To Our Community,
Last week at the Co-op Board of Directors meeting, I presented a brief overview of the Co-op’s operations for the month ending June 2021. Below are the highlights.
Grocery, Meat, Produce, Dairy, and Frozen Foods continue to provide strong sales growth. Consolidated food store sales for the month and year-to-date exceed our budget for the same time periods last year.
Customer visits for June are up significantly over last year but lower than 2019’s figures. As shoppers return to our stores more frequently, and with pantry restocking moderating, average basket size has declined slightly through 2021, remaining below 2020 levels and ahead of 2019 levels. Gross margins (sales minus cost of sales) were positive and slightly ahead of the comparable period last year.
Gas prices have risen since the beginning of the year. Year-to-date, our average price is approximately $0.41 more per gallon compared to the same period last year, and $0.99 more than June last year. For the month of June, we have pumped 18,574 more gallons than the same period last year. Sales of our non-gas business was ahead of budget for the month.
New Menu Development
A new “showcase” program in our Prepared Foods Department will feature new items, items on sale, and seasonal favorites.
This is the peak of the summer growing season, and we are offering more than 80 items from our local Produce and Floral growers.
We have received digital copies of all audio recordings from the Hanover Co-op archives. Soon, copies will be available for online listening.
Recruiting for store employees continues to be our main focus. HR and Marketing have been working together to reach more potential applicants with new types of jobs that feature flexible scheduling and cross functionality.
The project is still on schedule thanks to our teams’ responsiveness and creative thinking. Supply chain issues caused initial delivery delays, which interrupted our original sequencing plan. The sequencing plan has been redesigned, which will still allow time to finish the installation of the new cases on time. Until we begin replacing cases, shoppers should not see any major impacts in their shopping experience.
In Other News
Finally, I would like to thank all of the members and shoppers who took time to reach out to me earlier this week to express their views which were mostly, but not all, supportive for our mask requirement. As a reminder:
Beginning this Monday, August 9, our mandatory mask requirement is being reinstated at all Co-op locations.
The policy is simple—no mask, no entry, no exceptions. The policy applies to all employees, vendors, and shoppers.
As we all mask up, please remember to also follow the common-sense social distancing practices that have served us so well all along. Stay six feet away from others, be smart, and be safe.
Also, I would like to end on a very positive note. Last month, our Hanover store was forced to open late on a busy Sunday afternoon due to a power outage caused by a transformer blowout. What many do not realize is that this event could have easily closed the store for the entire day. But behind the scenes, a remarkable collaboration was on display. People from all over the Co-op worked together to get the store open as quickly as possible, and to get the message out to the community about the outage. I want to extend my thanks to our Administration, Facilities, and Hanover store teams for the rapid response and incredible teamwork. It was a great example of business continuity in action.
Thank you to one and all for your continued support. We will talk again on next Thursday. If you would like to discuss anything in this report, or anything else at all, reach out to me anytime. Until then remember, be kind to one another and to yourselves, and we look forward to serving you in our stores and at the curbside.
Onward and upward,
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