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Posted on Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

Caribou Coffee to close its 22 stores in Michigan

By Lizzy Alfs

It won’t be long before the Caribou Coffee brand is a thing of the past to Michigan residents.

As part of a nationwide overhaul, the Minnesota-based coffee company announced plans to close 80 underperforming stores on April 14 and rebrand an additional 88 stores as Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Peet’s and Caribou are both owned by German investment company Joh. A. Benkiser Group.


The Caribou Coffee store on East Stadium Boulevard in Ann Arbor will close as part of a company overhaul. It's unclear if it will reopen as a Peet's Coffee & Tea.

From Yelp

“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,” said Caribou Coffee CEO Mike Tattersfield in a statement.

Moving forward, Tattersfield said the Caribou Coffee brand will consist of 468 locations in eight states and 10 international markets. Michigan is not included on the list, meaning all Caribou Coffee locations in Michigan will close or be converted to Peet’s Coffee & Tea. There are 22 Caribou locations in Michigan, which mostly are concentrated in the Metro Detroit area.

“While the decisions we’ve 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,” Tattersfield continued.

It’s not immediately clear whether the store on East Stadium Boulevard in Ann Arbor will close entirely or be rebranded as a Peet’s Coffee & Tea.

The news comes weeks after East Lansing-based Biggby Coffee announced plans to open more than 100 new stores in the Metro Detroit region during the next two years.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at


Andy Piper

Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

You will like Peet's. Top of the line stuff. The best coffer of them all in my opinion.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 3:44 a.m.

100 more Biggby stores? A frozen grande Sugar Bear or Caramel Marvel has 78 grams of sugar. According to Dr. Oz' limit of 25 grams, that's 3 days' worth of sugar in one drink.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

Caribou was the first major U.S. coffee company to source all of it's coffee from Rainforest Alliance certified farms. Peet's has very few certified coffees of any type. Now that the company has been purchased by a private German holding company, which also recently bought Peet's, the closing of stores and rebranding as Peet's no doubt means less Rainforest Alliance or other certified coffees. Plus, Peet's is another dark roaster. This is just a loss for the coffee community.

Wystan Stevens

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

It's a secret no longer: Ann Arbor's best coffee is at the Washtenaw Dairy, on the corner of Madison and Ashley, in the Old West Side. It's cheap, too -- and you can sit and drink it while you chat with an ever-changing cast of characters, including Ann Arbor Townies, Kiwanians, Eagles, Moose -- and even a Yooper barber!

Colorado Sun

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

Caribou Coffee had been the target of a boycott due to the fact a large bloc of shares was owned by a Middle Eastern-based bank purportedly owned by Islamic supporters of Sharia - whether this allegation is accurate is not clear. This bank eventually sold off their controlling interest and lowered their ownership stake to about 25%. Locally, the Huron Valley Greens urge a boycott of Israeli goods sold by the People's Food Co-op. In Olympia, Washington Israeli-supplied goods were taken off shelves in recognition of a boycott approved by its board of directors. Kitzel's Crazy Delicious Delicatessen began stocking Israeli products in Olympia to provide a market for the boycotted goods; in February of 2012 Kitzel's sponsored a pro-Israel group, Stand With Us , for a event at their deli. The owner indicated revenues dropped 50% overnight. Kitzel's closed down this February with only four employees left - it had 21 workers before the decline in sales revenue. Boycotts can work.

Kyle Mattson

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 5:33 p.m.

The whole woodsy theme was a nice change when Caribou first opened but they never did anything more with it than tie it into the names of their drinks. I wish they had done some simple updates over the years to keep the stores/bran fresh. The Caribou I used to go to still had/has the same furniture and decor it did when they first opened 12-ish years ago, yet the Starbucks up the road has has at least re-designs in that same time span. I've never been to a Peet's but I'm interested in checking them out if they come to town.

Lizzy Alfs

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

I'm hearing that the Ann Arbor store is likely to become a Peet's, although I don't have on the record confirmation of that. Will update when I do.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

This is devastating. I have been a "heavy user" of Caribou Coffee since it opened on Stadium. The place is always packed. On the other hand, this will be a great opportunity for Biggby's.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

Morgan & York is right around the corner, and their coffee (and espresso) is some of the best in town.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

Go, Biggby! Keep your coffee money local...


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

Personally, I only go to Roos Roast on the corner of S. Industrial and Rosewood. They have the friendliest barristas AND the best tasting coffee, but if I have to buy corporate coffee, I'd go with Biggby's to keep my money local. Or as local as possible (Lansing vs Seattle (Starbuck's) or Germany (Caribou))..

