Caribou Coffee Company, Inc., launched a companywide customer loyalty program on Monday after a successful test run in April at select stores, the Brooklyn Center-based company said.
 
Customers needn’t achieve a certain number of “points” or reach a certain “level” to earn rewards, which include drink-size upgrades and free food and beverages, Caribou said. Program participants simply receive a “Caribou Perks” card and can sign into an online account to view reward notifications. Customers have seven days from the date that the rewards are issued to redeem them.
 
“We believe this program will enhance the guest experience and is the perfect complement to our premium menu items and warm coffeehouse environment,” Mike Tattersfield, Caribou’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
 
Michele Vig, vice president of marketing for Caribou, told Twin Cities Business that this is the first rewards program that the coffeehouse chain has introduced and that it has already received approximately 65,000 enrollments.
 
According to Vig, the “Caribou Perks” program is currently available at all company-owned locations except for the markets transitioning to Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Inc., (specifically, in Illinois; Washington, D.C.; and Virginia). Vig added that franchise locations will implement the program beginning in early February.
 
The “Caribou Perks” program faces competition from rival coffeehouse chains. Seattle-based Starbucks Corporation’s “My Starbucks Rewards” program allows customers to earn “stars” by using the reward card or a mobile application with which they can earn free beverages, food, refills, and other promotions. And in November, Minneapolis-based Dunn Brothers Coffee Franchising, Inc., introduced a mobile application that rewards participants with $3 in free credit for every $50 they spend.
 
Caribou went private after it was acquired by German holding company the Joh. A. Benckiser Group in December 2012, in a deal valued at $340 million. Shortly afterward, it closed 80 locations and converted 88 to Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Inc., locations.
 
Caribou Coffee also recently partnered with Faribault Woolen Mill Company to sell a joint line of merchandise, as well as with Burlington, Vermont-based Bruegger’s Bagels, to open shops that serve Bruegger’s bagels alongside Caribou coffee.

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