Caribou Coffee closing some locations and rebranding others

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Caribou Coffee will close some stores and convert others to another name, and the changes affect some locations in Iowa and Illinois.

There are more than 500 Caribou Coffee locations employing more than 6,000 people across the U.S. including 66 in Illinois and 17 in Iowa.

Iowa locations in our area include one at the I-80 Truckstop in Walcott and one in the Hy-Vee store in Moline.   It was unclear whether either of those locations would be affected by the restructuring.

Caribou Coffee will close 80 “underperforming stores” by April 14.  An additional 88 locations in several states, including Illinois, will be converted to Peet’s Coffee & Tea locations in the next year or so.

Company officials did not specify how many of the Illinois and Iowa locations would be affected.  Several Chicago locations are expected to close, including one in Aurora where employees received just over a week’s notice that they would lose their jobs.

A Facebook page was started to encourage employees and customers to share good memories of their experiences at Caribou Coffee locations in the Midwest.  Comments and complaints about the announcement also appeared on the company’s Facebook page.

Caribou Coffee is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The company released this statement Monday, April 8, 2013:

“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.”