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This story appears in the July 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
  • One of the nation's leading retailers, Diedrich Coffee Inc., recently signed a letter of intent to acquire Coffee People Inc., which the 281-unit Gloria Jean's Gourmet Coffees franchise. Diedrich Coffee plans to retain the separate names of the brands and to expand both the Diedrich locations and the Gloria Jean's mall-based chain. As part of the deal, Diedrich Coffee will also acquire Coffee People and Coffee Plantation coffeehouses in and Arizona--giving the company a total of 363 outlets in 38 states, and making it the second-largest company in the specialty coffee market.
  • To assist the growing number of new home buyers who'd like their moving needs handled through their real estate company, Coldwell Banker recently established The Coldwell Banker program. The program provides tools designed to help consumers through each stage of their move and setup, making it less stressful--and happier clients means happier brokers. Much like hotel concierge services, the program helps consumers find whatever they need-- vendors, suppliers, contractors and so on--and even takes care of such tasks as appointment scheduling.
  • After 40 years of providing car rental service, Thrifty Inc. is expanding its to include car sales. By year-end, Thrifty Car Sales will offer used cars at 40 locations nationwide. Thrifty is currently soliciting existing Thrifty Rental franchise owners, as well as seeking independent used car dealers interested in becoming franchisees of these sites, which will operate separately from the rental locations.

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