Wholesale Sports Canada is closing its location in Grande Prairie and all others in western Canada. In total, a dozen hunting, fishing and camping supply stores across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba shuttered Thursday.
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. The stores brought in $103 million in 2016, which was down nine per cent from $113 million the year before.
“There were numerous external factors that led to this decision including an increasingly competitive environment, the continued shift to on-line purchases and an overall slowing of consumer discretionary spending as a whole, including the outdoor industry,” she explains in a release. “The orderly wind down of Wholesale Sports will allow UFA to focus on its core business of agriculture and petroleum.”
The retail stores will reopen Friday, September 15th for inventory liquidation sales. They will continue until December 28th, or until all merchandise and store fixtures are gone. Wholesale’s website has already been taken down, but any current online orders will be filled and gift cards honoured.
Unless they find another opportunity with UFA, almost all 545 employees will be out of a job by the end of the year.