St. Paul, Minnesota
Interim Management Solutions
Articles from CDS Consulting publications
Articles in Cooperative Grocer
Other works by Luke Schell
His interest in retailing began when he joined the Mississippi Market co-op as a produce staff worker and floor manager in the early 1990s. Later he started as the store team leader at Whole Foods Market in St. Paul, and eventually became the senior category manager of natural and organic product at the independent grocer Lunds & Byerlys. Most recently he was the general manager at Linden Hills Food Co-op in Minneapolis, leading relocation, remodeling and store consolidation efforts.
“What I’ve found is that each retail location has different needs, and there are also a lot of partners and stakeholders.” Luke tailors his approach to each client and uses his expertise in finance, expansion, staffing and personnel management to help them bring about quick and efficient change.
“I’m often brought in to help with difficult decisions or work to restructure the organization. I bring in expertise in operations, labor and finance to prepare the organization for the long term.” He also provides stability during uncertain times, something that eases lender concerns.
Luke likes working with cooperatives and independent businesses because he feels a strong connection to the local economy, farmers and other independents. “People have a strong bond to their local co-op, and people work to collaborate together on common goals. These are places where people matter.”