By Josh Resnik, CEO
Last July, we introduced a new set of owner benefits reflective of feedback we received from TCCP owners in last spring’s survey, as well as in ongoing conversations over several years. Over the past nine months, we have heard from a lot of owners who really like our 10% off quarterly owner celebrations, and others who do not — and wish we could go back to monthly discounts up to $5. Others have suggested changes to how coupons are distributed (electronic vs. paper), time windows for redeeming discounts, and other proposals. Know that we are listening to all of you and plan to implement digital coupons with the next owner celebration. In terms of other, more significant changes, we want to have a full year of information before re-evaluating the owner benefits.
I want to focus on a key benefit that owners have not seen the value of yet, but that we believe is the most significant change to the program. At the end of the year, every owner will receive a 1% refund on the amount of all co-op purchases over the course of the year. This benefit was loosely based on REI Co-op’s cash back at the end of the year — and was the most popular benefit in the survey. Additionally, this was meant to mimic the traditional patronage refund that many longtime co-op owners have missed since the amounts reduced several years ago. We will still offer patronage refunds on top of the 1% in years we have a profit to distribute, but the difference with the 1% is that it would be a guaranteed payout.
So as the end of the fiscal year approaches (June 30), know that you will be receiving a refund refund of 1% of total purchases. The 1% credit will be available at the register — and our goal is to have it available by Aug. 1. We will send more information on the amount of your refund and how to redeem it after the fiscal year ends. As Minnesota turns to spring and we approach the end of our fiscal year, please come shop at the co-op, support local independent businesses, and know that you will soon receive a 1% credit for all of your annual purchases.