13 Dec, 2003
Forzani weak in Q3, cuts guidance. Forzani Group Ltd., Canada's largest sporting goods retailer, reported weaker profits for its Q3 on Friday due to unseasonably warm weather and lower retail prices. .... [more] 28 Nov, 2003
Movenpick operator in turmoil. The company that runs the Movenpick restaurant chain is in turmoil after a bizarre series of executive changes this week that included firing and rehiring the chief financial officer and then suspending the chief executive officer and his wife, a vice-president. .... [more] 30 Oct, 2003
HaidaBucks franchise idea brews. Having faced down the giant Starbucks coffeeopolis in a trademark tussle, the owners of the little cafe in the Queen Charlotte Islands are thinking of branching out. .... [more] 30 Oct, 2003
Jean Coutu Group interested in Eckerd chain in U.S.; earnings up 10.6% Drugstore chain Jean Coutu Group Inc. is openly interested in acquiring all or part of the Eckerd drugstore chain, the fourth-largest in the United States, chief executive Francois Coutu said Tuesday. .... [more] 14 Oct, 2003
3 for 1 Pizza ordered to refund $58,500 deposit. Franchisor 3 for 1 Pizza & Wings (Canada) Inc. used a "fraudulent scheme" to acquire $58,500 from a Barrie couple, a judge has ruled. .... [more] 7 Oct, 2003
Taco Time Achieves Record Breaking Sales for Little Hearts of Saskatchewan. The 15th Annual "Little Hearts Day" sponsored by all nine Saskatoon Taco Time franchises raised $25,170 on October 4. .... [more] 6 Oct, 2003
Couche-Tard buys U.S. Circle K chain. Shares of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. soared today after Canada's biggest convenience-store operator boosted its U.S. presence dramatically with a $1.1-billion purchase that gives the Montreal-based company about 2,000 more stores. .... [more] 6 Oct, 2003
Burger King offers new low-fat meals. Burger King Canada is adding low-fat meals to its menu, as competition intensifies with other fast-food chains moving to lighter meals. .... [more] 6 Oct, 2003
priszm brands, Canadian Pizza Hut franchisee, heads toward IPO. priszm brandz, franchisee of 360 Pizza Hut units, as well as KFC, Taco Bell and Long John Silver's units in Canada, wants to raise more than CAN $200 million (U.S. $148 million) through sales of units of a trust that will hold an interest in its 768 franchise stores. .... [more] 29 Sep, 2003
Nick-N-Willy’s take and bake crosses Canadian border. Nick-N-Willy's World Famous Take-N-Bake Pizza announced it will open its first Canadian store in Vancouver, British Columbia, in early October. .... [more] 25 Sep, 2003
Alimentation Couche Tard negotiating large acquisition in United States. Alimentation Couche Tard Inc., the largest convenience store operator in Canada, says it's close to acquiring another big chain in the United States. .... [more] 24 Sep, 2003
Harvey's bucks lean trend with Big Harv. While other fast-food burger chains venture into such foreign turf as low-fat yogurt and salad, fifth-ranked Harvey's has decided to buck the trend and position itself squarely as the outlet for the guys. .... [more] 18 Sep, 2003
Jean Coutu snapping up Pharmasaves. The Jean Coutu Group Inc., the second-largest drugstore chain in Canada, hopes to pick up about a dozen Pharmasave drug stores each year from Ontario and the Maritimes. .... [more] 16 Sep, 2003

McDonald's job becomes experience of a lifetime. Working at McDonald's is generally considered decent part-time work during school. But, after graduation, students usually quit to find a "real" job. .... [more] 15 Sep, 2003
Howard Johnson International says Canadian franchise firm defaulted on fees. Howard Johnson International Inc. is accusing its Canadian franchise partner of failing to pay fees owed to the U.S.-based hotel chain. .... [more] 12 Sep, 2003
Canadian Tire, 440 dealers renew contract. Private dealers who operate nearly half of Canadian Tire's countrywide store network have agreed to a new commercial contract with the company. .... [more] 12 Sep, 2003
Taco Bell ordered to pay $11.8M more in suit. A federal judge has ordered Taco Bell to pay an extra $11.8 million (U.S.) in interest to two Michigan men who sued the restaurant chain, accusing it of stealing their idea for an advertising campaign. .... [more] 11 Sep, 2003
Van Houtte hopes to sell innovation to restaurants. The new chief executive of coffee maker Van Houtte is trying to persuade McDonald's and other large restaurant chains to try its new gourmet coffee machine in their outlets, the way Couche-Tard convenience stores do. .... [more] 10 Sep, 2003
Cara Operations Ltd. may go private. Restaurant chain owner Cara Operations Ltd. saw its shares spike today on news that its majority shareholder has offered $324 million to privatize the troubled company. .... [more] 29 Aug, 2003
Couche-Tard buys Dunkin' Donuts master franchise in Quebec. All 104 Dunkin' Donuts outlets in Quebec have been rolled under the management of convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. under an agreement announced Thursday with British-based Allied Domecq. .... [more] 28 Aug, 2003
