A New Twist

Coffee Shop

Wake up and smell the opportunity: JC Java is offering would-be franchisees the chance to get in on the coffee craze by opening units in JC Penney department stores west of the Mississippi.

The innovative concept was introduced in a Las Vegas JC Penney store in December. Although the prototype store is thus far run by The Coffee Group, the Costa Mesa, California, developer of specialty coffee franchises that will execute the master licensing and individual sales of JC Java outlets, all 12 outlets expected to open by midsummer are intended to be sold to franchisees.

"We're specifically looking for owner/operators, and we'll deal with one operator in each region," says Greg Casserly, president of The Coffee Group.

For franchisees, the demitasse of benefits runneth over: "Our contract with JC Penney," says Casserly, "provides franchisees with instant national identity and distribution, high-visibility locations with built-in business, and rents that are significantly below market [rates]."

JC Penney hopes the new outlets will revive thirsty customers for more shopping. "If the customer has to leave to be refreshed," points out Casserly, "[JC Penney] loses them."

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This article was originally published in the May 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: A New Twist.

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