Site Selection FAQ


Where are you looking?

We are looking at locations in both Crystal Lake and Woodstock. The map below shows the target area that was defined in the USDA grant funded market study conducted in late 2014 by CDS consultants, who are experts in the field of cooperative and natural foods grocery stores. 

FSC_Target_Location.jpg
Click Image to enlarge map

What information will the location decision be based off?

  1. Market Study Data: The Food Shed Co-op was awarded a USDA grant which we used to fund a market study in late 2014. CDS consultants, experts in the field of cooperative and natural foods grocery stores, conducted a thorough study to pinpoint the ideal location, estimate sales volume, and recommended square footage for the store based on the demographic characteristics of the area and the existing competitive environment. 
  2. Financial Pro Forma: The financial impact of the location decision will effect the cooperative's finances for many years, therefor finances weigh heavily in the selection criteria. All of the factors examined in the market study inform the financial feasibility of our cooperative. Financial modeling will be further influenced by market dynamics, local government incentives, landlord concessions, grants and many other expenses. As a part of the USDA grant, the CDS consultants also prepared a financial pro forma. We will use the pro forma to gauge the degree of opportunity for financial success in potential locations.
  3. Owner Input: We will also conduct a series of surveys (owners, watch your inboxes!) to collect information about what store location characteristics will best serve our owners. 

What is the process for selecting a location?

We will begin by conducting a very thorough canvass of possible sites in the community. Data on possible sites is collected, then potential properties are vetted to determine if they meet our basic criteria (as defined by the market study). 
If a site meets the preliminary specifications, the next step will be to determine sales potential for the site. Typically, a second professional market study will be conducted to estimate sales volume based on the demographic characteristics of the area and the existing competitive environment. 
After the sales volume has been estimated a comprehensive financial analysis will be conducted, using the financial pro forma to compare estimated sales revenues with total project costs, including renovation, occupancy costs, and operational expenses. 
In the final step  the owner-elected Board of Directors will weigh all the data to make a final location decision on behalf of the owners we serve.

 


Why is confidentiality important?

Here are two reasons from the experts at Food Co-op Initiative*:
  1. Building owners have been known to suddenly increase the prices after they find out that the co-op is interested in their site.
  2. A competitor, once they know that the site is suitable for a natural foods store, may beat us to the punch and open a store in our desired location before we can.

*Food Co-op Initiative is a 501(c)3 non-profit, whose mission it is to enable a faster and more efficient start-up process for new retail grocery co-ops.