While many might be familiar with their local food co-op or some might have even lived in a shared co-op space, the concept of large-scale cooperatives is not as well known. So, let us help break down what a co-op really is and why at CCA everyone benefits from this collective business model.
CCA Global Partners is not run like any other multi-billion-dollar company, as its business structure is based on a cooperative model. While many might be familiar with their local food co-op or some might have even lived in a shared co-op space, the concept of large-scale cooperatives is not as well known.
So, let us help break down what a co-op really is and why at CCA everyone benefits from this collective business model.
What is a Co-op?
At its most basic definition, a cooperative is a business which is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits. Breaking down the word cooperative, at its core it is a group of people working towards a common goal.
Today co-ops operate around the world and come in many forms from shared living spaces to locally sourced grocery stores to outdoor retailers (think REI). Cooperatives actually represent a significant portion of the world economy –employing 12.6 million people globally and operating with $20 trillion in cooperative assets, according to the global census for the United Nations.
The co-op model emphasizes the idea of “we” as a collective rather than “I” as an individual. Based on the philosophy of mutual help, the cooperative model instills a spirit of independence, cooperation and tolerance. Co-op’s align with humankind’s brightest ideals of democracy, environmental sustainability and increased income equality.
How is CCA a Co-op?
Currently, CCA is one of the largest privately held cooperatives in the Unites States, having begun in 1984 when Howard Brodsky and Alan Greenberg led a group of independent flooring retailers in the industry’s first “Billion Dollar Carpet Sale.” Following this, the business took off due to the ambitious visions of Brodsky and Greenberg to create a unique environment that allowed businesses to remain independent and operate profitably.
The CCA cooperative model makes it possible for small businesses to have the same access as large big-box chains to scale, resources and innovation. Our members have more buying power and benefit from shared branding and marketing done by our in-house digital teams.
For example, our Carpet One division has over 1,000 different locations all operating separately but they have one digital team that controls website and digital content catered to their individual stores. There isn’t exactly corporate overhead, rather shared resources that are accessible to all members.
In the spirit of a cooperative, the fourteen divisions at CCA are dedicated members within their respective communities, giving back through programs such as Carpet One Cares, Design for a Difference, the Green Select Program and the Annual Alan Greenberg Golf Tournament for the Floor Covering Industry Foundation.
Across North America, more than 2,800 retail locations, 20,000 childcare centers and 1 million small businesses benefit from CCA's cooperative leadership through its fourteen different businesses. These businesses represent five distinct categories: flooring and home furnishings, business services, sporting goods, nonprofit and childcare, and management and contracting.
What are the benefits of a co-op model?
The advantages of a cooperative model are endless. First off, a co-op is democratic so each person has one vote no matter how many shares they own. The cooperative is a body on its own so it takes responsibility for its own debts, not relying on employers, directors or shareholders to shoulder the brunt of financial blows.
Since members can have their own needs met without having to defer to anyone else, the overall work environment is more stable and there’s less turnover of unhappy employees. This is especially true at CCA Global Partners which has been selected as one of the Best Companies to Work for in NH for seven years now, based on its positive and engaging work environment. Back in 2018, CCA was indicted into Business NH’s Best Company Hall of Fame.
CCA is owned by its members rather than outside investors which makes it more financially stable. This means our members can pool their money and resources to invest together in new technology and innovation, creating a bigger impact on the overall success of the company.
The co-op model also allows for its employees to be more autonomous. There’s a sense of equality amongst employees regardless of their level in the company. Equality of management is an integral component to our operations at CCA as we believe that everyone should feel valued and respected.