Economy

Sports store closing its doors

Sports store closing its doors”

The operation owned by Calgary-based UFA Co-operative Ltd. closed stores on Thursday afternoon to tell the 545 staff their jobs were ending.

Official sales will begin at each of the 12 retail locations, starting at their regular store hours, on Friday, September 15, and will continue until December 28, 2017. Wholesale's website has already been taken down, but any current online orders will be filled and gift cards honoured.

Wholesale Sports is a subsidiary of UFA, and president and CEO Carol Kitchen says the decision was made "in the best interest" of the co-op.

"We are a 109-year-old organization that has its roots in rural Alberta and that's where our focus will be in the future".

The company has been operating five retail stores in B.C., five in Alberta, one in Saskatchewan and one in Manitoba.

"This was an all-inclusive business decision that, while hard, was made in the best interest of UFA on behalf of our members", said Carol Kitchen, UFA President and Chief Executive Officer. The stores brought in $103 million in 2016, which was down nine per cent from $113 million the year before. UFA's network comprises more than 110 bulk fuel and Cardlock Petroleum locations, 35 Farm & Ranch Supply stores and a support office located in Calgary, AB.

An outdoors sports store on Victoria Street is closing its doors at the end of the year. Both U.S. companies operate stores in Canada.

Kitchen said the growth in online purchasing has also hurt sales at Wholesale Sports' brick-and-mortar outlets.



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