It not quite “business-as-usual,” but Parrsboro’s Cross Roads Co-op plans to remain an independent, member-owned grocery store. General Manager Rob Flecknell says, however, that the store will need to find a new supplier if Co-op Atlantic gets approval to sell its warehouses in Moncton and Sydney to the giant Sobeys retail chain.
“Our main focus is to have Cross Roads Co-op here for our members, shoppers and the community,” Flecknell says. “We want to continue to be a member co-operative.”
On Saturday, the Co-op Atlantic board of directors issued a news release from its head office in Moncton recommending that the parent organization get out of the food and fuel wholesale business. It also announced it’s working on a deal to sell its warehouses and nine corporate food stores to Sobeys.
In a statement on its Facebook page, Cross Roads Co-op says member-owners will vote on whether to approve the recommendation by May 12.
“Cross Roads Co-op has 2 votes in this process which will be decided by our voting delegates consisting of the Board of Directors and Management of your Co-op,” the statement says. “Individual members do not vote during this process.”
Parrsboro Co-op would need new supplier
Co-op Atlantic’s board also recommended that the 50+ smaller, member-owned stores, including the one in Parrsboro, negotiate wholesale supply agreements with Sobeys, but Rob Flecknell says management and the board will determine what’s best for Cross Roads Co-op.
He says the Parrsboro store has 18 employees, 10 full-time and eight part-time. There are about 1,100 full season members.
Flecknell says sales were up six per cent in 2014 and since there were no major expenses, it was a successful year. The Cross Roads Co-op earned profits last year in four of its 13 sales periods beginning in mid-May and ending in September.
“We are here to keep this store for the community, members and shoppers,” he says. “We appreciate their support, especially during a transition period like this.”