Consumer and retail news: 10 things you need to know today

Starbuck's Valentine 1

Hollis Johnson

1. Starbucks is opening upscale cafes where plain black coffee costs $4

Starbucks Reserve is one of about 500 similar stores that the company plans to open globally over the next several years. The coffee is so expensive because they use micro-lot varietals that are only available for a limited time, Starbucks told Business Insider.

2. Starbucks came out with 3 new drinks for Valentine’s Day

Starbucks unleashed three new drinks that are only available from February 8-14. The coffee chain created a theme for the new Valentine’s Day drinks: molten chocolate cake.

3. Hasbro brought in nearly $500 million from ‘Star Wars’ merchandise

According to Hasbro’s annual report from last year, the company brought in $494 million from “Star Wars”-related sales.

4. Sears just got another depressing sign that it is doomed

Sears has traditionally attracted female shoppers ages 55 and older, but that demographic is now choosing to shop at Goodwill, according to a recent study by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

5. Peyton Manning’s post-Super Bowl Budweiser plug was an extremely valuable endorsement

After the game, Peyton Manning told a reporter in a live postgame interview (via The Guardian) that he was going to “drink a lot of Budweiser” to celebrate winning the Super Bowl. It was a huge endorsement for the beer company.

6. Target just made a huge change to children’s bedrooms across America

Pillowfort, a new home decor line for kids, is primarily gender neutral.

7. Taco Bell finally revealed the mystery item it’s been teasing for weeks

The Quesalupa comes in four iterations: the breakfast version and the regular version with either ground beef, steak, or chicken.

8. Red Lobster sales soar after Beyoncé endorsement

A Beyoncé lyric that suggests using Red Lobster’s food as a reward for sex led to a 33% spike in the chain’s sales, according to CNN Money.

9. Coca-Cola profits top expectations

Coca-Cola’s fourth quarter profits beat analysts’ expectations, according to Bloomberg.

10. Chipotle launches program to help farmers test the safety of their food

During Chipotle’s company-wide meeting on Monday, CEO Steve Ells announced that Chipotle will spend $10 million to fund a program aimed at helping suppliers maintain food-safety standards, Bloomberg reports.