Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fields Rupert Square Store to close doors later this month

Another setback for the city's commercial scene as another of the nations chain stores prepares to bid farewell to the community, with Fields now in the process of advertising their Store Closing Sales with an eye to wrapping up business before October arrives.

The store located in the lower level of the Rupert Square took out an ad in the weekly newspaper this week, advising of a total liquidation with early savings of up to 30 percent as they begin the process of selling off their current stock.

The closure will mean the elimination of a small number of full time and part time jobs for the the retail sector in the community.

The plans to shut down the local operations of Fields mark the latest unsuccessful attempt for the company to find their place in the Prince Rupert market. The chain has had a presence in the community a few times in the past, but as economic conditions worsened in the city, management at those times found that they could not make their business plan work.

This latest version of the Fields brand announced it's plans to return to the city in the Spring of 2013, the rebranded chain came out of the downsizing efforts of the Hudson's Bay Company which previously had been the chain's owner.

The company which featured new ownership since 2012,  opened its doors at the Rupert Square in July of 2013, with the closure of this fall that three and half year run will come to an end.

Corporate officials didn't waste anytime in adjusting the national map of their store locations, with only the Kitimat and Houston locations now listed as part of the Fields chain in Northwestern British Columbia.

The pending closure of the Fields Store in Prince Rupert
 leaves only two locations (Kitimat and Houston)
left for the company in NW BC

The decision to leave Prince Rupert makes for interesting timing for the chain, wrapping up operations heading into what is normally a busy Christmas shopping season.  The move will also make for yet another empty space in the Rupert Square which already features a significant number of storefront vacancies.

The commercial sector overall in the city seems to be consolidating into mainly smaller locally owned and operated ventures, providing for shopping options directed towards niche areas. Though even those are not immune from the pressures of the commercial climate, with a number of long time establishments recently closing their doors or putting their operations up for sale.

Heading into the fall of 2016,  the days of anticipation of even a few years ago for such things as a highway shopping village, or the arrival of well known large national chains to make their entry into the community still seem as far down the road as they have ever been.

You can review more of the city's commercial scene from our archive page here.

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