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The Wedge Coop, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers suggestions to its members about how to deal with food prices…and the way in which it does so offers a good template on how to create a sense of community with one’s shoppers.

The piece, carried on the coop’s website, by Elizabeth Archerd, member services manager, includes the following points:

• “What can we do? Food prices will not drop to previous levels anytime soon, but we can work together to keep increases to a minimum. Managers and buyers negotiate good deals with vendors and keep expenses in line. There are a few ways member-owners can reduce costs for the co-op. This is our business, so its expenses are your expenses.”

• “Bring your own shopping bags. If you use paper grocery bags for recycling, consider taking cardboard boxes from the front of the store instead. There are recycling stickers for the boxes at Customer Service.”

• “Consider how you pay for groceries. Feel free to use credit union credit or debit cards. Be aware that rewards cards from commercial banks are the most expensive form of tender.”

• “Shop our sales, use your coupons and register discounts. And please, let your friends who shop here know that joining the co-op can save them money! We will get through this together.”
KC's View:
Not everybody can do this, of course, but I think this is a good example of the kind of approach that more retailers should take. Telling shoppers that “we’re all in this together” – and doing it with some credibility – is a smart approach.