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Food co-ops have struggled during the pandemic

Minneapolis Star Tribune 06/21/2020

Sales at conventional food stores increased by about 12 percent in April and May.  At food co-ops, however, sales fell 5.7 percent in April and 1.4 percent in May, according to Census.gov. Experts point to a combination of factors including strictly limiting the number of customers in stores as working against co-ops. “Some of the safety steps that co-ops took worked to their disadvantage,” said C.E. Pugh, chief executive at National Co-op Grocers, an advisory group for 147 co-ops. “We had early adoption of shopper metering [limiting the number of people in the store]. People leave when they see a line outside the door.”

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