Forgotten Members & Lost Loyalty

Michelle Sequeira Yee

Holding on to customer loyalty will be a steep hill to climb as the sale of MEC will see it become a privatized company. This is a critical change to the type of business MEC had promised its customers who essentially are their owners – taking away their democratic decisioning power and putting its core promise of a socially conscious retailer at risk.

Torontoflagship | MEC

Members of the Co-op didn’t just join this retailer for their quality products and reasonable pricing. Members prided themselves on being part of a different kind of business, one that was designed around values, not profit. This is what the member base connected to, and together they created a community of more than 5 million people who were committed to be part of something bigger – part of a retailer whose offering was more than products, it was passion.

With the sale to an American investment firm, this member-owned grassroots unconventional retail model will become the type of business – a standard retail practice – that Mountain Equipment Co-op was actually founded to provide an alternative to.

What could this new MEC do to retain its loyal Member base? Live up to the aspiration of what they created, one that retains its commitment towards its Members, to Canadian environmental, social, and economic sustainability, and most importantly keep alive their founding words “leave the world better than we found it”.  It will be up to Kingswood Capital Management to live up to that mission and show value – and loyalty – to the 5mm MEC members.