Business in brief: Canadian retailer buys Sportsman’s Warehouse stores
One of Canada’s larger retailers, UFA Cooperative, has bought Sportsman’s Warehouse outdoor outfitters stores in Coeur d’Alene and Spokane Valley.
Stuart Utgaard, CEO of Utah-based Sportsman’s Warehouse, said the company needed to reduce debt by selling 15 stores to UFA. The deal has been in the works for months, he said.
UFA, based in Calgary, has for nearly 100 years been a farm equipment and tool retailer. It’s begun diversifying and has added outdoors equipment to its retail focus.
Utgaard said both the Coeur d’Alene store, at 3534 N. Government Way, and in Spokane Valley, at 14014 E. Indiana near the Spokane Valley Mall, will likely keep the Sportsman’s Warehouse name for a while, since UFA licensed the name.
UFA’s revenues in 2008 exceeded $2 billion, according to company reports.
Huppin’s service center moves
Huppin’s Hi-Fi, Photo and Video has relocated its downtown service center to the Spokane Valley, ending a 45-year tradition of repairing equipment at its main store.
Company president Murray Huppin said it made sense to move the service and repair group to the company’s warehouse at 229 N. Ella.
The location offers free parking and easy access to the repair area, he said.
Half of the eight-person group moved to the Valley site a year ago.
The repair department space in the downtown store is now used by the company’s home-installation group.
“Downtown retail space is precious and this allows us to use that service area to grow the downtown store,” said Huppin.
Spokane County home sales up
Home buyers began to emerge from January hibernation last month, boosting Spokane County home sales by more than two-thirds as average prices backpedaled but the median rose.
The Spokane Association of Realtors reported the sale of 194 homes during February at an average price of $197,016. The median price was $171,654.
In January, only 117 homes sold at an average price of $206,169 but a median price of $170,000. Sales in February 2008 totaled 295. The average price was $199,907, the median $177,000. New home sales almost doubled – to 39 from 20.