C magazine

Shifting gears

Three gentlemen talking in a convenience store

消费者合作石油十大国际老虎机平台首席执行官兼总经理Joel Marcott, middle; Board Chair Jerry Kaufman, left; and Store Manager Brook Morris recently updated the co-op's convenience store in Prairie Du Sac, Wis., to appeal to suburban clientele.

Jan 29, 2020

Two very different cooperatives use similar strategies to leverage suburban appeal and serve ag owners.

位于华盛顿州伊萨夸90号州际公路两分钟外., The Grange Supply is a popular place for locals looking to fill up on their morning drive, 在加油站和农场商店的免费咖啡站. The colorful store draws a range of customers — it’s not unusual to see customers wearing cowboy boots side by side with commuters in designer suits.

坐落在萨马米什湖和伊萨夸阿尔卑斯山脉之间, Issaquah is a bustling, 西雅图以东约16英里的一个快速发展的郊区,居住着近40名居民,000 people. 2000年至2010年间,该地区的人口几乎增加了两倍,从1.1万增至3万.

The area’s vibrant arts scene and abundance of hip restaurants have attracted a somewhat young and wealthy mix of people — the median resident age is 37.

“The area has changed drastically in the last two decades and has become increasingly urban,” says John Mabbott, general manager of The Grange.

对于一家经营85年的零售店来说,改变并不总是容易的, but The Grange has embraced the community in transition and continues finding ways to serve its increasingly diverse clientele.

“We’ve reintroduced ourselves as a community resource to remain relevant in this market so we can continue to serve our long-standing customers,” says Mabbott. “十大国际老虎机平台过去有一个客户感谢日,现在十大国际老虎机平台有一个社区感谢日.”

今年,这个年度活动吸引了3000多名居民. “社区感恩日让十大国际老虎机平台与邻居交流, 但也给了十大国际老虎机平台一个向当地居民传授农业知识的机会.”

Ag Roots, Suburban Demand

The Grange opened its doors in 1934, selling diesel to local farmers in nearby Renton, Wash. 如今,燃料(汽油、柴油和丙烷)占了画眉山庄收入的一半. 饲料配送和零售商品占了另一半.

Two men delivering feed
The Grange Supply Delivery Manager Nate Thomas, right, Terin Tatum为传统农场和住宅后院提供饲料.

随着该地区人口的增长,画眉山庄的产品也在增长. Today, The Grange offers lawn and garden products, pet supplies, home décor, hardware, 此外,还有其他各种用品和小摆设的折衷组合,对郊区的房主很有吸引力.

“十大国际老虎机平台倾听所有客户的需求和要求,他们真的很重视这一点,” says Michelle Banks, who leads the store’s operations.

“We pride ourselves on having staff members who are knowledgeable about our different departments so they can answer customer questions,” adds Mabbott. “Our lawn and garden department is managed by a horticulturist and our equine department is run by a champion rider.”

“The Farmer in All of Us”

The Grange employees

John Mabbott, general manager of The Grange, 他的团队满足不同客户群体的需求. Pictured, from left, are Kundun Sherpa, Vania Wright, Shane Thompson, Mabbott and Shannon Obbagy.

经常光顾这家店的顾客充分利用了这家店的农业背景. 商店团队看到了与每个人分享农业专业知识的价值. A sign above the store’s entrance welcomes customers with the words, “For the farmer in all of us.”

“十大国际老虎机平台都以某种方式与农业联系在一起,”马伯特解释说. “In this area, an increasing number of consumers want to know where their food comes from and a growing number of suburban families are opting to raise their own chickens and can homegrown fruits and vegetables. 十大国际老虎机平台是来提供他们所需的知识和物资的.”

The Grange frequently holds educational events and classes in its community room to share food preservation techniques like canning and fermentation and to promote agricultural and sustainable practices.

“如果十大国际老虎机平台不专注于吸引下一代消费者,” says Mabbott, “we won’t be here to serve our farmer-customers. 在亚马逊主导的零售环境中,十大国际老虎机平台需要引人注目.”

