"The mere mention of worker collectives managing food co-ops sends most modern cooperators into a rehash of the collapse of many “new wave” food co-ops of the 1970s. That wave was motivated by a revolutionary zeal to challenge the capitalist system, translating into hundreds of experiments in worker-managed buying clubs and storefront co-ops."
"When the new wave co-ops landed on the shores of economic reality, one common response was a return to the tried-and-true co-op model of member-owners and hierarchical management systems. However, a small and determined band of cooperators in Portland, Ore., disagreed with prevailing wisdom, and set out to develop a worker-managed and consumer-owned co-op model.
People’s Food Co-op, founded in 1970, went through many management system changes, from the general manager model to various iterations of worker collectives. We have had many near-death experiences due to mismanagement, ideological differences, and lack of funds. One defining moment for People’s came in 1991, when the store was struggling and the collective voted to close the doors. The board of directors fired the collective and hired a general manager and staff. Together, they developed tactics to improve People’s sales and management. The staff began working to return People’s to collective management, an approach that the board of directors finalized in 1993."
Figures from 2008: