Waneta Mall stores unaffected from national restructuring

Trail Bootlegger and Ricki’s to remain open

Ricki’s and Bootlegger employees and shoppers will be happy to know the Waneta Mall locations will be staying open as the parent company closes stores and cuts staff across the country.

Comark Inc., the Ontario-based company that runs Ricki’s, Bootlegger and Cleo, announced last Thursday it had obtained a court order for creditor protection and would be closing stores and cutting jobs.

Nick Anstett, spokesperson for Comark, says the two Waneta Mall women’s clothing retailers and the 11 employees who work at the stores, will keep their jobs and doors open during the restructuring process.

“It doesn’t look like the Bootlegger (in Trail) is going to be affected, and it doesn’t look like Ricki’s is either,” he said, adding that there are stores closing, just not in the Silver City.

“Some under-performing stores are being closed down. I think there are about 56 (of the country’s 300 stores) closing in total, across all three brand banners and across the country, but none in Trail.”

Comark CEO Gerry Bachynski says the few store closures and reconstruction of the Comark brand will result in a company that can weather an economic storm.

“Together, we are firmly committed to emerging from creditor protection financially stronger, more competitive and well-positioned for the future,” he said in a press release.

While many other Canadian retailers are closing up shop for good, Anstett says this isn’t the same situation.

“At the time we made the announcement (about restructuring) the message was that the vast majority of stores are going to remain open for business,” he said.

“The idea is to do a bit of restructuring to get the financial house in order.

“Unlike Future Shop, Mexx or Target, who are just completely closing everything down, we don’t have the same idea.

“Hopefully, we will emerge from this as a much stronger and competitive company.”

According to Statistics Canada, retail spending in Canada has been on a steady decline since December, and along with the introduction of foreign competitors like Forever 21 and H&M, has resulted in a desperate situation for domestic clothing sellers.

Other Canadian retailers that have closed, or will be closing in the coming months, include Jacob, Smart Set, Parasuco and Bikini Village.