Weathering the Storm Together

A Letter from the Co-op General Manager

To Our Community,

Each year our teams work on their business plan for the upcoming year and develop their budget to support that plan. Our business plan speaks to our ability to leverage our strengths with respect to opportunities we believe exist. It is also an opportunity to highlight weakness and threats to our business that we must overcome.

As I like to say, the business plan reflects a journey rather than a destination—a continuum that shows the progress we are making toward our long-term goals each year.

My team and I will be working on this plan in the coming weeks. As in past years, we will present a finalized version to the Co-op Board of Directors by the end of the year.

In my experience, business plans can become bogged down with detail and jargon. I prefer ours to be a concise, readable document. To that end, our plan will have a year-in-review section, an Executive Summary section that highlights key initiatives for 2021, invidual business unit plans and, wait for it, the budget to pay for our plans. I have already started working on a draft of the year-in-review section. While working on this section, there was much to reflect on as I looked back on this wild, challenging, and incredibly unpredictable year. Who could have imagined when the year began what was to come?

It has been mind-blowing to think back on this and realize all that our teams have accomplished during some of the most difficult circumstances unimaginable. Even in the face of a pandemic, our employees have brought us to a place in which our Co-op has experienced an increase in total sales, items sold, gross margin, and basket size. This puts our business in a strong position as we enter an unpredictable fourth-quarter holiday season.

In short, our communities owe a lot to the people who have worked so hard to keep our essential services running. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize all of our employees for their efforts. Along with the loyal support of our members and shoppers, we have weathered a very challenging year together. 

Moving forward, as always, we will continue to be here to serve you no matter what 2021 brings our way. In the meantime, I welcome your comments and questions, and invite you to reach out to me anytime.

Thanks one and all, and please be kind to one another and to yourselves. We look forward to serving you in our stores and at the curbside.

Onward and upward,

Thanks,

Paul

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Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone, CFA, spent the better part of four decades in the investment management business here and abroad. He held positions ranging from analyst through Deputy Chairman and Group CEO, at organizations such as Citigroup (US) and The HSBC Group (London and Hong Kong). He joined the Co-op in 2016 as the CFO and in 2018 became Strategic Advisor to the General Manager. Paul was appointed General Manager by the Co-op Board in September 2020. To contact, email PGuidone@coopfoodstore.com.
Paul Guidone

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