Frequently Asked Questions about Co-op
October 5, 2018

Have questions about Co-op? We have answers!


  1. What is Co-op?
    The CO-OP® brand is used by a network of retail co-operative associations across Western Canada that own and operate Co-op Agro Centres, Food Stores, Gas Bars/Convenience Stores, Home Centres, Liquor Stores, Pharmacies and more.
  2. Who owns and operates Co-op?
    Cornerstone Co-op is owned by its members, who democratically elect a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors works with management to operate the business.
  3. Why is every Co-op store different?
    Co-ops differ from community to community because they serve the unique needs of their local members.
  4. How is Co-op different from other businesses?
    A co-operative is a different way of doing business. It’s about people coming together in their communities for a common purpose. It provides the products and services that meet their needs.
  5. What is a co-operative?
    The International Co-operative Alliance defines a co-operative as an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.



  1. Do I need to be a member to shop at Co-op?
    Customers do not need a membership to shop at Co-op locations.
  2. Who can become a member?
    While requirements may vary, membership is generally open to any individual over 16 years of age and businesses.
  3. How do I become a member?
    It’s easy to become a member. Complete a Membership Application here! 
  4. What is a Co-op number?
    You will receive a Co-op number to use when making purchases at your local Co-op’s locations. This number tracks purchases and is used to determine potential cash back or equity.
  5. Can I use my Co-op number at all locations?
    A Cornerstone Co-op number represents your membership and can only be used at locations operated by Cornerstone Co-op. Because each Co-op is a unique business that is locally owned and operated, run by a local board of directors, your Co-op number cannot be used across Western Canada. However, you can purchase shares in as many co-op associations as you wish.  Cornerstone Co-op locations incude St. Paul, Elk Point, Dewberry, Vermilion, Mannville, Wainwright & Provost (Cardlock only).
  6. What is cash back and equity?
    Cornerstone Co-op share any profits realized in a year with their members. The Board of Directors approves an amount, which is returned to members as a percentage of their yearly purchases. Members receive some of this in cash and the rest is deposited into an equity savings account that grows over time.
  7. When do I receive cash back and equity?
    If cash back and equity is approved by your local co-op’s board of directors, they are distributed once all accounting of the Co-op’s finances have been completed after its fiscal year end, usually April or May.
  8. Why do you require my Social Insurance Number?
    Your Social Insurance Number is required under the Income Tax Act for tax reporting purposes. Similar to some financial investments, cashback or equity distributed to Co-op members is considered taxable income. Cornerstone Co-op issues a T4A form in advance of filing deadlines. 
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