Q: What are the benefits of membership?
A: As a PCC member, you are part of a of like-minded community who align with the co-op’s vision to inspire and advance the health and well-being of people, their communities and the planet. For a one-time fee of $60, members receive exclusive offers emailed periodically, access to member-only events, discounts from like-minded businesses across Western Washington, the potential to earn an annual dividend, an annual discount for an online cooking class and the opportunity have a voice in PCC’s leadership by voting in the annual election, which determines the PCC Board of Trustees.
Q: How much does a PCC membership cost?
A: A lifetime membership costs a one-time fee of $60. Membership must be in the name of one individual only and is nontransferable. Other persons living in your household may use your membership card to shop at PCC, but joint accounts or accounts under multiple names are not allowed.
Q: Is my membership fee refundable?
A: $60 membership fees paid before January 1, 2020 are refundable. The fee for memberships created on or after January 1, 2020 are not refundable.
Q: How do I get a replacement card?
A: You can request a replacement card through the membership section of your online account. Don’t have an online account linked to your membership? Check out these instructions on how to set up your online account. You may also request a replacement card by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Replacement cards can be requested a total of two (2) times per year.
Q: How do I set up my PCC web account with my membership?
A: To create a PCC web account, link your web account with your membership, update your member account information and more, see detailed instructions here.
Q: How do I find out about members-only offers?
A: To get members-only offers, you must be subscribed to our Member Communications & Offers email list — you will receive emails alerting you to each offer. To ensure these emails aren’t caught in your spam filter, please add email@example.com to your safe senders list.
Please note that if you unsubscribe from any PCC emails, you will stop receiving ALL marketing materials from PCC, including member communications.
Q: What if I forget to redeem my offer by the expiration date? Can you still honor it?
A: We can only honor offers during the period in which they are valid.
Q: How can I find out about members-only events?
A: Members can learn about upcoming events in Sound Consumer, on pccmarkets.com and by email.
Q: How do I register for members-only events?
A: You can register for members-only events here.
Q: Can I bring nonmember friends with me to the members-only events?
A: We limit the number of people at each event to allow as many members as possible to participate. Look to the details of each event to find out if space is available for you and a nonmember guest.
Q: How can I take advantage of PCC Partner discounts?
A: Present your PCC member card at time of purchase (unless otherwise noted) at one of our partners.
Q: Will I earn toward my annual dividend with the purchase of a cooking class?
Q: How do I redeem my new member online cooking class offer?
A: When you become a member, you will receive 50% off one online cooking class. To redeem, log into your PCC website account here. Make sure your membership is linked, then find your offer code under “MEMBERSHIP” and “OFFERS.” Apply this code during checkout when purchasing your seat. The offer is valid for 12 months from the date of membership, excludes in-person classes, multi-day classes, gift-with-purchase classes and kids’ classes. It cannot be applied to purchases made before the date of delivery.
Q: How do I redeem my member anniversary online cooking class offer?
A: During the month in which you became a member (find your join date under “MEMBERSHIP” on your PCC website account), you will receive an email with an offer code for 50% off one online cooking class. When valid, this code will also appear on your PCC website account under “MEMBERSHIP” and “OFFERS.” Apply this code during checkout when purchasing your seat. The offer is valid for six months from email delivery date. Excludes in-person classes, multi-day classes, gift-with-purchase classes and kids’ classes. Cannot be applied to purchases made before date of delivery.
Q: What is the potential PCC member dividend?
A: PCC members are eligible to earn a potential annual dividend. This dividend is a sum of money that could be paid to active members out of the profit — or net income — the co-op makes specifically from member purchases. Each year, the PCC Board of Trustees determines if a dividend will be issued for the prior fiscal year, and if so, the size of the dividend, based on the co-op’s financial results and the needs of the business. Any dividend declared by the Board of Trustees is calculated as a percentage of total member eligible purchases, and the same percentage applies to each member’s individual eligible purchases.
EARNING TOWARD A POTENTIAL DIVIDEND
Q: What is the earning period for the potential dividend?
A: The earning period for the potential dividend begins January 1 and runs through the end of the calendar year on December 31.
Q: Besides my grocery purchases at PCC, what else contributes to a potential dividend?
A: Qualifying purchases made in-store, with some of our delivery partners (see below for which delivery partners qualify and how to link your membership to your delivery account) and for PCC cooking classes are eligible for the potential dividend. The following do not count toward the dividend: purchases of SCRIP or gift cards, including gift card reloads and e-gift cards; purchases made with EBT; the one-time PCC membership fee; bag charges; sales tax or other taxes; bottle deposits; donations, including round-up amounts; stamps; online delivery service fees, (including membership, tips or other fees); online purchases made with DoorDash; and purchases made with a dividend.
Q: How do I connect my PCC Membership with my delivery account to ensure those purchases go toward my potential dividend?
A: To start earning toward a potential annual dividend on delivery purchases, follow our step-by-step guide for connecting your account.
