Calgary Co-op has continued to support its community through a broad variety of programs, donations and partnerships focused on food security.
Calgary Cooperative Association Ltd., one of the largest retail co-ops in North America, hosted its annual general meeting on April 7, where the 65-year-old organization shared its 2021 financial results, annual report and the results of its 2022 director election.
The Canadian co-op reported its total sales for the year ending on Oct. 31, 2021, amounted to CAD $1.23 billion, compared with CAD $1.264 billion in 2020. While food and liquor sales performed well, this slight decrease is attributable to a continued decline in fuel demand, along with fuel price inflation. Throughout 2021, Calgary Co-op continued to navigate the pandemic with softer fuel sales.
Net earnings for 2021 amounted to CAD $30 million, an increase from CAD $23.1 million in 2020.
Calgary Co-op’s focus on e-commerce in 2021 resulted in an extensive online product assortment, including food, wine, spirits, beer and cannabis. E-commerce is now available at all locations.
The retail co-op also continued to transform a number of its food stores, including the debut of a new food store in the community of Sage Hill, located in northwest Calgary. The state-of-the-art grocery store features self-checkout, a streamlined bakery department, sushi services and a robust natural product selection.
Calgary Co-op also continues to increase the product assortment of its private brands, Cal & Gary’s and Founders & Farmers, with more than 2,000 unique products in its food stores, many from local suppliers.
The co-op buys from more than 120 local producers, providing more than 2,400 products in its stores from local enterprises and farmers.
During its annual general meeting, Calgary Co-op also elected three directors to serve a three-year term on its board: Mike Dalton, Ken White and Bryan Walton. The 2022-23 Calgary Co-op board of directors consists of nine directors, and along with the three new directors, it includes Incoming Board Chair Brad Krizan; Dominique Gregoire, vice chair; Elaine Bereziuk-Smith, secretary; Victoria Bradbury; Gael MacLeod; and Evan Hu.
“We can see the strength of our community based on the terrific selection of individuals who participated in this year’s director election,” said Krizan. “We are truly committed to serving our members in the best way possible and look forward to the continued positive transformation of the business for long-term sustainability and new ways to support our membership and our community.”
The co-op continues to invest heavily in environmental initiatives and social causes. These include the ongoing use of compostable shopping bags, installation of EV- charging stations, and energy-efficient LED lights and refrigeration. It made a strong commitment toward supporting the community with CAD $2.7 million dollars in food and funds to help address food security in 2021, an increase from CAD $2.2 million in 2020. Calgary Co-op has already committed a minimum CAD $3 million contribution to local organizations in 2022.
Meanwhile, the co-op recently acquired two Beacon Pharmacies in Calgary. The pharmacies, located at the Sheldon Chumir Centre on 4th street SW and the Mustard Seed Wellness Centre on Centre Street South, will operate as wholly owned subsidiaries. They will remain branded as Beacon Pharmacies, and all current services will remain intact.
The acquisition of these two pharmacies aids in Calgary Co-op’s growth of its overall whole health strategy. Furthermore, the Beacon Pharmacies support a demographic that includes many of the city’s vulnerable populations, and provide specialized services specific to their clientele’s needs. Along with this recent acquisition, Calgary Co-op owns and operates 24 pharmacies within its Food Centres.
With locations in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks and Strathmore, Calgary Co-op has more than 440,000 members, 3,850 employees, assets of CAD $627 million and annual sales in excess of CAD $1.2 billion.