Planning for the Future

This article was originally published in January 2001

The PCC Board of Trustees has voted to close the Ravenna store, effective Saturday, January 13, 2001. The vote affirms management’s recommendation to close Ravenna as part of PCC’s strategic initiative to better serve the needs of its full membership.

In a market survey conducted last summer, many of our members said they wanted bigger, more spacious stores, more extensive product selection and better customer service. Consistent with those findings, management has undertaken several initiatives to meet those needs.

“We’re working to create the most satisfying natural foods shopping experience in the Northwest,” says Chief Operations Officer Tracy Wolpert. “Our members are telling us they want the most comprehensive shopping experience so they can enjoy the ease of shopping at PCC as their primary store. We’re determined to provide that.”

Consistent with that strategy, management proposed and the Board approved the decision to close the Ravenna store. Ravenna had been unable to recoup sales erosion over the past year, in spite of several initiatives to upgrade the store and strong efforts by a sustainable store committee. Closing Ravenna allows the co-op to redirect its dollars and improve our other seven locations.

Chief Financial Officer Randy Lee says, “Ravenna has been a great store and has provided a lot of value to the neighborhood for 25 years. It’s the oldest of our stores. Making the decision to close Ravenna was difficult, but necessary. Closing Ravenna will allow us to better invest in our remaining stores as first-class shopping experiences and to focus on planning for new stores. We’ll also be able to respond more nimbly to attractive real estate opportunities that arise for store expansion.” Lee and Wolpert say the award-winning Greenlake store and our new store in Issaquah reflect the direction that PCC is going.

To honor Ravenna shoppers, the co-op is mailing a card entitling them to a 10 percent discount at PCC’s Greenlake, View Ridge and Fremont stores on any and all purchases through the month of February 2001. These stores and their staffs are excited and ready to provide Ravenna members with all the great products and services associated with PCC.

Ravenna’s staff will move to Greenlake, View Ridge, Fremont or other PCC locations, according to Director of Human Resources Nancy Taylor. The co-op sincerely hopes to facilitate keeping warm friendships alive and growing between Ravenna staff and so many long-standing Ravenna customers at these other stores.

PCC’s long-range plan also will further PCC’s legacy as a leader in the natural and organic business (see cover story in this month’s Sound Consumer, “What’s New in Store”). Nutritional awareness, consumer education and environmental responsibility have and will continue to form PCC’s strategic direction for the future. The board and management say PCC will continue to invest in organic agriculture and natural products to ensure the market has great-tasting, high-quality foods available. PCC’s Farmland Fund and its first purchase, the 100-acre Delta farm on the Olympic Peninsula, for example, help secure sources for the products we sell.

Natural and organic foods are the high-growth area of the food industry. PCC has been a pioneer in bringing these products to market. It was the first community-owned grocer in the region and it’s the largest natural food retail co-op in the nation.

Wolpert believes shoppers will like the new trend in our stores. “We’re expanding our product mix, especially in produce, meat and deli,” he says. “There’ll be a greater emphasis on extending customer service, too, so newcomers to natural foods will feel comfortable right away with the experience they have at PCC.”

If you have specific questions on the Ravenna store announcement, please call Trudy Bialic at 206-547-1222 or email the board at

Also in this issue