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2021 District Stores of the Year

With great excitement, retail leadership this week announced the winners of the co-op’s annual District Store of the Year. Nine stores earned top honors and are in the running for Store of the Year, which will be announced next week.

At the start of 2021, retail leadership determined which enterprise and retail priorities would be considered when choosing Store of the Year. Stores provided goals around these priorities and all stores performed remarkably well in 2021, with many receiving maximum Summit scores.  

Goals Include: 

  • Total Market Revenue 
  • Sales (including SIF) 
  • Membership Conversion 
  • Labor Guidance 
  • Divisional Priorities  
    • Operational Efficiency 
    • Talent Development 
    • Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 

Congratulations to all of the stores across the co-op for an exceptional year. Here’s what the Retail Directors have to say about the winning locations.

Northeast – Cranston

The Cranston team celebrated its 15th year in 2021 and proved how nimble store teams can be by quickly learning how to operate at a higher volume while navigating the ever-changing world. The team welcomed over 6,100 new members, embraced the evolution of our cycle, shop and run businesses, and flexed and innovated to get customers what they needed with challenging product constraints. They did this while maintaining a seamless customer experience. The team worked cross-divisionally to bring in additional products for their customers and the leadership team flexed up to allow for district-wide leadership throughout 2021. They did all of this and still maintained a district-wide high for membership conversion.  Congratulations, Cranston!

Mid-Atlantic – King of Prussia

The King of Prussia team has been in close consideration for District Store of the Year for several years in a row, and this was the year that Jon Everett and his team broke through to claim the honors for the Mid-Atlantic. A focus on both the in-store and digital customer brought in sales well over $4 million over plan, while also welcoming almost 9,000 new members to the co-op. The store is incredibly sound operationally, and growth in the shop over the year was excellent. It’s the people who stand out at KOP, though—the engagement, focus on talent development, our REDI initiative, and sense of fun are all hallmarks of the store. Congratulations, Jon and team!

South – Winter Park

Winter Park’s success in 2021 was built on getting back to the basics: having fun with one other and their customers, making the store look good, and what they liked to call Plan A (Sell It All). The store hinged on their desire to say “Yes” and be the store that said “Yes” to opportunities and whatever was asked of the team whether it was a call for help from another store in the district or someone from HQ asking if they could take extra product. They spent the year looking for small wins, figuring out everyone’s strengths and developing the team. The store drove success through the bike shop and membership conversion, never letting up around these critical areas of the business. They focused on keeping the team engaged and realizing that it never hurts to keep your break room freezer stocked with ice cream sandwiches!

Midwest – Columbus Dublin

The Columbus Dublin store team leads not just in results but also in all the things we value and measure at the co-op.  They get results through awesome engagement, teamwork, and bringing the Co-op Way to life every day. For example, in a year when they had RSM transition and Public Lands enter the market, they still grew sales by over 20% to LLY, led the way in member engagement, and had 80% growth in shop revenue.  You won’t find a better visually merchandised store. And, the store performance isn’t just leading for one year – they lead every year!

Mountain – Denver

Congratulations to Andy Frey and the Denver team for their 2021 district store of the year win in the Mountain District. In 2021, Denver beat sales goals by $11 million, having a mindset of sell-what-is-on-hand through exceptional visual merchandising to maximize revenue and overall inventory management. In addition, the store created an Inventory Integrity team for Mobile Restock Assistant, cycle counts, dock-to-stock, and local buying. When it comes to promoting the co-op, Denver was one of the best with 45.9% membership conversion and sold over 24,000 units to become #1 in the co-op.  Even with all this, the team is most proud of the culture and authenticity you feel in this store.  Denver created a 3-person in-store REDI team that successfully launched Employee Resource Groups, developed a strong recognition program, and employee engagement is at an all-time high due to deliberate, timely communication.  This store truly embodies the spirit and culture of the Co-op Way, and it’s easy to see why Denver is the Mountain District Store of the Year!

Southwest — Chandler

Everyone at REI Chandler knows that every day counts. As 2021 began with uncertainty, Chandler embarked on a journey of growing, trusting, and empowering all staff members to perform their best work. Membership, shop productivity, and fulfillment growth were all huge drivers of success in achieving a record year of sales, conversion, and new members. Mountain bike rentals, Spanish-speaking employees, and a staff of many diverse backgrounds have created an environment where members and guests feel welcome and comfortable while shopping in Chandler. When you have a team that understands there are no ceilings to success, the sky is the limit. Congratulations Chandler!

CalNev Rancho Cucamonga

Congratulations to the Rancho Cucamonga team for their “three-peat” district store of the year. Rancho finished the year with a 150% summit. Sales were $16,712 or 15% over LLY, and they hit all four quarters of labor guidance. They finished the year with membership conversion at 46.3%. They sold 11,375 memberships, which was the 7th most sold in the co-op, and their conversion put them in the top 20. Rancho was the #1 store in the district for meeting shop services agreement, hitting a yearly average of 0.8% with triple-digit shop revenue growth. Rancho has also done a great job ensuring REDI is a priority in the store. The overall gender makeup is 50/50 male/female, and 53% of staff are BIPOC. In addition to building a productive and diverse workforce, Rancho began building relationships with organizations in the community, including Black Men Hike and Outdoor Afro. The store is also helping with access to the outdoors and experience classes for underserved communities. Rancho has also prioritized talent development by building a development center in the store and offering monthly one-on-one and group classes. A couple of outcomes include three Green Vests being promoted to Lead, and multiple people are going into 2022 getting ready for role interviews for RSM. Congratulations, Team Rancho!

Bay Sierra – Berkeley

This is truly a team effort from Berkeley after an incredible year.  We asked a lot of the team and leadership shifted throughout the year.  Dave Manchester supported the district as Interim RD for the last four months of the year and the RSMs stepped up at a time when some of the best talent was being promoted out of the store. (RSM John Davis was promoted to lead our Santa Cruz store mid-year and RSM Bret McKenzie was tapped to lead our North Conway location in December.) But this team is special, and leaders throughout the store continued to drive the business, connect with the community, and deliver incredible membership conversion. Berkeley is a hard store to run well.  Every day something can derail the best-laid plans, but this team has built systems to support the business and each other. Berkeley is what good looks like and the team should be incredibly proud of what they accomplished together.

Northwest – Silverdale

Kirk Harris and the Silverdale store are consistently in the top three positions for District Store of the Year. This year, Kirk and team were chasing success in ways that they hadn’t in the past. Kirk was an early adapter to the Always on Garage Sale and surpassed many of his peers as he added a half-million dollars in incremental sales. Kirk’s team has always been the number one store in the district to drive membership conversion and this year was no different as he finished second in the co-op at 57.49% (+566bps). He also hit his sales first in the district hitting $12.7 million against a budget of $9.0 million (+32%). Kirk also led the way operationally as he continued in the top tiers with MRA, SIF Fulfillment, and most importantly he is our highest Employee Engagement store as he leans in heavily to the happiness of his employees and morale of his team. Kirk and Team are well deserving!

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