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Caribou Coffee Co. announced that it plans an initial public offering that it hopes will help it fund new store openings that will allow it to compete more effectively with industry giant Starbucks.

In addition to adding stores in the US, Caribou reportedly would like to expand internationally for the first time.

The company said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it plans to open 63 to 73 more coffeehouses in the US this year; the company already has opened 17 in 2005. Next year, it plans to open between 105 and 115 units.

As of May 29, Caribou Coffee had 322 coffeehouses in 12 states and in Washington, DC.
KC's View:
Strikes us as a win-win-win situation. A win for Caribou because it gets to grow. A win for Starbucks because good, strong competition will make them better. And a win for consumers because competition is always good for the consumer.