By Sierra Hirtzel
As we draw near to the end of 2016, reflecting on the past year, it is amazing to see how many changes we have made for the better. We have significantly increased our value priced offerings by expanding both Co+op Deals and Co+op Basics offerings to better serve you, our Owners and Customers. We now have over 300 items in the Co+op Basics program, in which we have guaranteed everyday low prices, and we are bringing in more as they become available to us. We now have Thousand Hills grass fed beef on Co+op Basics for $4.99 per pound! Other exciting offerings include Organic Valley half gallon milks for $4.39, Field Day Coconut oil for $5.99, and many more great deals.
Also, in order to make Co+op Ownership more accessible, it is no longer necessary to pay off or start over when a Membership has lapsed. Now all you have to do is make an equity payment and your Membership will be reactivated where it left off, so no equity is lost.
As far as we have come, our single biggest challenge is continued declining sales. Declining sales have a number of impacts that make it very challenging to meet your needs. Lower sales mean lower purchasing volume, which in turn leads to higher costs and therefore higher prices on products, due to losing volume discounts. It also means we have had to decrease the number of staff we have in order to keep labor at a level that is sustainable financially. This does not mean we have laid anyone off, but it does mean that we have had to say goodbye to some fantastic employees without hiring to replace their positions, but we have also welcomed some amazing new faces to our staff! This also means fewer staff are doing the same tasks which were once done by more, which leads to fewer staff on the floor than there once were.
We all wear many hats! We still have a long way to go, and the only way we can get back to where we need to be is if you, our Owners and customers, invest your money in the Co+op by shopping here. We want the Co+op to remain not just a great place to shop, but a great place to engage with your community! We’re excited to see you in the store so we can achieve that together.