The Gallup Co-op

General Manager’s Column

It can be easy for those who live in Albuquerque and Santa Fe to not give much thought to our Gallup store. I dedicated myself several years ago to Gallup and committed to visit our location there twice a month. This allowed me to get to know the Gallup area, the people and all that is Gallup. Our store has struggled for years, never losing much money but never making much money either. Our quaint little downtown location served the community by providing our cooperative values and products in an area that needed them. Our Operations Manager, Bob Tero, and I tried every combination of retail magic we knew to assist this store. Slowly sales begin to rise; our losses slowly decreased. When I came to serve at La Montanita in 2008, the best sales week this small, 1,000 square foot store had enjoyed was just over $7,000. The sales week that ended February 9, 2014, our weekly sales was $19,242, a dramatic difference. The Gallup store also made a nice profit of $30,715 the fiscal year that ended August 31, 2013.

What happened in Gallup is no secret of retail operations.  Bob and I did put some structural and operational efficiencies into place, but our success in Gallup is due to the great staff that decided to make this small store the best it could be by serving the needs of our members/customers, providing service, and becoming a part of the community.

I officially want to thank Michael Smith, our Store Team Leader, and our staff of Sydney Null, Loreal Wilson, Myles Lacayo and John Philpott. The efforts of this staff have transformed our Gallup location into a thriving downtown store front. What a fantastic success story; once again the co-op model has proven itself the preferred business model.

My thanks to each and every one of you that supports La Montanita. Your co-op staff works hard every day to serve you, our member owners. Please let me know if I can ever be of service to you; my e-mail is terryb@lamontanita.coop or my number is 505-217-2020.