Hudson’s Bay Company announced last week that it is closing all 167 Fields stores in Canada – including the one in Clearwater.
Building owner Joe Walchuk said he was as surprised as anyone about the news. The building had been leased by the business but more recently was being rented month-by-month, he said. Walchuk also said he has developed no plans about what to do with the building once the business closes.
Staff at the Clearwater Fields store referred all questions from the Times to HBC. About a half dozen people work there.
Company spokesperson Tiffany Bourre noted that HBC had announced in December that it was closing its Fields stores in Ontario by February.
The remaining 141 store locations across Canada will be shut down in phases, with closures complete by this coming fall.
HBC will focus on growing its other banners, The Bay, Lord & Taylor, and Home Outfitters, she said. However, there are currently no plans to open another HBC banner in the Fields store location.
“Fields was proud to serve the many communities across Canada where our stores were located and would like to thank of all our customers for their loyalty,” Bourre said.
“Hudson’s Bay Company would like to thank all Fields associates for their dedicated service,” she added.
According to Wikipedia, Joseph Segal founded the Fields chain in Vancouver in 1950. The chain gradually expanded and was acquired by HBC in 1978.
The Fields division focused on being a small format, extreme value retail chain for rural and urban Canadian communities.
Until recently, HBC had an aggressive expansion strategy for Fields, adding 53 new stores in 2006-2007, with another 35 locations announced for 2008. A total of 800 new Fields stores were planned for across Canada.