Important Financial Update and Our Strategic Plan
As you may know, KCFC is facing a complex financial situation:
- Our store incurred cost overruns for construction, which required more debt-based financing and severely slashed our marketing budget to promote the store for effective launch;
- we opened later than scheduled, not long before the “summer slump” of the grocery industry;
- our product mix and pricing have also limited some shoppers from giving us the full chance to win their favor and become repeat customers.
All of these factors led to lower-than- expected sales, and a compounding financial hit of too little cash on-hand to replenish stock, pay bills, and so on.
As a Board we began communicating the current financial position at the November Membership Meeting. We struggled with trying to strike the right balance of disclosure without raising anxiety that could be destabilizing at a key point in the business’s health, including to protect the investment of existing stakeholders. Our Board remains committed to this business. We are currently pursuing multiple fundraising paths to meet the upcoming needs with a mix of sales revenue, grants, and member-driven equity.
On Saturday our Board of Directors made a call to action for member-owners. We set a goal to raise $20,000 from our member-owners this week in order to resolve immediate debt obligations and stock our shelves moving into the holiday weeks, and an additional $20,000 in the coming month. Since our call to action our membership has come together to contribute equity payments, donations, loans, & Co-op Cash deposits—as well as purchasing more products in-store!
We are proud to announce that we have successfully reached our initial $20,000 goal.
KCFC will continue to fundraise through January to meet our next set of financial obligations, totally an additional $20,000. Non-deductible donations can be received online via Go Fund Me. Equity investments, loans, and tax-deductible donations are also being accepted. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
OUR STRATEGIC PLAN
As a Board of Directors, we recognized that we could not expect a cash infusion to change the co-op’s sales without a larger vision of change. To that end, our Board of Directors has put together a 5-point plan outlining upcoming changes to the store to increase our sales, gain new customers, and improve our financial position.
On the evening of Wednesday 12/17, our member-owners gathered in our co-op cafe space to learn about our plan to:
- Strengthen financial position through increased capitalization, operational efficiencies, and driving more sales by improving the shopping experience
- Enhance marketing execution and commit more resources to drive new and repeat traffic to store, educate shoppers, and promote utilization of Co-op friendly programs
- Expand customer reach in untapped communities near the Co-op through programming and outreach
- Improve product mix and pricing focused on offering more affordable choices across the store
- Deepen member engagement as invested stakeholders in the business
This plan was formed based off of feedback both board and staff has heard from the community, direct surveying of members, and advice from other area food co-ops like Weaver’s Way, and was met with positive feedback from our membership.
We encourage all of our member-owners, financial partners, and the community at-large to examine this plan. We’ve provided several ways to do so:
WATCH THE PRESENTATION archived from 12/17
CLICK HERE to view the full strategic plan
Next, our Board will work on operationalizing this plan and setting concrete goals for how these tactics should be prioritized and executed.
Last, we want to assure everyone the KCFC Board of Directors is committed to the Co-op’s success on behalf of everyone involved.
As a community who has personally invested a lot to see KCFC come to life, The Board takes our responsibility to you very seriously. We are committed to doing everything within our power to protect your investment, earn your trust, and help KCFC thrive.
The KCFC Board of Directors