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 [...]
Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op Middlebury, VT Year founded: 1976 Member investment: $300 Number of members: 5,300 Number of employees: 85 Retail square feet: 9,000 The Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op is uniquely situated in small town Middlebury, Vermont. Rather than becoming one of those places that time forgot, it has maintained a vibrant community in a place known for its natural beauty and arts and [...]
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. As with any entrepreneurial venture there are risks, both in raising [...]
Balancing staff engagement in the design process of an expansion project without creating unrealistic expectations about their role in decision-making can be difficult. Employees may not have architectural or retail design degrees and yet they possess a wealth of operational knowledge, which is essential in assessing potential expansion plans. A skilled general manager can find that balance by knowing when and how to involve [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Your new store will have a bigger deli, more parking and a better floor plan. But will it have the staffing to support bigger and better operations? You will have a strong staffing plan to match your expansion plan if you remember a few key guidelines: First and most importantly, everyone has to be clear on where the organization is going and why, in [...]
As a co-op prepares for an expansion project, clear and effective communication within the co-op is essential for building alignment and commitment. Here's the short version: Have a plan. Work the plan. Evaluate the plan and revise as needed. Read on as the CDS Consulting Co-op Expansion team fills in some of the details. What kinds of communication will be needed? Information about the outcomes [...]
At Outpost Natural Foods they've achieve success by growing their co-op too reach a wider portion of the market and to create increased access to healthful foods for much of the Milwaukee area. Hear from their GM, Pam Mehnert, some valuable insights and first-hand reports about what has worked well for Outpost on their journey through growth.
A checklist of what you need to keep in mind as you plan a new or remodeled store. Interior design is how your customers SEE you store. It contributes to your brand and your customers shopping experience which leads to sales!