Caribou Coffee announced Monday it will close 80 underperforming branches throughout the country next week and work to rebrand 88 other locations to Peet's Coffee & Tea shops over the next 18 months.
The Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee plans to continue to run 468 of its locations in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, western Wisconsin, North Carolina, Denver, Colorado, and 10 other international markets.
"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," the announcement said.
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Founded in 1992, Caribou was privatized in 2012 in a $340 million deal with German equity company Joh.A.Benckiser Group, which also owns Peet's. Caribou reported its 2009 revenue at $262 million. In comparison, Starbucks reported $13.3 billion in revenue during the fiscal year 2012, according to CNN
Caribou's Facebook and Twitter pages were flooded with comments from customers disappointed with the closures.
"I am thankful I have another year left to enjoy my store," Facebook user Kelly Sebranek posted on Caribou's promotional page. "But it's depressing knowing it will eventually be gone. The workers there have been so nice and hard working. They remember me and my favorite drink. There is no other drink like my favorite Campfire Mocha anywhere else!"
"As a very loyal customer, I am disappointed that Caribou has chosen to close so many stores," Kipp Hayden wrote. "In major metropolitan areas too?! With the constant flow of devoted customers!! Makes no sense!!"
On its Twitter feed, Caribou responded personally to every comment it received.
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