NEW GLASGOW – The news that the Pictou County Co-op closing may seem to be following a trend of similar organized businesses, but if it is, it’s behind the times by a few years.
Romeo Cormier, spokesman for Co-op Atlantic said that there have been 30 co-operative stores cease operations, but out of that number only four have closed after 2007.
“I don’t think there is a trend happening any more,” he said. “There was a wave of closures that started in 1998 and lasted until 2006.”
He said their co-operative system owns and operates to private store banners Valufoods and VillageMART. Local business people own and operate their store, using these banners, and the Co-op Atlantic system as their supplier.
The co-operative has opened 37 food stores under those two banners, since 2003.
“This allows the co-operative system to retain its market share and to continue offering retail foods in locally-owned and operated store formats, except that they are not co-operatives.”
At this time, there are 64 conventional/autonomous retail co-ops in the Atlantic Co-op system, and 11 Co-op Food Markets (CFMs) that are corporately owned by the federation.
There are also 15 Co-op Farm Stores, as well as another dozen producer co-ops.