All Hands on Deck!
by Alex Gyori
This is it! Our bright new Co-op store should open sometime during the day on June 14th! Here’s the lead up to that long awaited moment.
At 7 p.m. on Tuesday June 12th we will shut the old store for the last time. That will definitely be a pixellatable moment. Then, while we run our well-practiced closing routines, our IT coordinators Kristin and Pam and their helpers will start carting essential equipment over to the new building—check stand computers, servers, and other related gear.
The store will remain closed for the full day of Wednesday the 13th. It will be a day of intense activity, when swarms of shareholders, staff, and folks from surrounding food co-ops will remove the remaining merchandise, equipment, furniture, and all the little stuff from the old to the new. Diane and her front-end folks will be setting up shop in their new digs, and with help from the company that provides support for our Point of Sales system, they will hook up the system to get us ready to go on the 14th. During this time, all of the retail departments will be filling their shelves and adjusting their operating procedures to the new store layout.
When we are certain that all of the retail areas are set and the checkout lanes are working properly, a few volunteers will do a real shop as a final test run. When the glitches are worked out, we will unlock the front door, figuratively speaking, and get the word out to shareholders and the general public that we’re officially open.
A huge amount of preparation will have been done in the two weeks prior to June 14th. For weeks now, we have had sign-up sheets at the front desk for shareholders who are able to pitch in with some good old-fashioned sweat equity. Imagine: we will have created and organized over 15,000 shelf tags—those little white rectangles with the orange parts that show unit pricing. That project, starting on May 21st, will take 80 people working 2-hour shifts!
Most of the refrigeration and other retail equipment will be in place and running by the end of May/early June. As that work winds down, teams will be assembling shelves starting June 2nd. It will take about three days for that task, and then stocking will begin in Grocery, Frozen, Dairy, Beer, Wine, and Wellness. Those 15,000 tags will then be snapped into position. Meanwhile, Produce, Floral, Bulk, Meat, Seafood, Cheese, Deli, and the Deli kitchen will be setting up shop. Whew!
If you are interested in lending a hand, there may be some work slots still available. Check at the front end. You do not need to be a working shareholder to get involved. Just stop in at the Shareholder Services desk and talk to Annie or David to find out what you can do. It’s all hands on deck!
So, whether you are able to help out beforehand or not, wish us luck and we’ll be welcoming you very soon in our new Co-op!