Updates to member benefits
This article was originally published in January 2019
In the October issue of Sound Consumer, we shared that PCC formed a joint board/management task force to evaluate our member benefit and consider whether changes should be made to best meet the needs of PCC and its members.
As part of this effort, in October, we asked members to identify at the register to give us a better sense of what percentage of PCC’s transactions and sales are member-generated. Separate from this, we conducted an online survey of members and of prospective members to learn more about what types of benefits are preferred.
Both efforts offered valuable insight. We learned that members account for nearly half of our sales and shopped PCC more than any other store in the 30 days prior to the online survey. Through the survey, we also learned that our members choose PCC above any other retailer across nearly every department from bakery to produce, dairy to deli, meat and seafood to health and body care.
Specific to membership, during National Co-op Month in October, many members shared that the simple act of being asked if you’re a member created a stronger sense of community in our stores. Through conversations at the checkout, by phone and in email, members said that they are proud to be a part of PCC, and they feel a sense of belonging and pride in supporting what PCC stands for.
The online survey results gave us added insight into why members join PCC, and we were proud to learn that our food advocacy is a major part of the decision for many. This includes the work we do around social and environmental responsibility, including building greener stores, protecting organic standards, and our decision to stop selling chinook salmon from Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.
Just as importantly, we learned that, while there is a high level of awareness for all the current member benefits, not all these benefits were perceived as having value to members. Most members told us that things such as discounts on PCC Cooks classes, the ability to vote in the annual election, and the 5 percent discount on the 15th and 16th are not important factors in their decision to shop at PCC.
During the next phase of the project, we will conduct focus groups to continue to explore what types of benefits and incentives will make PCC membership more meaningful to more of our members. Through this work, we will examine what we change and what we carry forward into a new member benefit program. Please look to the Sound Consumer for updates as the project progresses.