General Manager Report
I am thrilled to report that Swan Valley Co-op had another successful year, surpassing $88 million in sales and local earnings of over $400,000 before FCL patronage repayments. The earnings are reflective of significant capital investments of over $4M, an additional $1.2M in assets under construction and major roof repairs at our shopping centre of $225K. My report will highlight our operations for the last year and touch on a few of the exciting projects we’re working on in 2019.
Our Co-op is focused on proactive continuous improvement with the adoption of Corporate Performance Management and Talent Management. These measurable goal-based frameworks will help us achieve our mission of achieving growth by creating an excellent shopping experience for our members and our vision of being the retailer of choice in the communities we serve. The ultimate goal for our Co-op is to remain relevant in a rapidly increasing competitive retail environment and create long term sustainable value for our members.
Last fall our Co-op embarked on our employee engagement journey as part of our talent management framework. This included an employment engagement survey that measured how our employees rate Swan Valley Co-op as an employer in a number of key areas. Out of this survey, we are working on action plans that focus on improved communication and employee feedback practices.
Our major capital investments this year include the major renovation of our food store and transitioning from the family fashions business to a lease tenant development that is in its early stages.
The food store renovation will incorporate new finishes throughout the building and new programs such as:
• Improved bulk foods selection
• Self checkouts
• New pharmacy area
• New training room
• Overhauled fresh production areas
• Fresh service meat case
• New produce merchandisers
• And new and enhanced bakery and deli programs
Despite being an excellent shopping facility for our area over the past 15 years, the food store now has significant wear throughout the building that requires this re-investment.
This spring we will be opening our newest location, an Agro Centre in The Pas. The location will feature crop inputs and livestock feed. Construction is nearly complete, and our team is in place to serve our Ag producer`s needs in that area.
Your Co-op continues to support local groups and organizations by assisting them with their fundraising activities. Last year we invested over $55,000 back into our local economy through donations to those groups. Another significant contribution this year was an additional $30,000 grant to the Swan River Valley Ag Society through the FCL Community Spaces program. We are proud to be a part of your community and happy to lend a hand toward projects and partnerships that are doing great things close to home.
I want to close by thanking our team. Without them we could not accomplish this type of success. The experience, dedication and loyalty of our employees are evident when reading the team list near the back of our annual report. On April 16th, we once again celebrated the service milestones of 7 team members with a combined 115 years of experience. Thank you to the Board for their strategic direction and support in moving toward our vision of being the retailer of choice in the communities we serve. And, of course without the support of our members we would not exist. Thank you for your business.
Colin Peters, General manager