After 11 years of serving the community, the Agassiz Fields Store is set to close.
The store opened in 2001, in the centre of the downtown core on Pioneer Avenue. However, it was announced earlier this month that the entire chain of stores will be closing. HBC owns the chain, and closed 26 stores in Ontario this month. The remaining 141 stores across Canada will all be closed by the fall of this year.
“We don’t have a specific date yet” for the Agassiz closure, said Tiffany Bourre, external communications manager for HBC. “We will be closing, or winding down, in phases.”
“This is a strategic decision by Hudson’s Bay Company to focus on growing our other banners: The Bay, Lord & Taylor and Home Outfitters,” she said in an official statement. “Fields was proud to serve the many communities across Canada where our stores were located and would like to thank of all our customers for their loyalty.”
She told The Observer that the closures are “completely independent” of the recent acquisition by Target, in which that company acquired 189 Zellers leaseholds, another HBC department store chain.
She also said HBC has no plans to open another banner in the current Fields location.
Fields carries a large assortment of lower-priced clothing, housewares, toys and seasonal merchandise. Rumours of an impending closure have been circulating around Agassiz since Target purchased the Zellers stores. To clear up these rumours, District of Kent’s mayor, John Van Laerhoven, wrote a letter to HBC.
“This store is one of our main businesses,” he wrote, “an anchor in our downtown core.”
He outlined that many of the store’s customers are local seniors who are without transportation, and therefore rely on local businesses to thrive. He is hoping to discuss the matter with HBC, and is hoping that their decision would be reconsidered.
Before Fields moved into the store at 7116 Pioneer Avenue, it was home to Ledoux Hardware (now at 6958 Pioneer).