Caribou Coffee, the Minneapolis based franchise is tipped to be closing up to 80 locations next week and converting a further 88 other store locations to Peet’s Coffee and Tea shops at some point over the next 18 months.
As of 2009 the company employed up to 6,000 people and had revenue of $262 million. However they have been feeling the pinch since and despite revisiting the business strategy, closely evaluating the market performance and rife competition from other coffee giants, the 80 under-performing stores have had to be completely cut.
The future plans to convert will mean Caribou Coffee ranks high on the endangered coffee species list across Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois, Wisconsin and Washington.
Not to fret, if you are a hard core Caribou enthusiast, the company will still be operating 468 locations in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, North Carolina, Denver, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa as well as 10 international markets.
Understandably, the employees and loyal customers are crushed and as ever- very vocal on Facebook and Twitter.
A page named “Caribou Coffee putting 1,000’s of people out of work” popped up on Facebook and received an instant 120 likes by 7pm on day one.
Caribou has honoured their loyalty cards and gift vouchers, online at www.cariboucoffee.com.
Initially it had been hoped that going private with a $340 million pound deal in December 2012 would be enough to regain control, financially, but when Starbucks is reporting $13.3 billion in a single fiscal year- it’s understandable that they have had to change their coffee battle strategy.
Peet’s, is owned by the same German equity company Joh. A. Benckiser Group who paid the initial $340 million last year, Alfred Peet first opened a store in America in 1966 appalled at what Americans considered quality coffee to be, he insisted on smaller batches, fresh beans for a superior quality drink that was rich and complex in flavour. It was a magnet for artisan food crafters and artisan coffee drinkers. Alfred Peet’s influence continued to inspire a generation of American coffee drinkers and entrepreneurs, including the founder of Starbucks, it’s said.