Jack Gladney

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

Maybe I am confused (the Free Press article is confusing as well). The way I read the story, There are 22 Caribou stores in Michigan. These 22 Michigan stores are in a group of 80 that are flat out being closed. There is then another remaining 88 Caribou stores elsewhere that are being re-branded as Peet's. I don't see any "Oh boy, I love Peet's" in our near future


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 4:20 p.m.

4th Paragraph... "Michigan is not included on the list, meaning all Caribou Coffee locations in Michigan will close or be converted to Peet's Coffee & Tea. There are 22 Caribou locations in Michigan, which mostly are concentrated in the Metro Detroit area."

Jack Gladney

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

Hmm. Sounds like someone needs to work the phone or use up some shoe leather. Chicago media did more than copy a press release and has already reported the closures vs locations to be converted; and employees have already been notified. I guess we'll know when they announce Peet's grand opening.

Bob Loblaw

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

Didn't read the Free Press article, but this article indicates there are three groups: those that are continuing on as Caribou Coffee, those that are being converted to Peets, and those that are closing. The article states that none of the 22 Michigan locations will continue on as Caribou; thus, they'll either close or be converted to Peets. However, it is not known which, at least as far as this article reports, which Michigan locations will become Peets and which will close.

Bob Anderson

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

Nooooo! I will miss the turkey bacon mini ciabatta very much.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

I'd love to see a Peet's in town. Great tea and a huge variety - plus they sell it loose leaf and so many companies only have the the bags now. And, they have very good coffee too - what's not to like? Bring Peet's to AA!!!


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

Nooooooooooo - where will I get my zebra hot chocolate w/ caramel? Such bad news :(


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 4:33 a.m.

Try The Common Cup Coffeehouse on Washtenaw between South U and Hill....lots of seating and the best wi-fi in A2.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:54 a.m.

Peet's is a good company. Hopefully they will institute a policy limit for tables with wifi so paying customers have a place to sit.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 10:38 p.m.

Peet's and Caribou are now owned by the same company, hence the rebranding.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:54 a.m.

Biggby is the worst. The lady at the West Stadium location YELLS at you when you walk in the door, GOOD MORNING! And then she tries to sell you a muffin. The place just creeps me out.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 6:02 p.m.

Yipes, noyfb, thank you for the heads-up. ANYONE who yells ANYTHING at me will NEVER get my business! ever!


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

Geez, they're only trying to be nice. My beef with Biggby's is the poor baked goods selection. None of it is all that good.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

Top of the Muffin, TO YOU!!!!


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:56 a.m.

Yeah, what is up with the yelling "hello" from across these stores? I walk into a FedEx Kinkos and someone unseen yells at me from across the entire store "hello!" Bad customer service. I've also been at the counter and the person waiting on me yells to someone coming in the door "hello!" Give it up!


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:24 a.m.

Sorry to see Caribou going. I hope Peet's opens at the Stadium location. Also, I like how some places put an hour limit per customer on their wifi.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 2:55 a.m.

Too bad. My son and I go there once a week after his dance class at the Cultural Arts Building in Burns Park. It was always full, but probably too many "campers". I even saw one woman come in with a bag from Kroger and proceed to eat the donuts she'd brought with her and chat on her phone for half an hour. Never spent a penny. The employees there were very nice, maybe too nice for their own good.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 2:47 a.m.

I drink coffee at home for practically free. #commoncents

music to my ear

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

I mean delicious

music to my ear

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

like I understand I cannot phantom spending 5.00 on one of those delirious mocha ice coffee with that yummy whipped cream HOWEVER when my daughter is buying I am game. I try to get out with her often know what I mean.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 6 p.m.

so do i, give me my coffeemaker and some nice hazelnut any day!!


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:51 p.m.

While I can understand people wanting to go out, or make a social outing (like occasionally going to a restaurant), I never understood the appeal of taking the time and money to go habitually out of one's way to pay a 2000%-5000% mark-up for something that as smokeblwr said is practically free. On top of that, when preparing coffee and tea myself, whether at home or on the go I can use reusable cups/thermoses. The stuff the coffee chains sell is wrapped in one-time use land-filling material with their advertising on it. Shouldn't the coffee chains be paying their customers to do all of this advertising that is littering the streets, gutters, and landfills? Not the other way around....?


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

Well, I do, too, but it's nice to get out once in a while. :)

J. A. Pieper

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 2:16 a.m.

I LOVE the Caribou on Stadium, I can't believe it might be closing. I feel like family when i go there, and love "bou crew"! Not to mention, the regulars there are like extended family, I am so disappointed!


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 1:33 a.m.

