Caribou Won’t Open in J.C. Penney Stores After All

Caribou Won’t Open in J.C. Penney Stores After All

A Caribou Coffee location was included in a prototype of J.C. Penney’s next-generation stores, but the coffee chain has reportedly stopped pursuing plans to open outlets inside the retailer’s stores.

Despite previous signs that Caribou Coffee locations might be incorporated into J.C. Penney’s new store design, it appears the deal is no longer on the table.

When J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson gave analysts a sneak peek at a prototype of the retailer’s revamped stores in September, there was a Caribou location on display inside the model.

A J.C. Penney executive tasked with helping lead the store overhaul told Twin Cities Business last fall that Caribou was “the perfect example of an entrepreneurial company that has a great regional presence, can grow its footprint more rapidly, and expose a whole new group of customers to its terrific coffee with J.C. Penney.”

But the Brooklyn Center-based coffee chain is no longer pursuing plans to open locations inside J.C. Penney stores, according to a Bloomberg report.

Caribou “does not have plans to move forward with a partnership at this time,” CEO Mike Tattersfield told the news outlet in an e-mailed statement. Tattersfield declined to explain why Caribou dropped its plans, Bloomberg reported.

In the six months since Johnson identified Caribou as a potential partner, however, there has been significant change at both companies. Caribou was recently taken private in a $340 million deal.

J.C. Penney, meanwhile, has been struggling to turn itself around. It recently reported a net loss of $985 million for the fiscal year that ended February 2. Revenue, meanwhile, totaled $13 million during that period, down 25 percent from the previous year. And amid growing pressure on the company regarding its turnaround plans, Johnson and Chief Financial Officer Ken Hannah have recently denied rumors that Johnson plans to resign.