Lihu’e Borders’ cafe to become a Starbucks

The Cafe Espresso inside the Kukui Marketplace Lihu’e location of Borders Books, Music, Movies & Cafe, is to be converted into a Starbucks Coffee store under an agreement struck recently between Borders and Starbucks leaders, according to a press release.

The Lihu’e location is one of six Borders outlets in Hawai’i that will house Starbucks Coffee stores under a licensing agreement reached between officials at Borders, Inc., a subsidiary of Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE: BGP), and Coffee Partners Hawaii, a joint venture and partnership between Starbucks Coffee International and Café Hawaii Partners.

The conversion is expected to be completed by September, said Anne Roman, public relations director at Borders.

All of the current Lihu’e Borders Cafe Espresso employees will be offered work by Starbucks leaders, she said.

“Every effort is made to offer positions to current staff,” Roman said.

The Cafe Espresso Lihu’e location has consistently been one of the top-grossing locations for Borders.

Borders leaders have established similar relationships with Starbucks officials in the United Kingdom, and with those from Seattle’s Best, a subsidiary of Starbucks, across the Mainland, she explained.

“We are pleased to extend the positive working relationship with Starbucks Coffee International,” said Chris Nichols, director, cafe operations for Borders.

“In the U.K., our Borders stores include Starbucks Coffee stores, and our customers there enjoy the opportunity to savor a great cup of Starbucks coffee as they explore the books, music and movies,” Nichols said.

“It’s all part of the shopping experience at Borders. Now, in Hawai’i, our customers will have that same opportunity through Coffee Partners Hawaii,” he said.

“We look forward to offering the Starbucks experience to Borders customers through this new relationship,” said Greg Meier, president of Coffee Partners Hawaii.

“Our stores have always been a place to relax with a cup of Starbucks coffee and a good book, and the new Borders locations will be a great addition to creating the ‘third-place’ experience,” said Meier.

Since entering the Hawai’i market in December 1996, owners of Coffee Partners Hawaii, an authorized licensee of Star-bucks Coffee International, have opened 54 Starbucks Coffee stores spanning four islands, and created over 1,100 jobs in the state.

Coffee Partners Hawaii officials give back to the communities in which they do business through their “charitable pillars” that include the environment, AIDS research, literacy, and culture and the arts.

Borders Group, Inc. is a leading global retailer of books, music and movies, with 2004 revenues of $3.9 billion. With headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich., the company leaders employ approximately 34,000 people worldwide.

Borders Group officials operate more than 475 Borders superstores and approximately 650 Waldenbooks stores throughout the United States.

In addition, company leaders operate over 50 Borders superstores outside the United States, as well as 33 Books etc. stores located throughout Great Britain.

Borders Group officials have also acquired Paperchase Products Limited, a leading stationery retailer based in London, England, with more than 70 locations in the United Kingdom.

Teamed with Amazon.com leaders, online shopping is available through Borders.com (www.borders.com) and Waldenbooks.com (www.waldenbooks.com).

More detailed information on the company is available at www.bordersgroupinc.com.

Information regarding Borders store locations, in-store events and title reservations is available through www.bordersstores.com.

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