Financing deal to help Fields’ expansion plans

With the help of First West Capital, the chain intends to eventually expand nationwide

Fields, which operates 62 locations across Western Canada, including Clearwater, has announced a $3.5 million partnership with Langley-based First West Capital.

Established in 1948, Fields was formerly owned by Hudson’s Bay Co. Since 2012, the chain has been under new management and continues to focus on becoming the leading small town value merchant throughout rural Canada

With the help of First West Capital, the chain intends to eventually expand nationwide and even has plans to develop an online presence.

As more big-box retailers expand across the country, many home-grown retailers find it difficult to compete.

“Initially it’s exciting for small towns to have access to big international retailers, but it can really gut the downtown of a small community,” says Jason McDougall, president and CEO of Fields.

Having grown up in small-town Saskatchewan, McDougall understands the positive impact that local stores have on a community.

“We want towns to be better because we are there,” he says. “We talk to local mayors, MLAs, customers and residents to better understand what we can be doing to support the needs of our communities, which can range from adding items to our inventory to sponsoring local initiatives.”

“Our partnership with First West Capital is a significant step towards making Fields available to more small communities, increasing inventory and developing stronger vendor relations,” says McDougall. “The funds from First West Capital give us the ability to reach more markets and continue focusing on serving a huge customer base that doesn’t get enough attention or respect.”

Fields recently introduced several well-known clothing brands to cater to their fashion-conscious customers, resulting in an increase in sales.

“I think people are surprised at the brands we carry – all at very reasonable prices,” adds McDougall.

“There are very few retailers in Canada serving the small town retail market as capably as Fields. They are unique in their commitment to community improvement and providing great value on everyday items, which resonates with customers looking to save money and skip a long drive to the nearest city,” says Kristi Miller of First West Capital.

 

First West Capital, a division of First West Credit Union, specializes in financing small and medium-sized businesses, in amounts of up to $10 million, across all industries in western Canada.