by Rita York Hennecke, General Manager
Preparation for our KCK store at 5th & Minnesota is underway, and if all goes as planned, we aim to open in 2020. Though we are tweaking designs here and there, we know that the store layout will be an urban format with the building right against the sidewalk. We are planning for a lot of windows so that pedestrians can see into the store, indoor/outdoor dining, a community classroom, and – of course – fresh foods, deli offerings and groceries.
Our success lies in our ability to meet the various economic needs of our shoppers and potential owners. Initial sales are forecast at about 25% of our current store – around $3 million. What we have learned from the community, our own shopper surveys and from our co-op peers is that offering a hybrid blend of natural and conventional products is both wanted and needed. We will continue to accept EBT and we were recently approved to become a WIC vendor.
Community engagement is just as important, if not more so, than planning the brick and mortar building and the product mix. For that reason, we are conducting listening sessions, attending neighborhood association meetings and planning a focus group to help us identify what will best meet the needs of the diverse population of KCK.
Expanding into KCK requires us to become a more culturally competent organization and we are glad for the opportunity. We have created an Equity Strategic Action Plan with the help of Culture Brokers, LLC, and formed specific goals to increase equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). The first goal is to form an EDI committee to help identify and make meaningful, sustainable improvements in our work and our structure.
For the latest news on KCK, stay tuned to themerc.coop/expansion. Questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.