State of the Co-op, March 2021

To Our Community,


As many of our members and shoppers are aware, last week we learned that a Co-op Market (CCM) employee tested positive for COVID-19.

I am happy to report all four employees in close contact with the individual have been tested for the virus. Three tests have come back negative, and we eagerly await the results of the fourth.

In the meantime, hours of operation this week continue to be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Beginning Monday, the CCM will resume its regular hours of 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

State of the Co-op, March 2021

Last night at the Co-op Board of Directors meeting, I presented an overview of Co-op operations for the month ending February 2021. Below are the highlights. Keep in mind this will be the last month in which we compare results for a COVID month to a non-COVID month from the prior year (February 2020). How time moves on …

Big Picture
Our Co-op continues to experience strong and consistent growth in:

  • consolidated food store sales
  • the number of individual items sold
  • gross margin
  • shopper basket size

Grocery, Meat, Produce, Dairy, and Frozen Foods continue to provide strong sales growth. Members accounted for approximately 79.8% of February’s sales versus 76.7% of last February’s sales.

For the year-to-date period ending February 28, 2021, the average shopper’s basket size—meaning the price paid for their food—was once again greater than the same period last year. Gross margins (sales minus cost of sales) were also greater than the same period last year.

Gas prices nationwide have risen over the past several weeks. Our average price is approximately $0.03 less per gallon compared to the same period last year. For the month of February, we pumped close to 17,000 fewer gallons than the same period last year. Our non-gas business was ahead of budget for the month.

Pennies for Change. Our popular round-up program broke the million-dollar mark in February, the largest donation in Co-op history. Launched in the summer of 2016, the program continues to thrive, even during the pandemic.

Lebanon Remodel
Proposals have been submitted and signed for the new refrigerated and frozen cases. Teams are refining a phased-in planning process to minimize disruptions to employees and shoppers. Construction is on track to begin May 1st.

Price Review
We performed several price reviews in February, which will continue into March. The process helps us manage our retail pricing in key categories and survey competitor pricing.

We held our first-ever virtual local grower’s meeting in February and reviewed the list of crops each farm would be growing for the Co-op this year. Nearly 30 employees and farmers attended.

Wrap Up
Thank you to our cooperative community, and as always, reach out to me anytime if you have feedback or questions. Remember to 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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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 by the Co-op Board as interim General Manager in March 2020 and General Manager in September 2020. To contact, email

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