Christian Retailing

Canadian chain Blessings closes doors on final store Print Email
Written by Shawn A. Akers   
Friday, 30 January 2015 02:59 PM America/New_York

BlessingsCanadaLogoLess than two years after opening its most recent outlet, the Canadian chain Blessings has announced that it will close the doors on its fifth and final store in Chilliwack, British Columbia, on Jan. 31.

Blessings CEO Mark Hutchinson said the company has run at “a continual financial deficit” for the past several years, including the last two at a “six-figure range.”

“To continue further after this fashion would simply be poor stewardship,” Hutchinson said. “It is with a very heavy heart that we have begun the pursuit of amicably and honorably winding up our operations, being left with no alternative course.

”Our Edmonton retail location saw its last customers on Saturday, Jan. 10, and our Langley retail location served until close of business on Thursday, Jan. 15. Our Calgary location closed on Jan. 23 and our Chilliwack on January 31. We served with tremendous spirit and dedication until the end. We would like to extend a heartfelt and sincere thanks to the hosts of faithful customers who have graced our stores with their patronage over the years.”

Blessings operated four brick-and-mortar locations and an online store.

Hutchinson shared the news with his employees in early January. In a letter, he praised his team and for their service to the company.

“I truly believe in Blessings, in what we stand for and why we do what we do,” Hutchinson said in the letter. “My enthusiasm and heart for you, this business and for reaching people for Christ has not wavered at all; it remains as strong today as it did on June 1, 2006, when Angela and I bought Blessings.

“We ended our last financial year May 31, 2014, with a loss of $154,000, and despite very creative and hard work on streamlining our processes we have found that even these adjustments were not enough. We have come to the end and we as a company cannot continue anymore. To go on would ultimately result in bankruptcy for Blessings so I have made a very tough decision. We will be able to pay all of our bills this month and Blessings will close as of Jan. 31, 2015, with a clean slate.

“I want to say from the bottom of my heart ‘thank you.’ I know how hard this announcement is for you to receive, but unfortunately there is no other way. We have all done everything possible and we must all hold our heads high knowing that we have done the very best we could have.”