At the Annual Meeting, Sabine Rhyne, our General Manager, used this phrase to characterize why shoppers chose the Co-op: “The reasons we, or at least I, head to the Co-op have to do with more than what is offered on the shelves.” In some respects the Co-op difference is intangible, elusive. In addition to purchasing food, you might see someone you’ve been meaning to call, hear live music in the café, and/or alleviate the feeling of ennui we can experience in our disconnected society. I know that I shop the Co-op for a myriad of reasons—it’s about the food, but it’s not just about the food.
We had noticed a bit of a sluggishness in sales over the past quarter, so we were excited when the Indigenous People’s Day/foliage weekend pushed us well over recent sales levels in the store. The ramp-up that we experience this time of year sometimes takes us a week or so to catch up to, but this year we expect to have a more difficult time getting product on the shelves. I had mentioned in a recent article that service levels from our main natural foods distributor had been trending negatively, and this trend is sure to get worse before it gets better.