All but three of the 10 Charlotte-area Caribou Coffee shops will be shutting down at the end of the week, store officials said Monday.
Another four Caribou outlets at Carolinas Medican Center facilities also will remain open, company officials reported Tuesday. Those stores are run by franchisees, not by the company.
The closings are among 80 taking place across the United States by Minnesota-based Caribou, which was purchased last year by a German company. In a news release issued Monday, Caribou Coffee said the closings will take place at stores that are under-performing.
The company said an additional 88 of the approximately 550 stores will be rebranded as Peets Coffee and Tea.
In the Charlotte area, the only stores surviving the cut are at 7804 Fairview Road, in the Foxcroft area; 4327 Park Road, in Park Road Shopping Center; and in Founders Hall uptown.
The closings include the East Boulevard store, which supporters say has been well-supported by customers.
Caribou officials confirmed Tuesday that the list posted in their stores is correct -- that three of the 10 Caribou shops will remain open.
At mid-afternoon Monday, a sign in the window of the Galleria Caribou shop announced 50 percent off all items and said the store would be closing at noon Sunday. One man was loading boxes, apparently containing cups and napkins, into the rear of an SUV.
Employees at Charlotte-area stores referred questions to corporate headquarters, but several customers said via social media that workers told them about the closings. Company officials apparently announced the shutdowns to managers in a conference call Friday afternoon.
I dont understand why theyre closing this store, a woman said outside the East Boulevard site Monday afternoon. The woman asked not to be identified, saying a relative works for another coffee shop chain. I come here all the time, and its always busy, she said.
In the statement released Monday, Caribou President Mike Tattersfield said, 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.
While the decisions weve 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.
Caribou has 23 stores in North Carolina and none in South Carolina. Locally, it has 13 in Charlotte and one in Mooresville.
Going forward, Caribou Coffee will be made up of 468 locations in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, western Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, North Carolina, Colorado and 10 international markets.
The company was founded in 1990 by a Minnesota couple, with the first store in Edina, Minn. It was sold in 1998 to Atlanta-based Crescent Capital and sold again last year to German-based Joh. A. Benckiser. In recent years, it listed more than 550 stores around the world, second only to Starbucks in the specialty coffee business. The Associated Press contributed.
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