Two months after shutting its only Red Deer store, Fabricland is still hunting for a better location.
“Definitely Fabricland has been and will continue looking for another location in Red Deer. We have no plans to give up. We want to be back in Red Deer to service our customers,” said Paivi Kanary, general manager of the company’s Midwest Pacific Division on Monday.
“We are checking every opportunity that we can find in Red Deer or locations that our customers have been sending to us.”
Kanary said the company is facing several challenges such as finding the right size space in the right location and “managing the business investment.” He explained, “like any other business we need to be able to afford to pay the rent and other costs” so that the business can still be profitable over the long term.
The commitment to a new site will be for many years, said Kanary, so “we need to make sure that everything is just right for all parties involved… Unfortunately, it hasn’t been easy but we will continue checking out all Red Deer locations that may fit our requirements and hopefully soon we can announce that we are back in Red Deer to service the sewing community.”
Red Deer’s Fabricland store closed in mid-June when the store’s lease expired at its former site, north of Superstore.
A local store manager said at the time that a move was necessary to escape crime and drug use, noting that Safe Harbour’s emergency shelter is located at the other end of the same building, while an ATCO trailer with Alberta Health Service’s overdose prevention site is half a block away.
Fabricland had relocated to the 13,000 sq ft space at 5239 53rd Ave. about 10 years ago from the south end of the city, but this location was no longer desirable. Manager Holly Proulx said in April that issues had escalated to the point where a security guard was hired to keep people who were drunk or on drugs out of the store– as well as those looking to steal or hangout.
“Probably every customer that comes through the door is sad that we’re closing, but excited we’re leaving the area.”
She added that the local Fabricland had loyal customers, with 250 to 300 people from across central Alberta served on busy days.