Navigating the Crossroads

That same reality is driving action across the country at Consumers Cooperative Oil Company in Sauk City, Wis.

 Less than 30 miles southeast of Sauk City is the college home of the University of Wisconsin Badgers. Madison’s growing tech scene continues to fuel expansion of the city and surrounding suburbs. From 2000 to 2017, 麦迪逊的人口增长了22%,城市规划者预计还会增加15个百分点,000 people by 2030.

Consumers Cooperative is seeing some of that growth spill across county lines and into its trade area.

“Our co-op is at the intersection of rural and urban,” says CEO and General Manager Joel Marcott. 而不是抱怨传统农业地区受到侵犯, he views Madison’s growth as positive.

“Urbanization adds customer base,” he says. 合作社也无法避免运营业务的常规挑战和成本. The number of farms is shrinking, and we can’t rely solely on rural America to increase revenue.”

More than half of Consumers Cooperative’s cash flow is derived from retail sales and that percentage continues to grow. “十大国际老虎机平台不把十大国际老虎机平台的农业和零售业务视为竞争对手,”Marcott说. “Selling Snickers bars and fuel allows us to buy propane trucks so we can serve our ag producer-owners.”

Proactive Pays

In April, Consumers Co-op completed a $1 million remodel of its Prairie Du Sac convenience store and sold three other locations. 项目完成后,销售额增长了18%.

The co-op’s board includes three producers and two consumers who constantly challenge management to think about what’s next, says Marcott. “With urbanization comes new competition. 如果十大国际老虎机平台想要竞争,十大国际老虎机平台需要积极主动,把十大国际老虎机平台最好的脚向前.”

“当我加入董事会时,我的想法是,‘这是一贯的做法.’ Underperforming assets were kept as a convenience for patrons and patrons were of the mindset co-ops didn’t need to make money,” says Board Chair Jerry Kaufman, 他在消费者合作社董事会工作了20年.

“Today, our board understands that to be a leader, we have to run just like any other business and model ourselves for the younger generation or we won’t be here for any of our customers, rural or suburban.”

Community Connections

合作社是数千个社区的重要成员, 包括那些郊区多于农村的地区. 这两个合作社正在满足客户的需求,以建立收入和稳定.

As the neighborhoods in Issaquah, Wash., attract more suburban families, finding ways to connect with the local community has been key to expanding The Grange Supply’s clientele.

Man driving orange tractor

Grange Supply的橙色拖拉机是社区活动的主要产品.

从赞助小镇的7月4日游行到支持学校, churches and animal rescue organizations to hosting educational events and opening its community room for group meetings, 格兰其已经找到了参与社区和建立意识的方法.

“Two years ago, 十大国际老虎机平台从传统的营销策略转向了更慈善的方法,” says General Manager John Mabbott. “这种方法让十大国际老虎机平台在社区中引人注目, and in the age of Amazon, 吸引人似乎是实现企业可持续健康发展的最有力途径.”

格兰奇对社区活动的参与使社区发生了变化. The retail location’s bright orange tractor has become a popular attraction in parades and at The Grange’s annual community appreciation day.

“人们渴望积极的人际互动,” says Joel Marcott, general manager and CEO, Consumers Cooperative Oil Company, Sauk City, Wis. “能够提供这些服务的十大国际老虎机平台将会成功.”

Providing top-notch customer service is one way Consumers Cooperative attracts customers and employees. 该合作社新装修的零售店也吸引了不少人. Sleek laminate wood flooring, bright lighting, a seating area for customers and wall art customized to the community have refreshed the store’s image and increased sales.

“十大国际老虎机平台希望商店有一个城市的外观,反映当地社区,”马科特说. “创建一个具有当地特色的商店有助于十大国际老虎机平台在竞争对手中脱颖而出.”

午餐时间的座位区在高中生中特别受欢迎. “We have created a destination in an urban neighborhood for people to hang out and enjoy a sandwich or cup of coffee.”

合作社的农场主也会逗留更长时间. “他们喜欢年轻客户的活力,”马科特说. “We’ve truly created a communal experience.”


Check out the full C magazine with this article and more.