Update from the General Manager

Oct 19, 2022 | Co-ops, Homepage, News, updates

We closed out our 2021-2022 fiscal year on September 30 with our final quarterly physical inventory of the year. Four times a year we count every item in the store, from the sales floor to the backroom to the basement, so that we know exactly how much product we have purchased and how much we have sold. The September inventory is, by all measures, the most meaningful of the year because it gives us a tentative picture of how we did over the full fiscal year.

So how did we do?

  • Total revenues in the 2021-2022 FY were $11,266,377, just 0.1% shy of budget for the year and the highest sales revenues in our 46 year history.  
  • We were able to maintain sales growth over the previous year and remain profitable in spite of the economic challenges and disruptions we saw in the past year. 
  • After three tumultuous years, both customer count and average basket size have settled into a more consistent and predictable pattern, indicating that there is once again some stability in the market.
  • Though it hasn’t been reviewed by our accountants, our net income for the year appears to be in excess of $190,000, which is truly notable considering the inflationary challenges we overcame in the past year.  Many thanks to our sales team who were able to stay on top of the near-constant price changes.  Your work is vitally important and does not go unnoticed!   
  • Our cash balance at the end of the year is strong, with over 41 days of cash on hand as of the end of September.  
  • We have over $2M in total capital as of the end of the fiscal year, the highest amount in our history.  
  • We have over 4,800 current Belfast Community Co-op owners!

At the end of September, I submitted to the Board a budget and business plan for the coming year which includes estimates for what effect the upcoming renovations will have on our operations.  From our financial modeling, I have a sense of where we need to end up in order to service the debts associated with the project and I am confident that we will be able to meet those targets, however, the piece that is somewhat out of my control is when things will start to move.

The timing of when construction will begin is still somewhat up in the air, as supply chain disruptions are still affecting our ability to purchase equipment and materials to carry out the project.  Predicting when and how severe the disruption will be is tricky at best, but I remain confident in the team that we have built to assist us in crafting a successful renovation.  Similarly, we are in a bit of a holding pattern in terms of the capital campaign as we wait for our attorneys to draft the disclosure documents necessary to legally approach our owners to participate in the campaign. Progress is happening, but the pace of progress is maddening when you want nothing more than to jump head-first into the work.  I have to keep telling myself that this project will move at the pace it needs to move and that no matter how frustrated I may get in the process, the outcome of providing a community resource that will live on for decades to come is what matters.  

Thank you all for making this past year so successful!  Special thanks to everyone who has come out for the in-person and virtual events to discuss and learn about the renovation project.

I deeply appreciate your dedication to our Co-op!

Doug Johnson, General Manager 

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