Wal-Mart cooks up deal to sell Krispy Kreme. While Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. continues to build new retail outlets in Canada, it's also making inroads on the wholesale front through a pact with Wal-Mart Canada. .... [more] 26 Aug, 2003
Sporting goods retailer Forzani backs away from competitive clothing markets. Fierce competition in clothing markets will force Canada's largest sporting goods retailer to back away from "commodity-type" apparel lines and focus on exclusive labels, the Forzani Group said Tuesday. .... [more] 26 Aug, 2003
Jean Coutu Group buys 2 Pharmasave drug stores in Toronto area, may buy more. The Jean Coutu Group Inc. has struck a deal to buy two Pharmasave drug stores in the Toronto area, part of a broader plan to expand in Canada's most populous province and possibly the rest of Canada. .... [more] 13 Aug, 2003
Canadian Pizza Huts now buying only Canadian beef. priszm brandz, a franchisee of 250 Pizza Hut restaurants in Canada, announced it is switching to using only 100 percent Canadian beef in all of its restaurants in Canada. .... [more] 8 Aug, 2003
McDonald's Promotes Canada Beef With Free Burgers. In a bid to help a struggling Canadian beef industry, McDonald's Canada said on Thursday said it would give away 1.4 million pounds of hamburgers by offering a two for one sale to customers on Aug. 22. .... [more] 7 Aug, 2003
Coffee service company Van Houtte swallows 4 U.S. firms, two in Canada. Coffee service company Van Houtte Inc. says it has paid $8 million for four U.S. coffee firms and two others in Canada. .... [more] 5 Aug, 2003
Pet Valu seeks to mark its territory. Stephen Ader was talking about the years left until his retirement date with a customer in his High Park Pet Valu franchise in Toronto last week, when another patron broke into their conversation. .... [more] 4 Aug, 2003
McDonald's to use 100 per cent domestic beef in Canadian restaurants. McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Ltd. plans to use Canadian beef in all of its restaurants across the country, in a move the fast-food giant said is meant to further support the domestic cattle industry. .... [more] 25 Jul, 2003
New store shortens exit trek. The new Ikea store in Vaughan, when it opens Wednesday, will have something no other Ikea in the world has - a quick and easy way to get in and out with only the items you came to buy. .... [more] 24 Jul, 2003
Cara profits plummet, SARS blamed. Restaurant chain owner Cara Operations Ltd. reported a profit plunge in its latest quarterly results and is blaming SARS for big revenue declines in Toronto, its biggest market, and at insolvent Air Canada, its biggest customer. .... [more] 24 Jul, 2003
Bank scene may change as retailers Canadian Tire, Sears Canada enter fray. High fees charged by the big banks, interest rate competition and general consumer frustration have prompted many Canadians to turn to non-traditional banks that have few branches or tellers. .... [more] 20 Jul, 2003
Loblaw Q2 profit rises 22% to $182 million. Loblaw Cos. Ltd. has rung up a 22 per cent increase in second-quarter profit on a 9.2 per cent rise in sales, and said Thursday that it expects continuing strong growth for the rest of the year. .... [more] 17 Jul, 2003
INTEREST - Canada snares No. 1 spot in business survey. A survey has ranked Canada as the No. 1 country in which to conduct business over the next five years, pointing to tax cuts, a Liberal victory in Quebec and a strong infrastructure. .... [more] 16 Jul, 2003
Shoppers Drug Mart Q2 profit up 42% to $58M. Shoppers Drug Mart Corp., which has been busy acquiring independent pharmacies, reported a 42 per cent increase in second-quarter profits Wednesday after a 10 per cent rise in revenue and efficiency improvements. .... [more] 16 Jul, 2003
More Canadians finding future in franchising. In the wide-open world of franchising, Canadians are second only to Americans in their desire for buying a piece of the action. .... [more] 14 Jul, 2003
Frozen treats seller CoolBrands to license Tropicana Smoothies stores. Frozen treats seller CoolBrands International Inc. has reached a deal to license franchises for fruit juice retail outlets. .... [more] 9 Jul, 2003
BMO expands in-store deal with Sobeys. BMO Bank of Montreal has agreed to open 80 In-Store outlets in Sobeys grocery stores in Ontario and Atlantic Canada as well as in IGA Extra stores in Quebec, the bank announced today. .... [more] 3 Jul, 2003
Couche-Tard reports Q4 profits and sales up. Canada's largest convenience store operator, Alimentation Couche-Tard, reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit rose 27 per cent to $11.1 million, mainly due to acquisitions it made this year in the United States. .... [more] 3 Jul, 2003
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