Women’s discount retailer Dots, a long-time fixture of Red Deer’s downtown, is closing its doors this month.
‘Final sale’ signs are up in the store’s windows and this message was posted on Dots’ Instagram page: “It is with great sadness that I announce that after almost 30 years the Red Deer store is closing as the building has been sold.
“I would like to thank all of the customers for your support all these years.”
Ann Simard, general manager of operations and finance for Dots, in Edmonton, said Red Deer has been a good home for Dots since 1995. “We like Red Deer. They’ve done a nice job with the downtown,” she added.
But the corner building at 4952 Ross Street sold quickly, and there wasn’t time to scout around and set up in a new location, Simard added. “With Christmas time coming, and it’s just me, we’re going to close.”
Two full-time and two part-time employees will be impacted, but Simard said they are good workers and she will try to help them transition to new employment.
The Red Deer Dots outlet was supposed to close in 2014, due to more competition in the discount women’s clothing field from Winners, Marshalls and other outlets. But “unprecedented” public reaction and a renegotiated lease kept the store around for nearly another decade.
Simard said back in 2014, “hundreds and hundreds” of emails and phone calls came in from loyal Dots customers and other downtown businesses that did not want the destination store to shut down.
This time, the business must vacate the building by Nov. 30.
The store’s Instagram page states gift cards will be honored at all Dots locations, with no expiry date. There are other Dots outlets located in Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat, Regina, Saskatoon, and Victoria.
Amanda Gould, executive-director of the Downtown Business Association, said Dots has been a downtown mainstay and will be “hugely missed…They have always taken part in all of the downtown activities and were a great downtown business.”
Gould heard the owners have the option of renegotiating the lease and moving back into the building once it’s renovated. “I really hope to see them return…”
If Dots doesn’t return to Red Deer, Gould believes that corner of Ross Street and Little Gaetz, at the edge of the Ross Street Patio, is a prime location that won’t stay vacant for long.
Meanwhile, there’s a recently opened women’s wear store about half-a-block north of Dots called Sassy B Home and Body, which also carries housewares, said Gould.