Q: Can I use my dividend on delivery purchases?
A: While members can earn toward their dividend by shopping with some of our delivery partners, the dividend cannot be used to pay for shopping through a delivery account.
Q: Do EBT purchases earn toward a potential dividend?
A: Unfortunately, at this time purchases made with EBT payment cards are not eligible for dividends. We are actively working to find a solution.
IF A DIVIDEND IS DETERMINED: AVAILABILITY AND USING A DIVIDEND
Q: How is the dividend amount determined?
A: To learn more about how a dividend is determined, visit our infographic detailing the process.
Q: When will the dividend be available?
A: The PCC Board of Trustees determines if a dividend will be issued for each fiscal year based on the co-op’s financial results and the financial needs of the business. If a dividend is issued, it would generally be in the second quarter of the following year. PCC dividends are only issued to active PCC members.
Q: Could there be a year with no dividends?
A: Yes, depending on the level of costs incurred by the co-op in a given year and those costs’ impact on member net income, it is possible. In a year where there is a decline in member net income, or an increase in co-op costs that reduces member net income, the Board of Trustees may determine that there is not enough member net income to declare a dividend, that the dividend should be substantially smaller, or that it would be prudent for the Board to reduce the amount of or eliminate the dividend for that year to establish a reserve to cover future potential operating costs. Should this occur, PCC will proactively alert members to this possibility and will always communicate the final dividend outcome with full transparency.
Q: How do I confirm if I qualify for the dividend?
A: You can log onto your member account on the PCC website. Those members who’ve subscribed to member emails will also get an email notification if and when the dividend is declared.
Q: Why does it take so long to get the dividend paid out?
A: The payment of a dividend is a major financial decision for the PCC Board of Trustees and the process requires a thorough analysis of the co-op’s annual financials and budgets for the upcoming year. In order for the Board of Trustees to complete this analysis, PCC’s fiscal year has to end, its year-end financial statements have to be completed and PCC’s independent auditors have to confirm those financial statements. This process takes three to four months. The timing for paying out any potential dividend is based on this schedule.
Q: Can other members of my family or household redeem my dividend?
A: No. Dividends earned on your account can only be used by you, even if other family members used your membership number when making purchases at PCC.
Q: How can I track my dividend?
A: If and when a dividend is issued — and until it expires — the remaining dividend amount will be displayed on a member’s online account at pccmarkets.com and can be accessed at the store by scanning your card or providing your phone number at checkout.
Q: Can I view all my receipts and transactions for the year?
A: No. If you receive a dividend, you will see the total dividend amount in your account. When you use your dividend, your account will be updated and you can track what you have remaining.
Q: Can a cashier print off all my transactions for a given year?
A: No. It is not possible to provide your transactions from a given year. If a dividend has been declared, a summary of your total qualifying dividend spend will be available by logging into your online membership account.
Q: Can I purchase a gift card with my dividend?
A: No. Gift cards are not eligible for purchase with your dividend.
Q: Can I use my dividend on delivery purchases?
A: While members can earn toward their dividend by shopping with our delivery partners, the dividend cannot be used to pay for shopping through a delivery account.
Q: Can I donate my dividend?
A: No. It is not possible for your dividend to be donated at this time.
Q: I don’t have email. Will I still get a dividend?
A: Yes. While PCC is only communicating to its members through email regarding their dividend, if dividends have been issued, you will be made aware when you shop in store. At that time, you will be able to ask the cashier about any available dividend amount tied to your membership.
Q: What happens if I forgot to give my membership number on a previous purchase?
A: If you forget to identify as a member when you make a purchase, you have 30 days to bring the receipt in store to have the purchase credited to your member account. Purchases made before you were an active PCC member, or more than 30 days old, cannot be applied to your member account.
Q: How do returns affect my dividend?
A: Returns are deducted from your eligible dividend earnings balance.
Q: Why am I not getting a dividend payout?
A: The dividend is a benefit reserved for members who are fully paid and active at the time the dividend is declared. If a dividend is declared, the following members are not eligible to receive one:
- Partially Paid Members: Members who have not fully paid their membership fee are deemed inactive and will need to pay in full to begin receiving dividends and other member benefits.
- Resigned Members: Any member who resigns their membership before the dividend is declared is not eligible for a dividend.
- Inactive Members: If a membership has not been used in 12 months, the member is deemed inactive and they are not eligible for the dividend.
Q: What happens to the dividend if a member passes away?
A: If a member passes away after a dividend is declared, PCC will automatically change the legal name on the account to “The Estate of [the member’s name]” and any dividends on the account will be sent by a check to the estate. If a member dies before a dividend is declared, no payout will go to the estate.
FOR DIVIDENDS ISSUED
Q: Why is there no 2022 dividend?
A: In keeping with the co-op’s bylaws, any potential patronage dividend paid to members must come from net income generated by sales to members. The Board of Trustees then determines if a dividend can be issued for each year based on the co-op’s financial results and the needs of the business.
