Co-op Relocation News
So, what is up with relocation? Given what we
know today, we can say that we are working
toward an expansion and relocation project, but
we are still in the feasibility stage. As things
develop, more information will come your way.
That's not the most satisfying answer, unless
the complex process therein is understood.
Diligence in the realm of feasibility helps
ensure success. To test the feasibility of a
project there are numerous questions to answer
and if the answer doesn't indicate feasibility,
then there's work to be done. It is an ongoing
process of testing, refining and testing again.
We have numerous tools and resources at our
disposal to help us through the process. There
are four main areas of feasibility that we are
1) Financial Feasibility - Can
we afford an expansion and relocation project?
Do we have enough money in the bank? Can we
secure funding? Do financial projections support
the Co-op's continued existence after a
We have a financial
pro forma which is a tool that projects
financial performance based on multiple
assumptions. With this tool we can set
pre-project financial goals and determine at
what point we are financially prepared to
2) Market Feasibility - Does
our trade area have room to support an expanded
Co-op? What size of a store? What is the
competitive environment? Are there gaps in local
offerings that an expanded Co-op could fill?
What target areas that would maximize the
success of a relocation (considering traffic,
visibility, retail synergy)? What is the
potential sales volume for a prospective site?
(Numbers from the Market Study get plugged into
the pro forma, above.)
We commissioned a
general Market Study in 2015 to start to answer
these questions. When a specific site is under
consideration, we will update this market
3) Design Feasibility - What
are the physical requirements of a potential new
site? Most obvious: Can the site become a
functioning grocery store? Is there appropriate
square-footage? (Is there room for future
expansion?) Does it allow efficient layout of
retail and work spaces? Is there enough parking?
Is there space for a loading dock (and access
for semis)? …and so on.
Our Shared Vision
process is part of developing a checklist of
requirements for potential sites. We will
continue to gather input from stakeholders as we
refine our vision. We are looking at both what
we must have and what would be nice to have. The
Market Study makes specific recommendations
about square footage and parking.
4) Operational Capacity or Internal
Readiness - Are current operations
profitable? Do we have all needed systems in
place? Are we able to respond to change quickly
and effectively? Would we have the capacity to
operate a larger store with double (or more) the
sales volume, more staff, and offering more
We are building capacity
through continued focus on key indicator
performance (sales growth, profit margin, labor
margin and inventory turns) and productivity. As
the Co-op grows, we are evolving our
organizational structure to respond to new and