Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cup Of Coffee Soothing Economic Struggles

by: Robert Costa, The Saginaw News:

Despite the economic tumble affecting the country, sales are rising like steam coming off a fresh cup of coffee.
''We are very affordable, and that's what people are looking for right now,'' said Kenneth R. Boomer, owner and operator of Hortons stores in Saginaw, Saginaw Township and Frankenmuth. Boomer said the store at 4870 State set a record during the week of Nov. 9-15, with sales climbing 11.5 percent from the same week in 2007.
''Who would think, with the economic climate we are in, that you are going to set records?'' Boomer said. ''We are in tough times, and we have a lot of affordable items. You can come in and get a coffee and baked good for two bucks.'' The store at 2039 N. Michigan is the busiest of around 30 stores in the mid-Michigan area that includes Flint and Bay City, Boomer said. The stores average 7,000 transactions a week, with 65 percent of customers using the drive-through. The average amount customers spend is $3.52 per visit.

''They (customers) recognize we are not getting greedy,'' he said. ''We've kept our prices on the low side. It builds customer loyalty.'' The chain, started in 1964 by 22-year-veteran NHL defenseman Miles Gilbert ''Tim'' Horton and former policeman Ron Joyce, now totals more than 3,000 stores in Canada, U.S., Ireland and the United Kingdom. Roberto Acosta is a staff writer for The Saginaw News. You may reach him at 776-9682 or

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