Has the rise of third-wave coffee shops inevitably hurt the coffee chains? It appears at least one chain has been forced to change its game.
Caribou Coffee, the Minneapolis-based coffee chain, announced closings of 88 stores nationwide today, according to The Huffington Post. Sixty-six of those stores are in the Chicago market, but closures will span as far out as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. But the company also plans to convert at least a dozen of those shuttered stores into Peet's Coffee & Tea shops. Said the company in a written statement, "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 Chicago Tribune reports that after the closures — effective this Sunday — about 1,000 people will be out of jobs. Of the stores lef, the Tribune says, "Caribou will have 486 locations in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Western Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, North Carolina, Denver, and 10 international markets." HuffPo says that the company appears to be aiming closer to its home market of Minneapolis in this new strategy. So when you're not hanging out at Spyhouse in Minneapolis, better head to Caribou and keep those lattes coming.