October 25, 2016
Dear GrassRoots Co-op Owner,
This is a letter that we hoped we would never have to write. On Monday evening, October 24, 2016, the GrassRoots Co-op Board of Directors voted unanimously to close our retail operations and begin work to liquidate our cooperative.
This decision was reached after months and years of tenuous financial conditions brought on by increasing competition in the region, slowing sales trends and a tightening cash position. Over the past few days the cash crisis reached a critical level. Despite our best efforts to improve the trends, cash flow can no longer sustain our operations. When assessing our long term viability through financial modeling, based upon existing trends, it is clear that we do not have a path forward. The board and general manager are working now with our primary lender and legal counsel to finalize an exit plan. Our primary goal is to ensure that staff are made whole and that our closing is carried out in the most responsible and ethical manner possible.
Regular store operations ended at 6pm on Tuesday, October 25, 2016. The store will be closed on Wednesday, October 26th. The store will re-open from 10am to 5pm on Thursday, October 27th for the first of two days of an inventory liquidation sale. The sale will resume from noon to 7pm on Friday October 28th.
We are working with legal counsel to assist us in this process. We are assessing the need for bankruptcy protection. There are still many unanswered questions, but we are committed to being as transparent as possible as we move through this difficult time. Here are what we anticipate will be next steps in the process:
- Inventory liquidation
- Vendor and creditor notifications
- Equipment liquidation
- Facility close out
- Distribution of remaining proceeds to creditors
- Dissolution of the cooperative
We are grateful for the support that our GM and staff, our owners and the community have shown our cooperative over its history. We will share additional information with our members as it becomes available over the next several days via email and at our website. If you should have immediate questions you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GrassRoots Cooperative Board of Directors
Tony Baguss – President Tanja Nelson
Paul Burtness – Treasurer Trent Lewis
Jennifer Byers Zachary Brand