By Laura Coffee, Marketing & Owner Services Manager, Co-op Owner
GreenTree is always working to improve the Co+op experience for our Owners and shoppers. This year, we tried changing our long standing once-a-month discount structure from a single fixed date, to a choose-your-own model. After nine months of this new structure, we’ve discovered some interesting things. In talking with shoppers and viewing data from our registers, it’s become clear that Owners have found it more difficult to plan for discount usage with this model. We thought about it for awhile, looked at what other Co-ops do, and we’ve come up with some new solutions.
Beginning in October 2015, all monthly Owner Deals will be at least 20% off the regular price. These deals change every month and are available to our Owners every day. The discount is not removed after one purchase of the item, it can be utilized multiple times throughout the month. As always, Owner Deals items can still be special ordered in case quantities.
Also available every day are our new Co+op Basics Items. You may have seen these purple signs throughout the store. We started the program a few weeks ago now and the feedback has been very positive. This program, negotiated through our membership in the National Cooperative Grocers, allows us to offer lower prices on these staple items all the time. You’ll find these new lower prices on canned beans, pasta sauces, peanut butter and jelly, cookies, chips, and more. Most of the items included in the program are certified organic too!
Though feedback indicates that our Owners have had difficulty planning for the discount structure we tried this year, they also appreciate the flexibility it provides. So, in addition to the new every day lower prices and bigger month long sales, we will still be offering the choose-your-own-day Owner discount once per quarter. The upcoming quarter will include the months of October, November, and December.
Finally, with the experimental structure, we’ve found fewer shoppers have been attending our Super Saturday events. Only Owners who shop on these days are eligible to win our monthly drawings, so many people have been missing out on their chance to win. Now, instead of a single chance to enter these drawings, Owners will receive one entry for every shopping trip they make during the month. So the more times you stop in shopping, the more chances you’ll have to win!
We are excited to begin this new combination of every day lower prices and improved sales for our Owners and shoppers. It should allow everyone to benefit more consistently from Co-op Ownership and access to healthy foods in the Mt. Pleasant community. Thank you again for your feedback – it’s because of you that we can continue to improve and adapt to our shoppers’ changing needs!