12 Wholesale Sports locations to close in December, including Kamloops

By James Peters
September 14, 2017 - 2:54pm Updated: September 14, 2017 - 6:11pm

KAMLOOPS — A major outdoor outfitting chain with a store in Kamloops is closing its doors.

Wholesale Sports will close on or before December 28 of this year.

The chain has 12 stores throughout Western Canada, including one on Notre Dame Drive in Kamloops.

It is owned by UFA Co-operative based in Calgary.

Doors were closed today while the chain's 545 employees were given the news, but stores will re-open tomorrow to begin liquidation.

UFA President and CEO Carol Kitchen blamed a shift in buying habits for the move.

"That was a tough decision that was made by our board and senior management as we looked at the competitive environment for our stores and the economic climate, particularly the change in the retail space, and we see a transition to more online purchasing in customers' buying habits," said Kitchen. "Quite frankly, we've seen a decline in overall discretionary spending."

"Our online presence was not as robust as some others in this space. For us, it was the right decision. We looked at a variety of alternatives, and this was the best one for us at this time."

Kitchen says, with the December closing date, employees will have some time to look for work.

"We'd just like to thank our customers over the last 10 years with UFA, and before that, with Wholesale in general. We've appreciated their business but this is a business decision we needed to take at this time," she said.

Running for Mayor: Bill McQuarrie