Office Hours

What happened? Why did Wholesale Sports close its area retail stores?

Is this the Cabela's effect?

The new owner of the Wholesale Sports outdoor and sporting equipment outlets in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene will close those two stores in mid-March.

Employees at the stores said company officers informed them on Feb. 21 that their stores’ final day will be March 10.

The announcement was a sudden reversal, following last week’s announcement that Wholesale Sports was selling 14 U.S. stores back to Sportsman’s Warehouse, a Utah company, and a partner, Alamo Group.

That announcement came from Calgary-based UFA Co-operative Ltd., which had purchased the 14 U.S. Sportsman’s Warehouse stores for roughly $800 million in 2008.

After the purchase, UFA rebranded the stores as Wholesale Sports, the name it uses for outdoor equipment stores it operates across Canada.

Last week’s announcement said the sale was part of UFA’s refocusing solely on its Canadian retail businesses.

Canadian newspapers reported that Sportsman’s Warehouse plans to operate 10 of the reacquired stores, but that Alamo Group, which bought four stores, was closing them in March.

It’s unclear which two other stores will be closed.

Alamo Group, based in California, is described as a real estate investment company.

The Spokane store moved last summer from Spokane Valley Mall to NorthTown Mall. It took a 30,000-square-foot space in the mall formerly used by Emporium.

The NorthTown store employs roughly 40 workers. The Coeur d’Alene store, at 3534 N. Government Way, employs about 35 workers.




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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.








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