Seattle-based PCC Community Markets (PCC), the largest community-owned food market in the U.S., on Monday reported 2020 grocery sales totaling $383.2 million, up 26.1% from the prior year, with net income — including one-time impacts from historical tax refunds — of $2.7 million, up 26.4% from the previous year.
PCC also said it gave back more than 60% of its profit to its community, including its first-ever member dividend totaling $3.9 million.
In addition to providing its community with more than $700,000 in financial and in-kind support, these results include the impact of the co-op investing more than $4 million during the year in unanticipated COVID-related costs and safety measures across its 15 locations, and in staff appreciation pay.
The co-op’s sales growth was driven by the opening of two new stores in Bellevue and Seattle’s Central District, as well as increased pandemic-related spending driven primarily by its members. In January 2020, PCC introduced a new member benefit program with the opportunity for members, inclusive of staff, to receive an annual dividend.
The PCC dividend is a sum of money paid to active co-op members out of the profit the co-op makes specifically from member sales. 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 needs of the business. In 2020, members accounted for a little more than 60% of total sales and as a result of this new program, and the Board’s approval, the average 2020 member dividend paid was $46.93.
“PCC was born from a group of 15 families in Seattle and almost 70 years later we are still owned by our community of families across the Puget Sound area, including our amazing staff,” said PCC CEO and president Suzy Monford (left). “When the co-op does well financially, our members benefit, and this year’s dividend is a testament to this. But equally important is that we balance our economic success with our social and environmental impact. Our community giving allows us to achieve our social bottom line, and our ongoing focus on delivering products of the highest standards and building green stores heightens our environmental responsibility.”
The updated member program was designed to engage more members and provide a more equitable experience for all who opt-in. In addition to the opportunity for the dividend, members gain access to exclusive deals, events and partner offers from a selection of local, like-minded businesses. Last year, members received more than 30 unique offers with a total of almost $300 in savings on a range of quality products including olive oil, wild-caught Alaska salmon and PCC Organic Grass-Fed Yogurt. The program drew more members in the past year than in the decade prior, with the co-op seeing a 35% increase in membership. The co-op currently has an active membership of nearly 90,000 households including more than 1,600 PCC associates.
Founded in Seattle in 1953, PCC is a certified organic retailer and the nation’s largest community-owned food market chain, operating 15 stores in the Puget Sound area, including the cities of Bellevue, Bothell, Burien, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond and Seattle. The co-op also plans to open new stores in downtown Seattle and Madison Valley and relocate its Kirkland location.