Caribou Coffee announced that the company is initiating a wave of new store openings and existing store revamps within the Chicago market, part of a larger campaign to reintroduce the brand to residents with a customized, Chicago-centric look and feel.
“Caribou Coffee isn’t your typical coffeehouse,” says Mike Tattersfield, CEO of Caribou Coffee. “We are committed to providing guests with an extraordinary experience every time they visit a store—from the décor to the personal connections with our team members. We pride ourselves on being the community place guests love.”
Expansion within Chicago marks Caribou Coffee’s first company-owned store opening in five years. Over the last half decade, the nation’s second largest premium coffeehouse operator has focused on internal reorganization and building the brand, among other efforts.
“We’ve never been in a more positive strategic or financial position than we are now,” Tattersfield says. “This is the perfect time for us to grow our business, and Chicago is the perfect market in which this can be accomplished.”
Chicago is the second-largest market for Caribou Coffee, following Minneapolis, where the company is headquartered. Throughout the fall of 2011, seven new Chicago-area Caribou Coffee stores will open, including locations in Fox Valley, Arlington Heights, Bucktown, Rolling Meadows, Lake Forest, Naperville, and Northbrook. In addition to the new stores, Caribou has also revamped seven current Caribou Coffee locations across the Chicago area.
This wave of consecutive store openings and revamps is encompassed by a Chicago-centered campaign known as How do you Bou?, which encourages the city’s consumers to visit a Caribou Coffee location and enjoy, or discover, their favorite beverage. The campaign title represents two questions asked in one simple way: “How do you do?” and “How do you like your Caribou?”
As a further representation of Caribou’s Chicago pride, and bringing the Chicago-focused campaign to life, all area stores will offer a new, limited edition Chicagoland mug that features the trademarks Chicagoans love most, from Lakeshore Drive to the Navy Pier and the historic Chicago Theatre.
“We want to bring to life in a tangible manner, the pride and love Chicagoans have for their great city. This mug is a favorite among both store teams and myself,” Tattersfield says.
All of the new store openings and updates will reflect the communities in which they are located, with interior décor including items like the Community Table and Grand Poobah Chair. The Community Table in each Caribou Coffee will be large enough to seat several individuals, and is designed to foster friendship by bringing guests together in the central hub of the store. The Grand Poobah Chair at each coffeehouse is meant to catch guests’ attention as they enter the store. For instance, an Equestrian-themed Community Table and Grand Poobah Chair embody the character of the nearby Arlington Heights Racetrack; a medieval throne is the Grand Poobah Chair at the quaint and historic Lake Forest neighborhood store; and Bucktown’s inviting, vibrant character and diverse population influenced the store’s colorful, patchwork Grand Poobah Chair.
“These collective community assets are a point of differentiation from one Caribou Coffee to the next, so guests will truly have a community-centric experience,” Tattersfield says.
These stores will also feature the updated Caribou Coffee logo and branding, which was introduced in 2010 during the complete brand relaunch. The relaunch provided Caribou Coffee with a more positive outlook by reinventing its tagline, Life is short. Stay awake for it, to signify a “seize the day” mentality.
“The Bucktown location, and all stores opening from this point forward, are intended to be more fun and inspirational, while maintaining the comfortable lodge look and feel for which Caribou Coffee is known,” Tattersfield says.
Each new store will host a grand opening event that will include live, local entertainment, giveaways and product sampling.