Clintonville Community Market Announces Closure
After 17 years of operation, the Clintonville Community Market (also known as “The Co-Op”) announced yesterday that it will be closing its doors sometime in the next month. Citing a changing landscape in the world of organic and natural food sales, the operating board of the market said that declining profits have left the store with no other choice but to close.
In recent years, Clintonville residents have seen upgrades at both the Giant Eagle and Kroger stores located on High Street, in addition to the opening of Lucky’s Market, which also has a strong focus on natural and organic foods.
The increased competition likely only exacerbated existing issues that appear to date back to the economic recession. An email distributed to members in February 2009 stated that the market was “experiencing a number of challenges” including discrepancies between membership dues and shopper discounts, the rising cost of employee healthcare benefits, and other “serious fiscal and cash flow problems”.
The full text of the email distributed to members yesterday can be found below.
For ongoing updates and discussion on the Clintonville Co-Op, CLICK HERE to visit our Messageboard.
Loyal Co-op Member,
The Clintonville Community Co-op is very grateful for your patronage since our opening in 1998. There have been some good years and some that were not so good. During the past decade, the retail organic/natural food landscape has changed drastically with more competitors, including the larger conventional chains placing much more emphasis on the organic/natural products arena.
This changing marketplace has created a decline in sales for our Co-op that has intensified over the last two years, and the trend continues. We have put many cost controls into place, reducing purchasing and labor costs, but the sales and the profits continue to drop. We cannot remain solvent in this situation. The ethical and responsible act is to close the store while we will be able to satisfy most, and hopefully all of our financial obligations.
Given this reality, the Board has voted to close the Co-op no later than October 31st, 2015.
This was a very emotional and difficult decision, but it is the responsible action to take in order to insure all the employees, local suppliers, and other vendors that have supported us for many years will receive their final payments.
We thank you for your loyalty. We are particularly grateful for those members who have assisted over the years. We are proud of our legacy of providing jobs, incubating many new businesses, and keeping our local economy strong while providing unique and healthy food. We have accomplished and learned much through the years.
You are invited to meet with the Board for questions and answers on Wednesday, September 30th, 7:00 P.M. at Crestview Presbyterian Church, located at 350 E. Tulane.
We will plan a closing celebration to take place in early November. We will need help with many tasks as we liquidate the inventory, including all equipment. Watch for in-store specials in the coming days through store and Facebook announcements.
Thank you for your understanding and support,
Management and Board
Clintonville Community Market