Thursday, September 14, 2017
(Calgary, Alberta — September 14, 2017) Together with our Board of Directors, United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd. (“UFA”), has made a very difficult business decision to conduct an orderly wind down of its Wholesale Sports Canada Ltd. (“Wholesale Sports”) operations.
In making this business decision UFA conducted a thorough assessment with regard to the Wholesale Sports business, where all opportunities were explored. However, external factors including an increasingly competitive environment, the continued shift to on-line purchases and overall slowing of consumer discretionary spending as a whole, including in the outdoor industry, were too strong to overcome to drive a successful business model for Wholesale Sports.
The following document is intended to answer any further questions you may have on the orderly wind down of Wholesale Sports.
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Is Wholesale Sports Going Out of Business?
Yes. The UFA Board of Directors, in conjunction with senior management determined that closing down the Wholesale Sports chain, while a difficult decision, was one that was made in the best interest of UFA.
Is UFA going Out of Business?
No. While UFA is showing strong financial results, we must assure you that the orderly wind down of our Wholesale Sports operation was a strategic business decision. An extensive review process was conducted, which included evaluating numerous options for the Wholesale Sports business. However, the increasingly competitive retail environment, the continued shift to on-line purchases and overall slowing of consumer discretionary spending as a whole, including in the outdoor industry, were too strong to overcome to drive a successful business model for the Wholesale Sports operation.
When will the liquidation commence and be complete?
All Wholesale Sports stores are closed today, Thursday, September 14th. They will re-open for business, operating at regular store hours starting on Friday, September 15th. All stores will be closed officially by December 28, 2017. *Please see the end of the document for a complete listing of all affected stores.
What is happening to the physical stores?
Gordon Brothers, an industry leading asset management specialist, is assisting with the orderly closure of the operations. They will be assisting in the liquidation and of all of the physical retail assets for all 12 store locations in Western Canada.
What does the Gordon Brothers Supervisor do?
The Gordon Brothers Supervisors are on site to provide overall direction during the course of the winding down sale. They will provide guidance in areas such as merchandising, signage, pricing of merchandise, operations, housekeeping and customer service. The Gordon Brothers supervisors work seven days a week and, if not in the store, are available by cell phone at all times.
What is happening to current Wholesale Sports Staff?
Today a member of UFA’s senior management team, along with a human resource professional, is meeting with each store manager and their team members to discuss their future with the organization. Unfortunately, the majority of the Wholesale Sports team members will no longer be employed within the organization as a whole.
How long will the sale last?
The sale is expected to last until December 28, 2017. However, when the merchandise is gone at a particular location, that store will be closed.
Will all the merchandise in the store be sold?
It is the intention of Wholesale Sports to sell all merchandise.
Will we be selling the store fixtures?
Yes, the majority of the store fixtures will be sold.
When will the discounts change?
Wholesale Sports will monitor sales at each location and adjust discounts as deemed necessary.
Will the store hours change?
Normal store hours remain in effect, while each location remains open.
What policies will change?
All sales are final. There will be no refunds or exchanges allowed. Signs will be posted within the store and prominently displayed at the registers to inform the customers of these new policies. Sales staff will also inform customers of the final sale terms and conditions.
Will gift cards be honoured?
Wholesale Sports will honour all gift cards currently in market and no further gift card sales will occur. However, they will no longer be valid for use online or after the stores are closed. Wholesale Sports encourages the use of all gift cards prior to December 28, 2017, as such will have no cash value after this date.
What about the Wholesale Sports Wild Card?
The Wholesale Sports Wild Card is no longer valid for use in any store. There will be no employee discounts during the sale.
Will Wholesale Sports accept damaged and defective merchandise?
All manufacturer warrantees remain in effect. Wholesale Sports will direct customers to contact the manufacturer of the damaged and defective merchandise.
What about the Wholesale Sports website?
As of Thursday September 14, 2017, 3:00 pm (MST) the Wholesale Sports website transitions over to a static page. This page offers details on the closure process and will be adjusted as needed. It will list who to contact for further information.
What about Wholesale Sports online sales?
Online sales will no longer be available after 3:00 pm (MST) Thursday, September 14, 2017, but all order made online prior to this date will be honoured and processed.
Will the sale be advertised?
Wholesale Sports is responsible for all final approvals of sale signage, advertising and marketing of the closure, working with Gordon Brothers who is running the liquidation sale process.
Can customers or employees hold merchandise until payday?
There are no merchandise holds for any reason for customers or employees.