Big Lots, Liquidation World to close Canadian retail operations including stores in Orillia, Barrie
Published Monday, December 9, 2013 2:32PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 9, 2013 6:54PM EST
A US-based retail store is giving up on the Canadian marketplace to focus on its stores south of the border.
Big Lots is closing its stores across Canada, including one it just opened in Orillia.
“It's quite sad,” says one Orillia resident. “I'm very disappointed, because these are the kinds of stores that are becoming very popular. People don't want to pay the big dollar anymore.”
Known for good deals and discounts, Big Lots was busy Dec. 9, but customers were also talking about what the closure could mean in the community.
“It's going to have a significant impact on jobs, unfortunately,” says one shopper. “It's not a good time of year to find out you're losing your job.”
Big Lots also owns Liquidation World, another popular store in Canada. They're closing across the country too, which means about 1,600 people are going to be without work in the new year.
Orillia Mayor Angelo Orsi says the closure of this store will impact the unemployment rate in the city, which is sitting at about 7.5 per cent right now.
“Given the fact that it's 30 to 40 jobs, of course it will have an effect,” he says. “Just as we know that new opportunities arise and stores that are empty become filled again.”
The reasons behind the closures in Canada, according to Big Lots, are money and competition.
According to Big Lots investor relations department, the company lost $13.5 million last year in Canadian stores. And they say the 'competitive environment in Canada' has changed.
Target recently moved in, and Walmart stores are getting bigger.
In Barrie, Liquidation World won't be open for long either, which is sad news for shoppers who go there often, and for the people who work there.
The plan is for all 78 stores to start winding down their operations now and every one of them will be closed by April 2014.