The Terang Co-operative Society has defied the downturn of the pandemic and set a new record turnover of $31 million and posted a $1 million profit.
In the annual report released on Friday, chief executive officer Kevin Ford said the turnover of $31.3m was $6 million or 28 per cent higher than the previous financial year.
"Achieving a total turnover exceeding $31 million would have been a dream not so long ago," Mr Ford said.
The before tax $1.05m profit for the financial year ending on February 28 more than doubles the previous record of $440,101 set in 2013.
Mr Ford said the amazing result was boosted by COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 and reinforced by changes in business practices.
The Co-op reinvested more than $1.2 million worth of capital back into the business and will look to continue growth into the future.
The Co-op's investments over the year included $850,000 redevelopment of the IGA supermarket, upgrades and rebranding of Mitre 10 and The Rural Store, new capital equipment in 360 Dairy Solutions and replacing the Co-op's fleet of vehicles.
Mr Ford said the COVID-19 lockdowns had "taught us the size of the potential market".
"It meant people were forced to shop locally which particularly drove the March to June quarter results, but from then the changes and improvements we made gave customers reasons to continue shopping with us," he said.
Mr Ford said the Co-op was placing more emphasis of encouraging locals to shop locally and stop the substantial retail leakage out of Terang.
"The Co-op's commitment to a quality customer service ethos, competitive pricing, and an increased range of quality products will deliver to our members' needs, encouraging more in our community to shop in our town."
"It is extremely important for a small town, such as Terang, to have a great supermarket, a great trade and retail home improvement store and community Co-op."
Mr Ford said the Co-op struggled to keep some essential stocks on the shelves as panic buying set in during the initial lockdowns while online deliveries hit new highs.
There was a huge 38 per cent jump in hardware and timber revenue, a 49 per cent increase in the rural division, and 16 per cent in the supermarket, which remains the biggest part of the business.
The Co-op now has assets totalling more than $12 million and has reduced debt by $610,000 over the past year.
Mr Ford and chairman Geoff Barby said the Co-op remained committed to supporting the local economy through providing employment opportunities, supporting local community groups, suppliers, customers and members.
The co-op employs more than 120 staff and has more than 3000 members.
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