Grow Your Business

Understanding Marketing Research

By |2019-09-10T19:48:05-04:00July 4th, 2010|

By Debbie Suassuna 149 July - August - 2010 In order to improve overall sales performance and compete effectively against other food stores, food co-ops can choose from several types of market research tools. Generally speaking, the results derived from implementing one of these research tools will enable a food co-op to employ two somewhat parallel marketing strategies— market segmentation and market differentiation. Differentiation [...]

Expand Trade Area and Grow Sales with Research Data

By |2019-09-10T15:19:39-04:00November 30th, 2009|

Good stories often start in the middle of the action. That’s where the good research you can use to build sales starts, too. Getting data on your current customers always starts with one primary activity: their shopping habits in your store. With that information you can validate your hunches and learn many things you didn’t know about your customers. As retailers look at ways [...]

Case Study: Rochdale Pioneers at Toad Lane — Change You Can Believe in

By |2019-09-10T15:08:40-04:00January 30th, 2009|

Rochdale Pioneers Toad Lane Store Founded: 1844 Number of members: 28 founding members Equity investment:Two weeks wages down, with 10 weeks total investment Retail square footage: Tiny On the longest night of the year, the founders of the consumer cooperative movement opened their grocery store in 1844 in Rochdale, England with little fanfare and five items for sale. Their store was lit with candles, [...]

Additional Stores: Expanding “The Co-op”

By |2019-09-10T14:35:22-04:00January 4th, 2008|

By Bill Gessner 134 Jan - Feb - 2008 Food co-ops expanding from one to two stores must navigate a challenging and perilous course. This article will explore those challenges and obstacles and suggest a course of planning and implementation that increases the likelihood of success. Food co-ops historically have had limited (but increasing) success operating multiple stores. In 1997 there were just six [...]

Elk Grove Case Study: From Home Run to Strike Out

By |2019-09-09T22:52:34-04:00November 7th, 2007|

By Patricia Cumbie 133 November - December - 2007 The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op (SacNat) location in Elk Grove, Calif., was a long anticipated state-of-the-art second store that opened with high expectations in June of 2005, but closed in January of 2007. SacNat seemed to have it all: experienced management, a good board of directors, and a profitable, established location to cushion the second [...]

Market Study Toolbox

By |2022-06-07T17:26:05-04:00December 31st, 2006|

The purpose of this guide is to provide volunteer board members of new or expanding food cooperatives with an accessible tool they can use to better understand their market potential. A market study is a pivotal piece of information necessary to obtain project financing. Even more important, a good market study will help a cooperative or organizing committee decide whether it is even feasible [...]

Co-op Expansions Raise the Bar

By |2019-09-09T22:46:20-04:00December 22nd, 2005|

By Bill Gessner, Patricia Cumbie 121 November - December - 2005 Every expansion is unique in some respect, but the universal truth is that building a larger facility includes taking on a bigger role in the community. More and more food co-ops are remodeling, relocating, building additional locations, hiring more staff, and adding more products and services. Meanwhile, many of them face formidable competition [...]

Case Study: Strategic Growth by Acquisition

By |2019-09-09T22:45:32-04:00November 1st, 2005|

LaMontañita Co-op Food Market Founded: 1976 Members: 12,000 Number of Locations: 4 (Albuquerque, Gallup, Santa Fe) Number of Staff: 200 You don’t have to travel far on the sun-baked streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico, to find a natural food store with a juice bar to help quench your thirst. That’s exactly why LaMontañita Co-op Food Market is aggressively adding new locations outside of Albuquerque. [...]

Avoiding Post-Expansion Burnout: The board of directors’ role

By |2019-09-09T22:44:44-04:00October 22nd, 2005|

By Bill Gessner 120 September - October - 2005 More than half of our food co-ops have engaged in planning and implementing an expansion project during the past three years. As demanding as these projects can be, the real challenge begins when the co-op opens its doors in the expanded store. An earlier article by Carolee Colter (CG #116, Jan.–Feb. 2005) described the challenges [...]

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