– from our General Manager on the state of the Co-op –
October 1st marks the beginning of our new fiscal year, and though our yearly finances have yet to be reviewed by our accountants, we have a pretty clear idea of how our Co-op performed financially this past year.
We saw exceptional sales growth over all previous years in the past twelve months. Our gross sales surpassed $10.8 million, a historic benchmark for us, up 16.3% from 2020. We saw record breaking sales three weeks in a row in the summer, surpassing the previous record in March of 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic and the elusive $200,000 sales week, once an insurmountable goal for our co-op, became the usual.
As sales skyrocketed, we saw efficiencies and evolutions in our operations bring gains in net profit and increased cash. We were able to grow our assets by close to a half-million dollars while reducing our liabilities by over $60,000. Our cash grew by over $300,000 without any additional benefits from state or federal loan forgiveness.
A few additional areas of note:
- Sales growth this past year stayed consistently well above the 2019 and 2020 fiscal year throughout the year aside from the peaks around the onset of the pandemic.
- Customer count is up from last fiscal year but is still down from 2019.
- Average transaction (basket size) continues to stay high.
- Our net income for the year will be in excess of $400,000
- Our cash balance at the end of the year is in the best position it has been in the history of the Belfast Co-op.
- Our owner equity is over $500,000, the highest it has ever been. We have over 4625 active owners including 267 fully vested owners. Our recent Owner Drive in September saw 100 new owners sign up during the month as well.
This past year has been unlike any other that I have seen in my time with Belfast Co-op. So much of what we have been working towards as a co-op finally clicked in the last year. By necessity, we became better at just about every aspect of our business. As we look to the future and our plans to renovate at the end of the 2021-2022 fiscal year, we are better positioned than ever before to make sound reinvestments to secure the future of our co-op. There are so many exciting things right around the corner that I am really excited to start sharing in the coming months!
Thank you all for continuing to support your community food co-op and I look forward to seeing you in the aisles.
Belfast Co-op General Manager