Why (Some) New Co-ops Fail
The mayor spoke at the co-op’s ribbon cutting, and it seemed like the whole town turned out to celebrate. The local paper wrote excitedly about the new grocery store. The future seemed bright.
Nine months later, the fledgling store was begging members for additional cash infusions. Before its second anniversary, the co-op closed its doors.
This story is a familiar one, and we all know the unfortunate reality. Even with the resilient foundation of community ownership, not every new food co-op will survive. As we enjoy unprecedented growth in startup efforts, it is important that we understand why some co-ops fail so that others can avoid their mistakes.