After two years of Co-op Conversations about member-owner discounts, we want to thank everyone who participated and announce our plan for the discount program. In consideration of our financial analysis and all of your input, the Co-op’s management has decided on two steps:
- We will expand our Co-op Cares discount program
for low-income member-owners by broadening the qualifying criteria. More people
will be eligible, advancing the goal of making the Co-op more accessible to
all. We’ll also work closely with local non-profits and agencies to promote
enrollment in Co-op Cares, and to better understand the Co-op’s opportunity for
addressing food insecurity in Vermont.
- We invite member-owners who now receive the senior discount to consider relinquishing it voluntarily. The decision will be up to each individual. At its current volume and rate of growth, the senior discount threatens the Co-op’s profitability. Those who can afford to shop without it can benefit the Co-op; those who know they need it can keep it.
We will try this approach through fall and early winter and assess the impact before taking any further steps. We have two overall goals: to reduce the rate of growth in member discounts so it’s closer to our growth in sales, and to reduce cost barriers to healthy food.
Read here for answers to your questions about the issues at hand, decision making process and next steps.
We’re always listening so it’s never too late! We value your feedback on the progress so far and your ideas for what steps we should take next. The discount program is a work in process, so please contribute your thoughts by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Co-op general manager Kari Bradley at 802-262-3219.