Starbucks at Arborland. Good coffee and pastries. No available tables. Bunch of kids occupy every table with their Wi-Fi connected laptops. Not to sound like a grouch because I understand the kids need to get onto the Internet. Starbucks and all coffee shops need to refine their business plan. Do you want to sell product, or do you want to be some kind of "public library" for the Internet Generation? What pays the employees and the rent? Just observing; not complaining. "Take Out" is no problem for me.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

The strategy is to balance the number of people who come in and take root with those who come in, buy and leave. If they made a bigger floor plan, more people would end up staying, which would decrease foot traffic and profits right along with it. Starbucks' model works precisely because they do not build their stores with enough room for everyone. The people who buy and leave, like PWG above, actually keep the store afloat.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:26 a.m.

The Starbucks at Arborland is absolutely crazy, from the parking to the floorspace in the store. They should have thought about a different location with a larger floorplan.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 1:30 a.m.

Keep up the good work Mr Snyder, another major corporation that wants nothing to do with this state. Thanks for nothing.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 11:06 a.m.

Ok please explain how Snyder has anything to do with this seeing that it is a national restructuring thing ? your shots at Snyder are getting desperate


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:42 a.m.

Please explain what Snyder had to do with this? Yep, just another rant with no backup.

Basic Bob

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

thank biggby

Paul Dolan

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 12:26 a.m.

Peet's is the best. I spent a few years in California myself, became a devoted peetnik and now suffer the high cost of mail order - 4 pounds every 3 weeks. I think they would find Ann Arbor an attractive market, hope so!

Tom Joad

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 12:15 a.m.

Not surprised. Customers camp out for hours nursing a cup of coffee or tea monopolizing a table which could have served another customer. I can justify my table use as I always tip the baristas and buy another beverage after an hour or so...

Basic Bob

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 2:19 p.m.

I order a double espresso and stand as I gulp it down.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

The Starbucks on Main St could have gotten a few more of my bucks had there been a seat available. A couple of times I've walked in and then right out because all the seats were taken.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:52 a.m.

They really need to get a grip on this behavior, in not only coffee shops, but also in panera's, etc. There are paying customers who can't find seats and end up going elsewhere, whether it's starbucks or caribou or anywhere with students monopolizing tables and not purchasing anything for hours.


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.

Yay PEET's! I may take up the coffee habit again. I quit when mail ordering Peet's just got way too much.

Bob Loblaw

Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

I'm from California and would LOVE to get a Peet's out here!!!

Bob Loblaw

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

No, I mean that I'd love to get a Peet's location here in Ann Arbor. I was disappointed to move out here to Michigan and find there weren't any. There are already tons in CA.

Rob MI

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 11:17 a.m.

I know you have at least one--in Monterey, on Munras Avenue. It's my go-to coffee place during my annual fall trip for work


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 11:04 p.m.

Starbucks > Caribou, Biggby any day (unless it's in a Kroger).

Basic Bob

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Ick. Starbucks darn near burns the beans, then you need to add all that cream, sugar, flavorings, and toppings to cover it up. Coffee doesn't have to taste bad.


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

It'd be great if the Ann Arbor location reopened as a Peet's. I'm a tea person myself - never aquired a taste for coffee (or flavored/herb tea for that matter - just give me plain black tea). Peet's tea is good. I've brought home a tin of their loose tea the last couple visits to California.


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 11:51 p.m.

AE - Yes I have a tea ball for hot tea, but what I like at Peet's is their iced tea. (Oolong is one of my favored teas. I also like other oriental teas, not overly fond of green and haven't tried red or white).

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 11:16 p.m.

I've been wondering about Peet's. Never been, but I noticed they are everywhere in certain markets in California.

Ann English

Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 11:03 p.m.

You must have a tea ball, so you can brew the loose tea. No green, white, red or even decaf tea to your liking? I drink all of them, plus black. But if Peet's does open here, I'd be interested to know if they sell loose green tea. The only loose tea I've tried is black caffeinated. You said they do business in California. That brings Far Easterners to mind. How about loose oolong tea, then? Oolong tea comes from the Far East. They serve it at Gourmet Garden, a Chinese restaurant on West Stadium Boulevard.


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 10:39 p.m.

Oh no! Whenever I go in there, there are always a lot of students in there eating and drinking something. I prefer Caribou to Starbucks. This is too bad!


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

I have and I do. It's just not as convenient.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

Go a few feet down Packard to Morgan & York. Their coffee is some of the best in town.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 11:38 a.m.

As much as I like Peet's (and Caribou), would be nice to see a local coffee place go in there... it's a good location. Mighty Good or Espresso Royale, anyone?