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North American Lumber closing Thunder Bay store

A deal to sell to a new owner fell through.

THUNDER BAY -- The roller coaster ride for the staff at Thunder Bay's North American Lumber store is about to finish.

It is not a happy ending for the 11 full-time workers at the Miles Street business, as the owner has decided to shut it down.

Last July, the Winnipeg-based firm reached a tentative purchase agreement with Mill Street and Company's subsidiary, The Fastway Group, for the takeover of all 11 stores in the North American Lumber (NAL) chain.

The deal to save the business was announced two months after NAL had initially announced it would close the Thunder Bay outlet and one other store in Saskatchewan by August, 2017.

However, NAL President Martha Konantz said in an interview with Tbnewswatch on Monday that the agreement with Fastway "did not conclude."

Konantz said she has been able to sell three stores in Saskatchewan to other buyers. Seven stores, including the Fort Frances location, remain open as she negotiates with potential new operators.

The Thunder Bay outlet is the only outlet being shut down, as "we were unable to find a purchaser for that one." 

The Miles Street location has been in operation for more than 50 years.

"I've had to make that difficult decision to close it," said Konantz, who is in the process of retiring.

Long lineups are expected at the Thunder Bay store in the coming days, where a closing-out sale started Monday. 

The doors will shut for good on May 31 unless the shelves are empty before then.



Gary Rinne

About the Author: Gary Rinne

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Gary started part-time at Tbnewswatch in 2016 after retiring from the CBC
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