Caribou closing stores, but not in Albert Lea

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, April 10, 2013

By Albert Lea Tribune
and Associated Press

Caribou Coffee announced Monday it is closing 80 stores, but the one in Albert lea is not among them, according to Mike May, Hy-Vee manager of store operations.

The Minneapolis-based coffee company said it is also converting another 88 stores to Peet’s Coffee & Tea sites.

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The Caribou in Albert Lea, which opened in 2011, is at a kiosk near the entry of the Hy-Vee grocery store. It offers the company’s full line, including iced coffees, lattes, espressos and flavored coffees, among others. Caribou said it is making the changes to better position the coffee company for long-term growth. It said the stores will be closed in April but did not say where the closures would occur.

The conversions will occur over the next 12 to 18 months in Washington, D.C., and eight states: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois and Wisconsin.

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.

Caribou was taken private last year by German investment firm Joh. A Benckiser Group GmbH, which also holds a majority stake in Peet’s.

A representative for Peet’s could not be reached for comment.