What does Cooperative Store mean?
A cooperative store, commonly referred to as a co-op, is a store which is managed and controlled by a group of individuals (a cooperative) rather than a single corporation or business owner. Cooperative stores have been used throughout the world and can be extremely successful at allowing groups of individuals to worker together to avoid paying high prices for goods and services (i.e. books, groceries, consumer goods) and housing.
Goals of a Cooperative Store
The goal of the cooperative store is low cost rather than a high profit. Other goals such as funding local charities, volunteering, and improving the community may also be important. The goals and function of the cooperative store are determined by the members, and the benefit is recognized by all members of the co-op who are able to buy and sell goods at a reduced price.
Business decisions are also made by the collective, rather than by one person or a board of directors. Benefits of a Cooperative Store In recent years there has been increased interest in cooperative stores, especially those concerned with food production. More individuals are interested in growing, buying, and selling food products which are produced locally, naturally, and organically.
Good and Bad of Cooperative Stores
There are many advantages of a cooperative store: pooling resources, buying with volume discounts, and negotiating with suppliers. If you are selling products within the cooperative, however, there may be disadvantages, especially if you and your competitors share the same pricing and product. Marketing your products through a cooperative may also dilute your brand name or eliminate your marketing message.
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