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CHICAGO -- Shoppers looking for fresh Starbucks coffee as they walk through the aisles of Jewel-Osco grocery stores will soon be out of luck.
Early next year, Starbucks' licensed cafes will be pulled out of 14 Jewel-Osco grocery stores in the Midwest. A spokeswoman said the pull-out was Starbucks' idea, but would not say why. Supervalu-owned Jewel operates 202 stores in the region.
However, local observers said the move was likely a result of an "exclusivity situation," as one trade official referred to it, arising from the ongoing expansion of Starbucks cafes in Jewel's rival Dominick's supermarkets. Owner Safeway is busy converting the Dominick's units into more upscale "Lifestyle" formats.