Boise Co-op makes profit during first year of tough competition

adutton@idahostatesman.comJanuary 6, 2014 

The Boise Co-op in the North End neighborhood had a tight year in fiscal 2013, with sales down 10 percent from the previous year — totaling $23.9 million compared with $26.6 million in the 2012 fiscal year.

But the Co-op reported a net income of $92,238 — about 3 percent above the previous year — and made enough to pay member dividends of $19,494 in the form of store discounts.

The Co-op experienced a sudden wave of new competition with the arrival of Whole Foods Market in Downtown Boise and, before that, Natural Grocers in West Boise and Rosauers Supermarket in Meridian. A new Trader Joe's store is being built in Downtown Boise as well.

"While an increase in competition did impact our sales, we fared better than we anticipated," Co-op board president TJ Stevens wrote in the store's annual report to members.

General Manager Ben Kuzma said in the report that "in spite of the considerable competitive headwinds," the store would pay its members a patronage dividend.

During the fiscal year, the total patronage dividend was $97,470. But the Co-op is holding on to 80 percent of that in the form of equity owned by each member.

Visit the Co-op's dividend FAQ for more information about how the member dividends work and what you may have earned by shopping at the Co-op.

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