Variable Discount Member Survey Spring 2018

From our Board President, George Touloumtzis, and our Board Treasurer, Jeanne Douillard:

Dear Fellow Member-Owners at FCC,

As we work towards the continued prosperous, sustainable future of our cooperative together, we on the Board were heartened with the response to the non-binding questions on the recent FCC ballot, for two reasons:

The large (record!) turnout of almost 500 votes (thank you for participating in our Co-op’s democratic process!)
The fact that on the question about eliminating the 2% discount, the number of those voting "undecided" decreased dramatically from the December survey on the same issue, suggesting that member-owners had received sufficient material to make an informed decision.

A significant majority (294 out of 477, or 62%) of member-owners indicated they support the elimination of the 2% fixed discount.  We also recognize and acknowledge that a significant minority (118 out of 477, or 25%) voted against this change.

Looking to the second ballot question -- 'if the 2% is eliminated, do you support introducing a variable member discount program' -- a substantial majority (365 out of 474, or 77%) voted "yes", with only 32 (7%) voting "no".

Given that the Board (and 16 of 18 member-owners present) did vote to eliminate the 2% discount (by July 1st) at the March 14th Board meeting, we can see that there is a lot of member-owner support for the variable member discounts that will be introduced.  We also understand that some member-owners are not pleased about this switch and will miss the regular 2% discount. Therefore we want to include member-owners as much as possible in this transition, informing and involving you about the design of the variable discount system.  That is the purpose of this survey.

What would a Variable Discount system look like? Of the amount of money budgeted for the 2% fixed discounts, a portion would be used directly in our variable discount program.  The rest of the money would be reinvested into the coop to help offset labor costs, support capital improvements, and to establish a consistent Net Income trend which would eventually lead to the distribution of Patronage Dividends which this coop voted for two years ago.  Fixed discounts cost the co-op a dollar for each dollar in discounts. The variable discount model, on the other hand, will provide the co-op with flexibility under changing market conditions and offer benefits both to the co-op and the member-consumer.

Variable discounts offer a range of “Members only” savings.  (It’s important to note that this change to our discount structure will *not* affect: working member discounts, senior discounts, and the Food For All program discounts).  Below in the survey, you’ll find examples of what variable discounts could look like at our co-op, along with descriptions of what each type of discount is.

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* 1. Please record your member number here:

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* 2. Please rank, in order of importance (with 1 being the most important) the following store departments that you would like to see featured for member-only discounts:

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* 3. If we were to offer a 10% member discount four times a year, which would you choose:

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* 4. Please rank, in order of preference (with 1 being the most important), the types of member discounts listed below:

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* 5. Additional Suggestions For Member Discounts: Please Use this space to make suggestions for discounts not previously mentioned here.