Longtime Hamilton shop closing soon

 

A longtime Locke Street shop will be closing later this year.

Ten Thousand Villages, a chain retailer that sells fair-trade crafts and housewares from craftspeople working in developing countries, will be closing their Locke Street store on March 31, the company said Wednesday (Jan. 22) in a post on their website.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts we announce the closure of the corporate operations of Ten Thousand Villages Canada, which includes the head office, distribution centre in New Hamburg, ON as well as the Ten Thousand Villages Canada webstore, wholesale operations and 10 remaining company stores," the notice on the company's website says.

The staff at the Locke Street location will be particularly missed. They've been an active member of the Locke Street community and beyond for years and they've earned a reputation for their generosity and kindness.

They also undertook a number of campaigns to help educate Hamilton residents and students about the importance of fair trade.

"Now, in our 74th year, we are proud to say that we have empowered over 100,000 makers around the world to earn a fair and stable income, share their craft with a global market, gain access to education and medical services, better working conditions, equal opportunities for women and so much more," the company said.

Ten Thousand Villages currently has 23 storefronts across Canada. Eight of them will remain open, the company said.

"In this challenging retail environment, we recognize your commitment, support and dedication to the success of Ten Thousand Villages Canada," the notice to customers says.

"However, in spite of all our best efforts, we have been unable to achieve the level of sales that would continue to provide us with the ability to operate a sustainable business model. It is for this reason that Mennonite Central Committee Canada (MCCC) has made the difficult decision to close their social enterprise, Ten Thousand Villages Canada."

Their Canadian website will cease operations on May 29.

Many customers took to the company's Facebook page to express their dismay at the closure.

" I’m so sorry to hear this. Ten Thousand Villages has been a welcome part of my life for decades!," wrote on Facebook user Ariel Gordon.

"I will definitely miss the Locke Street store in Hamilton. Shopping in person is my thing… not ordering online. The staff are so helpful," wrote Judy Guinan.

The locations that will remain open include Abbotsford, B.C., Calgary, AB, Edmonton, AB, Brandon, MB, Steinbach, MB, Port Colborne, ON, Cobourg, ON, and Pointe-Claire (Montreal), QC.

The company also said on Facebook that Ten Thousand Villages USA will be fulfilling online orders for Canadian consumers in the summer of 2020.

Photo courtesy Ten Thousand Villages Canada (Hamilton)’s Facebook page

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