Updated below. Plymouth’s seven Caribou Coffee shops are not among the more than 150 slated for closure across the nation.
A source with knowledge of the company’s downsizing plans and speaking on the condition of anonymity said 80 stores are being outright closed and 80 others are being converted into Peet’s Coffee locations. Two Minnesota locations in Minneapolis—the Rand Tower store and a shop on the corner of 53rd Avenue and Lyndale Avenue South—are on the chopping block, according to the source, and are scheduled to close next week.
“The rest of the Twin Cities stores are safe for now,” the source said, adding that most of the 160 affected stores are in Ohio, Atlanta and Michigan.
The source said severance packages are being offered to employees of the stores slated for closure and will be based on the average number of hours worked over the last four weeks and time with the company.
Update 1 (3 p.m. Monday): News of the Caribou closings began leaking out after a company conference call Friday morning, but e-mails to corporate headquarters had not yet been returned as of this posting. On Monday Caribou issued a statement attributed to CEO Mike Tattersfield:
"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."
Employees at the Caribou Coffee at 5309 Lyndale Av. S. in Minneapolis and the Caribou at 6600 Lyndale Av. S. in Richfield said they were told their stores will close permanently at noon Sunday; store employees said they weren’t given a reason.
Statement on Facebook
On Friday Caribou responded to an Iowa customer's Facebook query with this statement:
Hi Rikki, retail locations in Iowa will remain operating, as well as retail locations in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Western Wisconsin, North Carolina, Kansas and Denver. Closing stores outside of these areas was a tough decision. However, we’re excited to be able to renew our efforts in these markets. Please contact 888.CARIBOU with further questions - thank you for reaching out to us.
Caribous Closing in Ohio and Illinois
In Lakewood, OH a Caribou store employee told Lakewood Patch Sunday that the staff was "just told" about the closing. "We're not very happy about it," said the employee, who asked not to be named. "We're all going to lose our jobs. We're going to be given the option to reapply for a job at Peet's, but we don't know much." He said the Lakewood location is one of the stores that will be converted into a Peet's, however, he added that no timeline has been given for the change. It's expected within in couple weeks.
An employee at the said management learned on April 5 via conference call that all Ohio locations will close down, although some will re-open as a Peet’s Coffee & Tea locations.
A manager at the told Avon-Avon Lake Patch the store will close on April 14. She would not give any additional information, including whether or not the store would be reopening.
Employees in Illinois have taken to Facebook to say several of that state's locations would also close and reopen as Peet's.
German Firm Buys Caribou and Peet's
Caribou Coffee, headquartered in Brooklyn Center, MN, is the second-largest java chain in the United States behind Starbucks. In December 2012, German conglomerate Joh. A. Benckiser Group said it would be buying the publicly traded Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee Co. for $340 million.
Earlier in 2012 it bought Peet’s Coffee & Tea for $1 billion. Peet’s Coffee was founded in Berkeley, CA, and is now headquartered in Emeryville, CA. The bulk of its stores are located in California. The company also maintains stores in Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington state.
In March, Caribou opted not to go ahead with plans to put shops inside J.C. Penney stores, according to Bloomberg.