expansion

Assessing Emerging Expansion Opportunities

By |2021-08-03T09:01:29-04:00August 13th, 2019|

As co-op leaders recognize that reinvestment in their business is critical to long-term sustainability, they need some tools to help them assess whether any particular reinvestment makes sense. When business expansion is on the list of possibilities, the risks are higher and so the assessment needs to be more rigorous. Leaders must certainly undertake adequate due diligence before finalizing an expansion project, but how [...]

Social Justice as an End Statement

By |2021-12-07T13:27:29-05:00November 7th, 2018|

People's Food Co-op in Portland, OR has been doing the hard work of examining the implications of expanding into a more diverse, and rapidly-gentrifying, neighborhood. While fully acknowledging the difficulties and messiness of confronting racism, displacement, misogyny, and trans-phobia in the community, Sofie Sherman-Burton, Marketing & Membership Manager, still manages to lay out an optimistic vision for the future of food co-ops.

Real Estate Resource Guide

By |2022-01-18T10:22:17-05:00July 10th, 2018|

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.

Is An Owner Capital Campaign Right For Your Co-op?

By |2022-03-22T11:23:35-04:00January 25th, 2018|

It seems like many co-ops are either in the middle of, just finished, or are about to start a project. And all of those projects need adequate capital to be successful. Raising money from co-op owners has become a standard component of project capitalization and the amounts co-ops are raising has been growing.

Governance Considerations in Multi-Store Co-ops

By |2019-09-07T00:25:27-04:00May 4th, 2016|

We’re in a position not unlike the years after WWII when the small grocery cooperatives began to fold in the wake of full service supermarkets with vast parking lots. Jerry Voorhis, former president of The Cooperative League (now NCBA CLUSA), made these poignant remarks about the lessons learned from that time: 1. No cooperative business or institution ever stands still, it grows, expands, develops—or [...]

Planning a Member/Owner Capital Campaign

By |2019-09-09T19:16:35-04:00February 11th, 2016|

Capital campaigns can be a very important part of an expansion project - serving as a healthy test of member support.  Will your members be willing to make a sizable at-risk investment because they believe in the co-op, its leadership and the benefits of the proposed expansion? Offering investment opportunities is also another benefit you can offer to your members. The planning phase of [...]

Membership Growth Strategies for Startups: Common Features of Success

By |2019-09-09T19:20:41-04:00January 30th, 2016|

By Ben Sandel 182 January-February 2016 Gaining members quickly and efficiently is a major hurdle for most startup co-ops. A co-op is selling a dream when it has no store, minimal (if any) staff, and, when organizing in areas that don’t have other food co-ops, no credible examples to refer to. This can make membership growth slow and painful. Nevertheless, some startups have had [...]

Engaging the Whole Person in Succession Planning

By |2019-09-10T15:48:38-04:00October 1st, 2015|

By Sarah Dahl 180 Sept-Oct 2015 There are two commonly seen staffing problems in co-ops that may at first seem unrelated: At Co-op A, sales had been declining for the last few years. Personnel costs, unfortunately, had not been declining, leaving the co-op in a tough position. The finance manager, who had been with the co-op for the last 15 years, decided it was [...]

Getting Started with Expansion Planning

By |2019-09-09T23:00:01-04:00October 1st, 2015|

By Bill Gessner 180 Sept-Oct 2015 Expansion projects for food co-ops fall somewhere between a labyrinth and a maze. With continuous improvement and development of best practices, expansion projects are moving closer to the one path of a labyrinth and further away from the messiness of a maze. We invite you to step into the expansion labyrinth. You will learn to navigate it through [...]

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