What is a Co-Op?

Fredericton Co-Op is a consumer/retail co-op. That means it provides its members with a variety of products and services that its members want to buy.

There are many other kinds of co-ops, including Worker Co-Ops(which provide the workers who own the co-op with employment);Housing Co-Ops(which provide the owners with affordable housing); Service Co-Ops (which provide such services as day care for children, health services etc) and Financial Co-Ops(such as credit unions and insurance companies ..as in “The Co-Operators”)


Some co-ops are conventional in style, which means anyone can use/buy its products or services and the owners receive dividends. These dividends are usually determined by the individual enterprises depending on how successful they are each year. Fredericton Co-Op is a “direct charge” co-op, whereby owners of the store (and not the public at large) use/buy its services/products. Members pay a “service fee” which help with the operating costs of the store (such as heat, wages, maintenance etc.)

There are co-ops all around the world. All of these co-ops operate using Principles that were initiated over 150 years ago. In Rochdale England in 1844 the first successful retail co-op was begun. A group of 28 flannel weavers, calling themselves the Society of Equitable Pioneers, were the owner of the store on Toad Lane. They adopted a firm set of working principles that still exist today with very few changes. (Click here to see “Principles of Co-Operation” or view the display in the store opposite the service desk.