Canadian Red River Co-op Mails Cheques

Members Will Get About $28M in Cash Repayments

Canada Post is delivering cheques to about 250,000 Red River Co-op members in the Winnipeg area this week.

A total of $28 million in cash repayments are being sent out, a little less than the $30 million total members received last year. Members’ allocation is 7.25 per cent on fuel purchases (an average of 6.56 cents per litre based on an average retail pump price of 90.5 cents per litre in 2016), five per cent on pharmacy purchases and two per cent on food purchases.

The total returns were down a little this year because of a decline in rebates that Red River Co-op itself received from its supplier, Federated Co-ops.

While some have said the reduction is because of Red River Co-op’s entry into the grocery market in 2014, general manager Doug Wiebe said that is not the case.

He said it is because of financial challenges at Federated’s Regina oil refinery operation, which has had to deal with fluctuating commodity prices as well as a fire a couple of years ago.

A new repayment method will be utilized for the 2017 cheque distribution. Members will get a minimum of 75 per cent of their current year’s allocation in cash, in addition to 10 per cent of their earned equity. (In the past they received 40 per cent of their equity.)

Wiebe said, "this new method will see new members qualify for a repayment quicker... and will provide a greater reward to those members supporting the retail."

In the past five years, Red River Co-op has returned more than $203 million in cash to its members.

In 2016, the Co-op opened a new standalone pharmacy on Main Street and a new cardlock on Dugald Road.

A new gas bar is scheduled to be built this year on Ness Avenue. Major renovations are planned for the Southdale and Grant Park food stores and the redevelopment of the Rossmere gas bar will start this summer.

Red River Co-op has 34 gas bars, five cardlocks, three food stores and a standalone pharmacy in Winnipeg, Selkirk, Stonewall, Teulon, Gimli, Ste. Agathe, Niverville, Oakbank, Headingley, Kenora and Dryden.

[email protected] Winnipeg Free Press

photo: Boris Minkevich – Winnipeg Free Press Files

Regional Co-op general manager Doug Wiebe says oil refinery issues have impacted payouts to members.

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