After stating that Chicago was an important part of Caribou Coffee’s growth back in 2011, the company is singing a different tune as of Monday morning. After being taken private this year by Joh. A Benckiser in a $340 million deal, the company is now closing or rebranding the Chicago stores. While most will be closed as of Sunday, the downtown stores will be rebranded as Peet’s Coffee and Tea, which is looking to gain ground in Chicago. This is just a part of the bigger picture as Caribou is said to be closing 80 locations nationwide Sunday and rebranding 88 others as Peet’s in the next year and a half.
“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,” Caribou President Mike Tattersfield said in a statement. “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.”
I feel for all the employees of Caribou Coffee across Chicago and the surrounding suburbs who will be affected by the closings. Caribou couldn’t maintain a significant presence in Chicago, it will be interesting to see how the more upscale Peet’s Coffee and Tea will perform.
Source: Chicago Tribune