- Seattle-based PCC Community Markets has given its co-op members more than 60% of its profits and distributed its first-ever member dividend, the grocer announced on Monday.
- The dividend, which totaled $3.9 million and averaged $46.93 per member, was distributed to nearly 90,000 members in the form of store credit.
- The dividend stemmed from PCC revamping its member benefit program, which took effect in January 2020.
The annual dividend is one of many new perks that PCC offers as part of its refreshed benefit program for its growing membership community. Members can also partake in exclusive events, receive coupons and get 50% off one cooking class per year.
PCC's membership grew 35% last year, with more people joining in 2020 than in the past decade, per the grocer’s website. By the end of the year, PCC totaled 89,141 members, including more than 1,600 staff. Becoming a member requires a one-time fee of $60.
Previously, the member benefit program offered 10% off one grocery trip per month and 5% off on the 15th and 16th of each month. But the co-op decided to switch all existing and new members to the dividend after feedback and data showed the discount opportunities weren’t being used enough.
The dividend came from the co-op’s profit from member sales. Each fiscal year, the grocer’s board of trustees will decide if a dividend gets issued based on the company’s financials and business needs. The dividend percentage gets calculated by dividing total member profit by total member sales. The percentage for the just-announced dividend was 1.7%
PCC’s grocery sales in 2020 hit $383.2 million, driven by two store openings and pandemic-fueled shopping, and its net income surpassed $2.7 million. Both metrics are up just over 26% from 2019, according to the press release. The grocer also spent $4 million on pandemic-related expenses, including safety equipment and elevated pay for workers.
The same day PCC announced its dividend distribution, the co-op also published its annual Purposes Report, which highlights the company’s community and sustainability efforts. In December, PCC, which is the nation's largest cooperative grocer and now operates 15 stores in the Puget Sound region, named Kroger veteran Suzanne Monford as its president and CEO.