MEC Stores Could Close After Being Sold To An American Company

Canadians who love outdoor adventures know MEC, also known as Mountain Equipment Co-op. The membership-based retailer has been open since 1971 and has been a leader in the outdoor recreation gear and apparel space ever since.

Founded in Vancouver, the company has over 20 locations across Canada, but in light of recent news, it looks like major changes to the company’s co-operative structure, as well as store closures, will be coming.

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MEC’s board of directors recently approved a deal that will see a Los Angeles-based private investment firm acquire MEC’s assets and the majority of its retail stores.

Earlier this year, MEC was granted Creditor Protection and its board of directors says that this sale to Kingswood Capital Management is necessary to provide the business with a stable future.

According to a statement on the company’s website, the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020. Until then, MEC will continue to operate its e-commerce and retail stores. Gift cards and warranties will be continued to be honoured during this process.

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One source says that shoppers could see up to five MEC store closures in the future.

Retail Insider reports that as many as five MEC store closures could happen as a result of the acquisition. At this point, there is no confirmation of which, if any, locations will close.

The future of what the company will look like once the transaction is complete is unknown, however, MEC’s Board Chair Judi Richardson says “the transition from a co-operative structure, is creating a positive path forward for MEC.” Continuing, “MEC’s deeply loyal customers have been synonymous with who we are and what we do. That won’t change.”

Albeit the statement, the sale of the company has ultimately left some co-op members feeling betrayed as none of the five million members were consulted about the acquisition. At the time of writing, a petition to stop the privatization of MEC has over 30,000 signatures.

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