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Brutal U.S. winter has chilling effect on prom spending plans

By Beth Pinsker NEW YORK (Reuters) - It is still too cold in most parts of the country to be thinking about taffeta, which could be affecting how much teens and their parents plan on spending on the prom and when they do their shopping. Families, on average, expect to spend $978 this year on the prom, the annual rite of passage for American high schoolers, which is basically just a big dance, according to a survey released today by Visa Inc. That's down 14 percent from last year.

Tim Hortons aims to improve returns, add 800 Canada, U.S. stores

By Susan Taylor TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons Inc <THI.TO> said on Tuesday that it will open at least 800 new restaurants over the next five years under a strategic plan to secure its dominance in Canada and boost returns in the United States. Facing mounting competition from tough rivals such as Starbucks Corp <SBUX.O> and McDonald's Corp <MCD.N>, the company said it plans to reduce capital intensity while improving returns to shareholders and on assets.

Tim Hortons pulls Cold Stone creamery as part of plan to simplify restaurants

Doughnuts and ice cream weren't the best combination for Tim Hortons, after all. Several years after the pairing first launched, the coffee chain is pulling the Cold Stone Creamery brand from its Canadian restaurants, as part of bigger changes that have included removing about two dozen items from the menu since last fall. Tim Hortons Inc. (TSX:THI) chief executive Marc Caira outlined the changes as he discussed the company's year-end financial results Thursday. Further details of its five-year strategy will be unveiled at an investor conference next week.

Tim Hortons expected to refresh its image in face of intense competition

TORONTO - A refreshed vision for Tim Hortons (TSX:THI) begins to take shape this week as the company releases details on its financial results, and how it plans to remain innovative in the highly-competitive Canadian coffee market. The quick-service chain will reveal the strategy in two stages, starting on Thursday with its year-end financial results. The, next week, recently appointed chief executive officer Marc Caira will take the stage at the company's investor day to outline the next steps for Tim Hortons.

Wiarton Willie sees shadow, forecasts six more weeks of winter

WIARTON, Ont. - Canada's major prognosticating rodents provided a split decision on whether the country is in for an early spring or six more weeks of winter. Ontario's Wiarton Willie emerged from his cozy den Sunday morning and immediately spotted his shadow, which according to groundhog folklore means Canadians can expect six more weeks of what has already been a long, cold, snowy winter. Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam was the first groundhog out, delivering a promising forecast for winter weary Canucks after he did not see his shadow — signalling an early spring.

Activist investors trim positions in Tim Hortons' stock

By Euan Rocha TORONTO (Reuters) - U.S. hedge funds Scout Capital Management and Highfields Capital disclosed in regulatory filings that they have trimmed their stakes in Tim Hortons <THI.TO> after shares in the Canadian coffee and doughnut chain posted big gains. The two activist investors had urged Tim Hortons to increase debt levels to fund a share buyback, as well as address concerns about its U.S. expansion, and to name directors to the board who have more financial expertise.

Tim Hortons chain looks to expand its restaurants across the globe

TORONTO - First North America, then the world — at least that's how Tim Hortons Inc. (TSX:THI) hopes to conquer the coffee market. Chief executive Marc Caira told investors Thursday that he plans to grow the restaurant's operations outside the company's home base and the United States, starting first with the Middle East and then moving onto other countries.

Tim Hortons offers new dark roast coffee

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's largest coffee shop chain Tim Hortons Inc <THI.TO> said on Monday it is offering a new blend of dark roast coffee, in a pilot program aimed at luring customers from its competitors. Oakville, Ontario-based Tim Hortons is facing a tough fight as rivals like McDonald's Corp <MCD.N> and Starbucks Corp <SBUX.O>, known for its stronger dark roast coffees, have rapidly expanded in Canada.

Incoming Tim Hortons CEO reviewing everything from coffee cups to doughnuts

OAKVILLE, Ont. - Tim Hortons' new chief executive is reconsidering everything from coffee cup sizes to doughnut selection as he begins a widespread review of the chain's operations. Marc Caira says he wants to make it easier and faster to order at the counter because customers want a "flawless" experience that's quick and easy. That will likely include simplifying the company's menu slate, which at this point includes a rotating selection of more than 60 doughnuts, and no less than five different coffee cup sizes.

Man buys 500 free coffees for customers at downtown Edmonton Tim Hortons

EDMONTON - Call it a cup of coffee karma. Staff at a downtown Edmonton Tim Hortons were having an ordinary day Monday until a young man in his mid-to-late 20s walked in, ordered a large double-double and a Boston cream doughnut, and posed a question. "He asked the cashier, 'how many coffees do you sell in a day?' " said store manager Joanne Averion. Then he asked her to ring in 500 large coffees.
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