FORT NELSON, B.C. — An institution in Fort Nelson is going to be closing its doors before the end of the year.
The North West Company announced on Wednesday that the Northern Store in Fort Nelson will be open for business until October 30th. The North West Company has operated in Fort Nelson in some way, shape, or form for 152 years, since 1865.
North West Company spokesman Derek Reimer said that, “the operation is no longer sustainable as a result of ongoing financial losses.” Reimer explained that the store had been suffering losses for a number of years, and the Company had taken a long look at its operations in the community before making the difficult decision. He added that the Company does not have plans to reopen in Fort Nelson at the present time.
Fort Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bev Vandersteen said that the closure of the Northern Store marks a sad day in the community. Vandersteen said that since the Northern Store is a general merchandise store, its closure means that a large number of daily needs in the community will need to be picked up at other stores.
Vandersteen said that Fort Nelson will survive the store’s closure, but she added that the shuttering of the Northern Store sends home a powerful message.
“As communities, we really need to stand up and support our local businesses, because when we don’t, they can’t survive. We have to take that back, we do have that power.”
Vandersteen said that she’s unsure of the company’s plans for the building itself, which it owns.