Say goodbye to Caribou Coffee in Chicago. The second largest coffee chain in the U.S. is closing all 18 local stores at the end of the week and 88 around the country, some locations will remain open but convert into Peet's Coffee and Tea. The Tribune first reported the story today, calls to both Caribou and Peet's representatives have yet to be returned.
A full list of which locations will remain open and rebranded is unavailable at this time. A Caribou employee said the Riverside Plaza, 8th and Wabash, and Damen Avenue in Bucktown locations will remain open.
The Caribou brand started taking in water in 2012, according to public financial documents. It was then purchased by an investor in January and turned into a private company. The rash of independent coffee shop openings, seemingly happening every week, couldn't have helped the Caribou cause, and corporate coffee chains as a whole.
Caribou employees have created a Facebook page to share memories and to update lists of store closings. Look for updates.
· Caribou Coffee to close all Chicago area stores by Sunday [Trib]
Here is the statement from Mike Tattersfield, president and CEO of Caribou Coffee:
"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."