SOURCE: (Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal)
Caribou Coffee Co. Inc. is shuttering 160 stores across the country as it moves to focus more on its home market of Minnesota; about half the closing locations will be rebranded as Peet's Coffee & Tea stores.
News of closings appeared in storefront windows, Twitter postings and scattered news reports in cities like Charlotte, N.C., Chicago and Cleveland, where Lakewood Patch reports that coffee shop employees were told that Brooklyn Center-based Caribou would close all of its 36 stores in Ohio.
In Chicago, WGN reports that the chain told managers that it was closing 80 underperforming stores outside of Minnesota, but there wasn't a detailed list.
Plymouth Patch said another 80 stores would be converted to Peet's Coffee & Tea shops, another coffee chain that, like Caribou, was bought by German private equity group Joh. A. Benckiser last year.
Illinois was Caribou's second-largest market after Minnesota, with 66 stores. And in Charlotte, WCNC reports that all but four of the company's 13 stores will close. Employees in the Midwest region also set up a Facebook page called "Caribou Coffee Memories."
But the closings apparently hit the Twin Cities, too. Experience Southwest (@ExperienceSW) tweeted over the weekend that a Caribou at 53rd and Lyndale Avenue was closing.
All the closings will be effective April 14. As of last fall, Caribou owned about 400 locations, with another 200 or so franchises.