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about co-op stores


The Co-operative Retailing System (CRS) began in 1928 when locally owned retail co-operatives worked together to form provincial wholesales in order to expand their buying power. These co-operative wholesales in the four western provinces, along with the Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC), in Regina, joined together to form Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL). Today, approximately 200 retail co-operatives own FCL, which provides central wholesaling, manufacturing and administrative services to its member-owners. Combined sales of more than $9.6 billion in 2015 make retail co-ops among the largest providers of retail goods and agricultural inputs in Western Canada.

Retail co-operatives serve Canadian communities

Retail co-operatives serve more than 500 communities and more than 1.8 million active co-op members across Western Canada. They employ more than 20,000 people and provide their members with a variety of goods and services, including:

  • petroleum
  • food
  • general merchandise
  • soft goods
  • building materials
  • crop supplies
  • feed

Co-ops are committed to their communities

In addition to returning cash to their members, retail co-ops are continually demonstrating their commitment to, and confidence in, their communities by improving their facilities. These facilities include:

  • food stores
  • agro centres
  • home centres
  • bulk petroleum/cardlock facilities
  • gas bar/convenience store/car wash complexes

Last year, retail co-ops spent approximately $150 million on new facilities and upgrading or expanding existing facilities. Over the last ten years, retail co-ops have spent in excess of $1 billion on similar projects.

Co-ops contribute to the Canadian economy

Local and Canadian ownership is important to co-op members and their communities. Co-ops form a distinct sector in the Canadian economy, alongside the public and private sectors. They are unique in the business world because they are owned and controlled by the people they serve. Co-ops are rooted in the community and respond to the real needs of the community, thus making them an ideal instrument for community economic development.

Co-ops look to youth for the future

Co-ops are also keenly aware of how important young people are to the future of their organizations. To encourage young people to learn about and appreciate co-ops and how they function democratically, co-ops sponsor programs for youth. Helping young people develop their leadership potential ensures a bright future for co-ops.

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Discover the Benefits of Co-op Membership

  • Co-op Equity and Cash Back
  • Quality Private Label Products
  • Personalized Service
  • Your Community Builder
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