Neepawa-Gladstone Co-op reports to members


Ken waddell
Neepawa Banner & Press

Following is a summarized version of the reports delivered on  May 19 to the co-op annual meetng. The local Co-op is a vibrant member of many local business communities. They are members of Federated Co-op Ltd.and together they create employment for over 24,500 people in Western Canada, in over 500 communities in 2,500 locations.

FCL had sales of $9.8 billion and earnings increased from $439 million to $590 million in 2017 due to energy pricing and margins in western Canada.

On the local level, 2017 was a good year as sales reached $78.5 million which was up from last year’s $74.2 million due to increased market share. Local saving was at $791,000 and our net savings after patronage was $3.3 million last year.

Our current Neepawa Agro department is located in town and on 2 acres of property. The addition of Eagle Agro to our agro department has been a huge success story but it has also added some space complications. The Co-op purchased 12 acres of land east of Neepawa that will give the opportunity to expand and grow the agricultural business over the next number of years. The seed treating plant is in the final stages of completion with the crop protection warehouse, offices and additional storage shed to follow this spring.

The customer base has supported the car wash extremely well but the line ups are becoming a problem. It is a goal that with the addition of an automatic car wash, wait times can be reduced and service improved. As the Neepawa community continues to grow the co-op sees this portion of their business continuing to grow as well.

In 2017 there were 320 new memberships purchased which was down from 356 last year. Patronage refunds were allocated to the membership in the amount of $2.6 million. This included general repayments to all the membership in December, estate payments and cash payments to our overage members. Also, members who moved from our trading area and who have been absent for a period of one to two years were paid their equity. It is the intention of the board to continue the dividend payments and above all to provide members with the best of products at the most competitive price.

Over the past year the co-op continued to support the local 4-H groups within the trading area. Donations to youth groups such as cadets, non-profit organizations continued as well.

Neepawa-Gladstone Co-op Manager Brian Hedley provided the meeting a report on how the various divisions performed in 2017.

The Neepawa Food Store saw increased sales in all 4 four categories. A highlight of the year was Bakery/Deli Manager Kat Doboshynska and her team winning the “Bakery Team of the year” award for the province.

The Home Centre continued to fight for market share in a struggling economy. Building sales throughout Western Canada endured a slowdown in the construction industry once again. Sales in the later part of 2017 began to rebound but the Neepawa sales remained slightly lower than the previous year. Gladstone sales however were slightly above the previous year due to changes made to the department. The Neepawa Home Centre won the “Home Centre Excellence” award for the province.

Petroleum sales at both locations were significantly higher than expected. Car wash sales continued to increase in 2017. The automatic car wash in Neepawa is nearing completion with plans to be open in the next few weeks.

The Bulk Petroleum department sales and litres increased nicely this past year.

Agro Division sales were above budget at both locations and stronger margins generated positive bottom line results. The addition of several NH3 trucks helped to service a very strong NH3 fall and fertilizer sales were significantly up.

The purchase of land east of Neepawa has allowed the co-op to start moving the Agro facilities out of town. The new seed treating plant should be operational shortly. The new office, chemical shed and dry storage shed will be completed by this summer.