2022 was another fiscally challenging year for the co-op. We began the year with the reality of an unpredictable economic environment, an expectation of improving sales, and a return to post-pandemic shopping behavior. We built a financial budget that honored our triple bottom line across people, planet and profit, and simultaneously planned for headwinds — only some of which we could anticipate. We ended the year with an operating loss of nearly $250,000, and well short of our expectations on both sales and expenses.
The co-op’s operating expenses exceeded our revenue. Inflation curtailed grocery budgets. Some of those top expenses included opening Downtown and Kirkland PCC, and ongoing city ordinances governing hazard pay for grocery workers in Seattle, Edmonds and Burien. We know these ordinances were essential during the pandemic, yet it was not possible for the co-op to absorb the expenses associated with them and remain profitable.
The possibility to earn a potential dividend is just one benefit of PCC’s lifetime membership — a one-time $60 investment. In addition, the co-op provided members with exclusive events, discounts at partner businesses, and free and discounted products in 2022 totaling over $250 in value for each member.
Q: Why did PCC open two new stores in 2022 rather than invest that money in staff or members?
A: The opening of Downtown PCC and relocation of Kirkland PCC were planned and started well before the pandemic and related impacts. However, following our concerted (and successful) efforts to delay Downtown PCC by over a year due to the pandemic, we opened in January 2022. Despite excellent store conditions and a wonderfully dedicated team, that location is significantly underperforming our original goals, set when we signed the lease in 2018. Seattle’s downtown is far from recovered, and while we are appreciative of the City’s ongoing efforts, we are cautious about any significant near-term improvements.
Store openings not only support local businesses, including farms and entrepreneurs, but provide new job opportunities for the community and career progression for existing staff.
Q: Didn’t PCC earn millions of dollars during the pandemic?
A: No. It is confusing to see that the co-op posted $422 million in revenue in 2022, growing 6% year over year. However, the co-op’s operating expenses grew 9%, meaning costs increased faster than revenue.
Q: I see in Part One of the 2022 Co-op Purposes Report that PCC gave money to the community in the form of grants and sponsorships. Why wasn’t that money used for the dividend?
A: Doing good in our communities by serving our neighbors is at the heart of our mission and values. We know that our members share our commitment to investing in the health of our communities. The work outlined in the 2022 Co-op Purposes Report reflects our collective leadership during unprecedented times and is funded and planned for in advance of each year in the co-op’s operating budget.
In addition, the amount of money that PCC uses for these community grants and sponsorships is a very small fraction of what would be needed to pay a meaningful dividend to the more than 110,000 active PCC member base; and we heard from many members in 2021 (when we distributed a nominal dividend) that they would prefer to see that small sum of money be instead directed towards helping our staff and community efforts.
Q: Will there be a dividend next year?
A: It is too soon to share anything definitive for next year. In addition to our quarterly PCC Meet and Greets for members, PCC’s CEO Krish is committed to sharing regular updates in an effort to keep you informed of relevant co-op news.
Q: What are you doing to provide value to current and future members of the co-op?
A: As a PCC member, you are a part of a community of like-minded people who align with the co-op’s values and vision to inspire and advance the health and well-being of people, our communities and the planet. Being a part of the co-op helps support the local, small to mid-sized farmers and producers whose products are offered in our stores as well as the co-op’s work to participate in and support the communities we serve through grocery rescue, community outreach and ongoing grant work and sponsorship opportunities.
In addition to the potential dividend, all members receive exclusive discounted or free product offers, access to member-only events, discounts for products and services from like-minded business partners across Western Washington, an annual discount for an online cooking class and the opportunity to guide PCC by voting in the annual election for the PCC Board of Trustees.
Throughout 2022, we invested $2.7 million into our membership benefits, including 32 member-exclusive offers in 2022 that saved members on quality, seasonal products such as organic blueberries, bath salts and soap, and product discounts.
This year, we are celebrating 70 years of PCC! The PCC Partner Program offers co-op members exclusive deals and discounts with local businesses that share their values. The program tripled in 2023 with more perks for members than ever! From local arts and culture institutions to fitness studios and wineries, this list of PCC partners is abundant with free items and discounts available across Puget Sound.
Moreover, PCC members can look forward to special offers each week to discover delicious deals. The co-op has planned for about $3 million in special, member-only offers in 2023. Members who opt into these offers have the potential to enjoy more than $250 in annual value — that’s fourfold the one-time fee of $60 to become a member.
October will be devoted to thanking the co-op’s active members with our first-ever Member Month that will center around our shared passions of food and community. The co-op will surprise and delight with member-only specials, prizes, and giveaways as we celebrate the collective impact of PCC members over the past 70 years.
As the world passes the third anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, the co-op is delighted to safely rediscover the joy of time together in shared spaces. 2023 and PCC’s anniversary are the perfect opportunity to invite shoppers and members back into stores for more than just your weekly grocery shop. Join us for events throughout the year that celebrate the seasons, spark conversation about local food systems, and create connections that support our local communities.
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