Where has 2021 gone?

Dec 10, 2021
Here we are preparing to ring in 2022, and it seems like 2021 was just a blur. We all hoped that things would be back to normal in 2021, but as you know, they are not. Labor shortages, Inventory, and parts shortages, and ever-changing government involvement in our daily lives have made 2021 a year to remember (or want to forget!). Despite the challenges, it was undoubtedly another busy, exciting, and successful year for United Cooperative. Many of the products we sell have become very difficult to find, and as a result, prices have skyrocketed. Pricing can often change multiple times during a 10-minute phone call with a supplier. These price increases combined with solid volume growth will push sales for 2021 over the $1.0 Billion mark for the 1st time ever. Yes, that is Billion with a “B”! While it will be a while before we know how the profitability side fared, through 11 months, we are confident that 2021 will be another successful year for your cooperative.
Strong earnings are essential for a variety of reasons. Most of our members value the ability for United Cooperative to continue paying out cash to our members in the form of patronage refunds, equity revolvement, age 77 redemptions, and estate payout. Another is the need to attract, retain, and invest in our employees. Without enough staff to operate the business, all the facilities and equipment become useless. We have all seen companies in 2021 with signs on their doors explaining that due to labor shortages, they have cut back hours or closed altogether. Lastly is the need to continue to invest in our facilities and equipment so we can continue to meet the ever-growing demands of our members and our market, comply with new regulations, and capture the efficiencies needed to compete in today’s marketplace successfully. 
As we close the books in 2021 and look ahead to a new year, I would like to take a moment to thank all of our customers for choosing United Cooperative. I would also ask you to join me in thanking our employee group for the work they do every day to bring you the variety of products and services United Cooperative offers. While we all have heard stories of the millions of workers who have sat on the sidelines since the pandemic started, your dedicated group of employees has continued to work hard every day to make sure you can “Rely On Us.”  Have a Merry Christmas, and a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year in 2021

Karl Beth

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


David Cramer

Filed Under: Corporate News