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In brief: More Starbucks stores to sell alcohol at night

Thu., March 20, 2014, midnight

Starbucks Corp. will extend its post-4 p.m. Evenings menu, which includes alcohol, to thousands of stores nationwide.

The program is already available at more than 25 locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Portland and Atlanta, according to the company’s website.

Examples of Evenings selections include Parmesan-crusted chicken skewers with honey-dijon sauce, chocolate fondue with a dried fruit medley and madeleine cookies, and beer and wine from Argentina, Italy and California.

The expansion is part of Starbucks’ ongoing effort to branch out beyond coffee.

On Wednesday, at Starbucks’ annual meeting in Seattle, celebrity mogul Oprah Winfrey helped announce that she is teaming up with the coffee chain to develop Teavana Oprah Chai tea.

The drink will hit Starbucks and Teavana shelves in North America on April 29.

Burger King to accept mobile app payments

Burger King is going mobile.

The fast-food chain said Wednesday it will soon begin accepting payments and offering discounts through mobile devices.

Burger King said it will unveil an app in April that customers can use to buy burgers at more than 7,000 U.S. locations. Eventually, the company plans to add other features, such as the ability to preorder food.

The company said the app will provide convenient payment options for customers and critical information on consumer habits to the company.

Mobile payment services are gaining in popularity – Starbucks estimates one of out of 10 purchases made in its stores are now done with its mobile app.

JPMorgan selling commodities business

NEW YORK – JPMorgan said on Wednesday that it has made a deal to sell its physical commodities business for $3.5 billion as regulators weigh whether to restrict banks’ ability to control power plants, warehouses and oil refineries.

If it’s approved by regulators, the deal would put the commodities business in the hands of energy and commodities trading company Mercuria Energy Group Ltd.

NEW YORK – Plain Cheerios are no longer made with genetically modified ingredients, but the switch hasn’t yet translated to a boost in sales.

General Mills, the company that makes the cereal, announced in January that it would start making its plain Cheerios without GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. The move came after a campaign by the group Green America, which prompted fans to express their support.

On Wednesday, CEO Ken Powell said the company has gotten supportive letters and online comments for its decision but hasn’t detected a sales lift.

Judge: No class-action status for Google suit

SAN FRANCISCO – A judge has tossed out an effort to win class-action status for a lawsuit accusing Google of violating the privacy terms of email users.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled late Tuesday that too many users have too many dissimilar claims to pursue a single class-action lawsuit that could expose the search engine giant to billions of dollars in potential losses.

At issue is the scanning of contents of Gmail accounts and the related targeting of ads. Many other high-tech companies and email providers are closely watching the case, which is expected to better define privacy laws.


 

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