After 21 years in business, Caribou Coffee is suddenly facing some very grownup decisions.
America’s second-largest coffee chain announced that, as of April 14, it will be closing 80 of its locations and rebranding 88 outposts as Peet’s Coffee & Tea over the next 18 months, according to a statement from President and CEO Mike Tattersfield.[more]
“Over the past few months, we at Caribou have revisited our business strategy, including closely evaluating our performance by market to make decisions that best position us for long-term growth. With that, we will be closing 80 underperforming stores on April 14th, and an additional 88 coffeehouses across Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois and Eastern Wisconsin will be converted to Peet’s Coffee & Tea locations over the next 12 to 18 months. Going forward, Caribou Coffee will be made up of 468 locations across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Western Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, North Carolina, Denver, and ten international markets. While the decisions we’ve made have been difficult for our team in Minneapolis, as well as our team members across the country and our guests and fans everywhere, we are working to make this transition as seamless as possible for the Caribou community. We look forward to continuing to deliver extraordinary experiences to our guests and fans, and thank everyone for their passion and commitment to Caribou. For any questions, please contact 888.CARIBOU.”
The decision came about only five months after Caribou was taken out of the public market and purchased by German investment firm Joh. A. Benckiser for $340 million, the Chicago Tribune reports. Benckiser snagged Peet’s last summer for $974 million and is also the owner of such brands as Calgon, Durex, Air Wick, Derek Lam, and Jimmy Choo.
Devoted fans have made their disappointment with the decision very clear on Caribou’s Facebook page, sounding off about the hundreds of employees that will lose their jobs due to the closures. A memorial page has even been set up by employees and fans to share their Caribou memories.