Natural Grocers Breaks Fundraising Record

Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
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Natural Grocers Breaks Fundraising Record
The company raised over $260,000 for local food banks to meet the growing needs of community members experiencing food insecurity.

Natural Grocers received record-breaking food bank donations from shoppers in August.

The company raised over $260,000 for local food banks to meet the growing needs of community members experiencing food insecurity. The donation will provide neighbors not just with food but also with Natural Grocers gift cards.

"We are humbled by the response from customers and the hard work from our good4uSM Crew in making August our best fundraising month ever for local food banks in the cities and towns we serve," commented Kemper Isely, Natural Grocers' co-president. "At a time when the need for nutritious groceries and high-quality essentials is immense, we are proud to be able to service our communities with gift cards so they can feed themselves and their families in healthful ways."

According to the company, August's record-breaking fundraising donation was driven by such initiatives as a 5-cent bag contribution, a 65th Anniversary sales-based donation, and customers' generosity.

In September, the company says it's focusing fundraising goals on its new planet-loving partnership with the nonprofit Beyond Pesticides. The grocery chain plans two in-store fundraising opportunities this month:

  • Natural Grocers Donations: The chain will give $1 to Beyond Pesticides for every reusable, limited-edition "Organic Month Headquarters" shopping bag purchased (retail price: $1.99).
  • Customer Donations: Customers can make contributions to Beyond Pesticides ($1, $5 or $10) at any one of Natural Grocers' 159 store locations.

In August Natural Grocers logged a 15.5% jump in same-store sales during the third quarter on mega demand for meat and produce.

In an earnings call with analysts, Isely said the retailer saw strength across all product categories with "above-average comp increases in meat, dairy, frozen foods, produce and bulk." The company says the comp was driven by a 31.5% increase in basket size, partially offset by a 12.2% decrease in transaction count, reflecting customers' social distancing efforts.

"We generated another quarter of very strong results with daily average comparable store sales increasing 15.5% and net sales increasing 18.1%, which continues to reflect the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and government mandates, and the related growth of eating at home," Isely said. "As we continue to operate in a new environment, we are leveraging our 65-year history of exceptional service and commitment to natural and organic products, which is evident in the strong consumer demand."

During the third quarter, the company opened two new stores, resulting in a 4.6% new store growth rate for the 12-month period ended June 30.

Natural Grocers has more than 3,500 employees and operates 159 stores in 20 states. The company is No. 94 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s list of the top food retailers in North America.

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