Business Briefs: Starbucks buys juice maker for new chain

Starbucks Corp. hopes to do for juice what it’s done for coffee. The Seattle-based company that changed the way Americans drink their cup of joe said Thursday that it acquired juice maker Evolution Fresh Inc. for $30 million as part of a larger effort to move beyond just offering coffee. Starbucks said it plans to “reinvent” the $1.6 billion super-premium juice segment with its purchase of Evolution, which is based in San Bernadino, Calif. The company plans to open a new chain of health and wellness stores in the coming year that will carry Evolution products such as juices and simple foods. Details are still thin on the new chain, but Starbucks described it as a retail model that has never been seen before.

Haggen launches store rebranding effort

Bellingham-based Haggen said it will turn a Bellevue outlet into a new store as part of a three-year effort to rebrand all of its 28 stores. The store, a Top Foods in the Crossroads area, will focus on “Northwest Fresh.” It will include things like a convenience store where people can get milk, eggs and coffee without have to go through the whole building. It also will have a Fish &Chips bar, new private label items, a Lummi Fish Market, Chuckanut Deli and Mt. Baker Bakery. “Part of Haggen’s ‘Northwest Fresh’ philosophy is about being a good neighbor which means we remain committed to giving our customers a good deal without compromising quality.” said C.J. Gabriel Jr., president and CEO of Haggen.

Job, trade outlook improves in U.S.

The outlook for American jobs and trade looked a little brighter Thursday, despite growing uncertainty overseas. The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell to a seasonally adjusted 390,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the fewest since April. The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $43.1 billion in September, its lowest point of the year, the Commerce Department said. Foreign sales of American-made autos, airplanes and heavy machinery pushed exports to an all-time high. The data suggest layoffs are easing and the economy grew slightly better over the summer than the government had estimated a month ago.

Shoppers buying more at upscale Nordstrom

Nordstrom Inc. is reporting a 6.7 percent increase in third-quarter profits as its affluent shoppers continue to splurge despite an uncertain economy. The Seattle-based retailer also is upgrading its full-year profit outlook. The chain says that it earned $127 million, or 59 cents per share, in the three-month period that ended Oct. 29. That compares with $119 million or 53 cents per share in the year-ago period. Net sales rose 14.2 percent to $2.38 billion, from $2.087 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts were expecting earnings per share of 59 cents on net sales of $2.35 billion. Revenue at stores opened at least a year climbed 7.9 percent.

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