MINNEAPOLIS -- Byerly's here is boosting its gourmet coffee merchandising by adding gourmet coffee shops operated by a regional roaster.
The shops will be operated by Caribou Coffee Co. here, under an exclusive agreement with Byerly's. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The supermarket operator had begun carrying the roaster's whole bean coffees in its grocery aisles as early as the last week of September.
The first Caribou coffee shop in a Byerly's was expected to open by the end of October, Dale Riley, Byerly's chief operating officer, told SN.
Riley said the Caribou shops would mostly be located in new space being added to the stores, and would not replace existing departments.
"We have been doing espresso beverages in our stores for about two years. They are very popular. However, we really felt that Caribou had established themselves as the premiere espresso beverage retailer in the Twin Cities, and we wanted to partner with them," Riley said.
Caribou Coffee shops are scheduled to be up and running in four Byerly's supermarkets by the end of November. There are plans to open shops in Byerly's six other supermarkets "eventually," according to Rick Hartfiel, Caribou's chief financial officer.
The shops will take up approximately 600 square feet near the front of the stores. They will sell brewed coffee, whole bean coffee, juices, mineral waters and some other beverages, as well as cakes, pastries, scones, muffins and cookies from Byerly's bakery department.
Hartfiel said the whole bean displays would get endcap positioning in most of the stores. "They have given us very good positioning. On the displays, we are putting Caribou decals up next to the Byerly's, so we are promoting the partnership of the relationship," he said. Store displays would be maintained by Byerly's employees, he added, because Byerly's is a union shop.
The price points of Caribou coffee in Byerly's will be the same as in Caribou's retail stores, from $7 to $10 per pound, and comparable to other whole bean products carried by the chain. Hartfiel told SN that Byerly's and Caribou would provide customers with information about the coffee products.
"When you walk into Byerly's, you will see an education board that will help you understand the coffee. We really try to work with the customers to help educate them about all of the different varietals, and people really appreciate that," Hartfiel said.