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Could Royal Oak's 2 Caribou Coffees Close?

Caribou Coffee will cease to exist in Michigan.

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.

Emily Carrollton April 08, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Stopped going to the Downtown RO Caribou years ago. Bad service, DISGUSTING restrooms, and employees who spent more time hitting on customers than serving beverages. Happily, the Woodward Caribou is fantastic and I hope it survives this latest foreign corporate takeover.
Ray Smith April 08, 2013 at 04:36 PM
I love the Caribou downtown. t's so relaxing and comfortable that I almost feel like I'm in my own living room, whenver I'm there. I agree with Emily that the restrooms need a LOT of attention, but we part company on the service. I've always found the folks behind the counter very friendly and they've never once hit on me--which, personally, I find dissapointing <kidding>.
Laura Harrison April 08, 2013 at 06:27 PM
A friend of mine has worked at the Walton Caribou for several years. Her last day is this Sunday. The company gossip is that the new owner is closing over 100 stores across the US and keeping the best producers. Main Street Caribou is not on the hit list, for now. It will probably get a name change within the next 12 months.
Foster Braun April 08, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Another American start-up sells out to a foreign investment group for a few cents more per share. "Caribou was taken private in a $340 million deal with Joh. A. Benkiser, a German investment company, this year. All told, the new owner will close 80 stores, and convert another 88 into Peet's Coffee & Tea." The place was jammed all the time in downtown RO and was a wonderful gathering place. Well, another one bites the dust. Hello, downtown Ferndale; you just got friendlier. Any bets on Caribou becoming another high-priced empty storefrotn in downtown RO. Really, RO City Council?! We deserve better than another empty space owned by speculators.
PMas April 08, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Just love the idea that another foreign company buys out American again!! Eventually we will have 1 gas station 1 grocery store 1 clothing store 1 bank 1 coffeehouse & it will all be owned by China Japan Germany France. America wake up!!
Mark Itall April 09, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Pasternak also had it correct that the City Commission has nothing to do with Caribou closing. Mr. Braun's comment indicates a serious lack of basic business acumen.
Mark Itall April 09, 2013 at 04:23 AM
Ron, It is not the governor's job to try and take over a coffee chain or find another buyer. Period.
DoctorZ April 09, 2013 at 05:23 AM
Why is this a problem?
Chris April 09, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Ron it's not a Michigan Coffee business for starters, It's a Minnesota coffee business and before that it was a Georgia Coffee business.
Bob April 09, 2013 at 12:52 PM
The ignorance here is staggering.
Bob April 09, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Amen!
CDE April 09, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Is there something out there that states Caribou Coffee/Peet's Coffee is closing the downtown store? I would assume this one would be just converting to a Peet's, which is virtually no different than Caribou from a corporate perspective.
Judy Davids (Editor) April 09, 2013 at 05:17 PM
I have talked to the folks at Peet's. They say they will get back to me today to confirm if either of the Royal Oak Caribou Coffees will become Peet's in the future.
Jane Shaffmaster April 10, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Since Caribou is my "hang", I found out both RO bous will remain open and become Peets. Renovations will take place in near future.
G-Money April 10, 2013 at 02:26 PM
As far as college kids working there are concerned, who cares if a German company owns it. They will probably not be flying in German college kids to work there.
G-Money April 11, 2013 at 03:32 AM
Nein! Nein! Nein! I admit nothing! Nein!
john doe April 11, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Ronald is right, FDR sold out America, and pointed us in a direction of misguided fault that we are in now...

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