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176. More and more “Cooperator” shops opening in the Republic of Buryatia

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Coop Name: CENTRAL UNION of Consumer Societies of the Russian Federation (CENTROSOJUZ OF RUSSIA) N° of Employees: 250000
City: Moscow N° of Members: 4000000
Country: Russia Year of formation: 1896
Website: http://www.rus.coop
About this coop:

Centrosojuz of the Russian Federation unites more than 3 thousand consumer societies and more than 4 million shareholders all over country. The member organizations provide jobs for about 300 thousand people. These consumer societies include production organizations, purchasing centers for agricultural products, domestic services centers, public catering establishments, and shops.

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For small-scale consumer societies competition makes survival difficult. That is why the Union of Consumer Societies of Buryatia (Burcoopsojuz) has consolidated its operations in order to improve the competitiveness of consumer cooperatives. This consolidation was successfully implemented by the consumer society, translated from Russian as “Universal trade base of Burcoopsojuz”. As of today, 100 shops, 7 public catering establishment, 5 bakeries, 5 confectionery productions and one milk production facility work under the common logo “Cooperator” with the slogan “BCU – power in uniting”. Total turnover for 2011 was estimated at 714 millions of rubles, an increase of 11.5 % compared with 2010, including retail turnover – 608.7 million rubles. “How can we achieve a stable increase of turnover,” –asks the chairman of the Council of “Universal trade base of Burcoopsojuz” Vladimir Fomitskiy. “First – we preserved and developed the long-term and profitable links with the domestic producers of goods, who, as they know our financial stability and the practice of the wholesale purchases, sell us the goods with the deferment of payment even for one month. “That’’s why the prices of the goods in our shops are considerably lower than in our commercial counterparts’”. “We also have the practice of active work with the local producers,” says Fomitskiv. “Second we fine-tuned the precise ‘ring’ system of goods delivery, through the establishment of twenty-four-hour corporate connections with the shops and other enterprises.” In today’’s market it’’s impossible to work as before, which is why the society is updating its operations. In 2011 it spent about 9 million rubles for modernization, reconstruction, fixing and purchasing equipment. Today the shops under the brand “Cooperator” are popular. These shops attract consumers not only with the wide range of goods, low prices, high quality of service, but also with the opportunity to use credit to purchase goods, as well as the system of pre-ordering, opportunity of getting the agrofood surplus and even borrowing the goods for the coming month’s pension. The priority to reach greater efficiency is to turn shops into self-service operations. In 2011 5 shops were made self-service operations, taking the total to 19 shops. For example, after the shop in the settlement Barguzin was turned into a self-service operation, it became the most popular for villagers, and its turnover grew to more than 1 million rubles per month. For years the cooperators worked for the benefit of the villagers. People see cooperatives in action and believe in them. Consumer cooperatives are also good partners for the local authorities. It’’s not mere chance that they ask us to open shops in places where other companies have no ability to do it. For example, at the initiation of the Djidinsk District Administration we opened shops in its settlements: Armak, Oyer and Inzagatui, restored the “Univermag” and the Grocery store in the district center. Now there are 17 shops, a café, a bakery, as well as confectionery and milk production operating successfully.

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Taisia Goryunova
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