Update, 2:26 a.m.: Caribou Coffee will cease to exist in Michigan, according to 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 14, 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," Tattersfield said in his statement.
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 10 international markets, according to Tattersfield.
10:54 a.m.: Caribou Coffees is closing a string of more than 160 stores across the country and it's unclear whether the two shops in Royal Oak will be on that list.
Right now the company has confirmed the West Bloomfield location on Orchard Lake Road will shutter by Monday and a Rochester shop ob Walton Blvd. will close its doors at noon on April 14. And employees at the Grosse Pointe Woods Caribou Coffee began telling customers Saturday and Sunday the store will close its doors later this month, according to Grosse Pointe Patch.
The decision relates to a corporate acquisition of Caribou by Joh. A. Benckiser Group (JAB) in December 2012. The same company also acquired another large coffee company, Peet's Coffee and Tea Inc., which happened in October 2012.
Lake Minnetonka Patch reports 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. Caribou Coffee has 22 stores in Michigan.
Caribou Coffee has locations in Royal Oak at 401 S Main St. and 31901 Woodward Ave.
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.
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.
Calls to Caribou's corporate office for more information on the Royal Oak stores were not immediately returned.
Chris Steller, Colin McEwen and Lori Switaj also contirbuted to this story.