By Neil Parmar; The Wall Street Journal
June 24, 2005; Page B2
"The chain is so popular that Canadians overlook the fact that Tim Hortons has been American-owned since 1995, when it was acquired by Wendy's International of Dublin, Ohio. Hortons makes clear that it operates independently from Wendy's head office and the stores are virtually all run by Canadian franchisees.
Hortons has long had a small presence in this country, initially in border areas like Buffalo, N.Y., and later branching as far south as Ashland, Ky.
Hortons wants to change that. The chain recently announced plans to nearly double its size in the U.S. by adding 240 stores by 2007, from 260 stores currently, mostly in the Northeast and Midwest. To lift its profile, Hortons won't play on its Canadian roots. Instead it is taking a leaf from its Canadian marketing strategy of emphasizing its community ties.
Analysts say Hortons's slow but steady U.S. expansion is the right approach. "You don't want to be the Gap of coffee shops, only because that's already taken up with Starbucks," says Jonathan Asher, president of branding-consultant Dragon Rouge. "You want people to think it's their own local place and that they've just discovered it," he says. "
I want and "Timbits"