Raising capital is especially important for cooperatives, which don’t have a typical ownership structure that banks or lenders are used to. Mobilizing the co-op’s membership to raise funds through an owner capital campaign can be an excellent strategy.
Backlogs in international supply chains and bottlenecks in global shipping networks have caused massive challenges for customers and retailers alike, and the retail grocery industry is no exception. Additionally, an inconsistent supply of goods has made it tough for retailers to respond to unpredictable customer demand.
Knowing where you draw your business from is a good idea; knowing how you’re performing in your trade area is even better. A Customer Address and Transaction (CAT) survey accomplishes both, giving you a valuable snapshot to inform marketing focus. It’s a straightforward analysis worth returning to time and time again.
The Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op is uniquely situated in small town Middlebury, Vermont. When they were ready to expand, they reached out to Columinate for assistance with a member capital campaign.
Contemporary food co-ops have begun important discussions in their organizations around equity and inclusion. As part of that process, they’ve had to accept and deal with some painful truths that their co-ops have not always been perceived as inclusive, especially through the shopping experience.
When the only grocery store in Ambler, Pennsylvania closed, it galvanized the town of 6,500 people into action. Rather than recreate the former grocery store’s approach to conventional retailing, though, they explored launching a food co-op that would focus on a variety of products, including natural and organic.
This guide seeks to clarify the tools and resources available for food co-ops to efficiently secure and develop the physical space needed for their store. The need to design and build an attractive building in a location that easily serves a growing shopper base and can attract new customers is vital. A co-op’s location is either an advantage or a disadvantage; it is best to work with experienced real estate professionals to ensure the best result.
Research suggests that public speaking tops the list as the number-one fear-inducing activity for most people. Put that together with asking people for money, and you’ve got a potent combination for high anxiety.
The town of Astoria, Oregon has a strong independent streak. While other nearby areas are overrun with chain stores, their town has not sustained that level of attention or development. That doesn’t mean the 10,000 people who live there don’t want nice amenities, efficiency and convenience. The difference is that they are willing to create those opportunities for development from within their own community.
As food co-ops forge ahead in the “the new normal,” they often find themselves in the precarious place of trying to both differentiate from and conform to competitors. From the consistent progression of conventional grocery stores towards natural products offerings, to the growing threat of internet retailers, food co-ops are experiencing an increasingly urgent pressure to raise the bar on business operations while still maintaining and better communicating their distinctiveness as community-owned institutions.