PCC 2009 Annual Report
A message from the CEO.
Throughout 2009 we focused on doing what we do best even better.
2009 was a challenging year for the economy and our co-op. In such times the advantages of a cooperative business model, in which performance and stability are evaluated by measurements beyond just financial factors, are even more pronounced. Thanks to the loyalty of our members, the skills of our employees, the cooperation of our partners, and our resolve to stay true to our values, 2009 was another year of solid, debt-free growth for PCC.
We ended the year with sales in excess of $137.9 million and membership equity of more than $24.8 million, increases of 5.5%/average week and 4.3% respectively. While we are pleased that we grew our business in an environment where many organizations floundered or failed, we are most proud of the fact that not one PCC staff member was laid off or lost benefits due to insufficient hours. Throughout 2009 we focused on doing what we do best even better. We researched, acquired and implemented new technologies to increase our efficiency on the sales floor, at the check stands and behind the scenes. We took a stand on issues that directly impact our business, most notably widely publicized but poorly substantiated attacks on organics. We raised our already high standards for personal care products and seafood, stood behind local waste reduction legislation, and expanded our community outreach through innovative programs that worked to support deserving organizations while stimulating our sales. We expanded our ability to communicate timely, relevant information to our shoppers through three new electronic newsletters and brought more of our customers into an ongoing conversation with us through our popular online communities.
Last year also was the first full year of operation for our Edmonds store. Solid sales growth and several new partnerships in that market area have gotten our newest location off to a solid start in that new community. As Edmonds was celebrating its first anniversary we acknowledged another milestone — 10 years of serving the Issaquah market — with an extensive interior remodel of our store there. Smaller enhancements at other stores, such as a new front end and deli fixtures at our Greenlake store, weather-protective shades at our Fremont store, and even the addition of many more smaller, easier to navigate grocery carts at all locations, contributed to more pleasant shopping experiences for our customers.
2009 also was marked by continued positive response to our member benefits program that resulted in the return of more than $2.8 million in discounts to members, an increase of 7.8% over 2008. We were pleased to offer significant savings to members beyond monthly discounts of 5% on the 15th and 16th of each month and a floating 10% discount day, in the form of PCC coupon books inserted into home-delivered copies of our member newspaper, the Sound Consumer, in June, July and August, and additional 10% floating discount days in November and December.
There's no question that 2009 was a year that made all of us think smarter and work harder. We should all be proud that together we were able to continue doing well by doing good — for our members, shoppers and the communities we serve. By taking great care in determining how, where and why we grow, 2010 will be an even better year for our co-op.
CEO, PCC Natural Markets