A for sale sign that has been erected outside the Wacky Wheatleys store says it all the store is set to close June 16. Harry Sullivan Truro Daily News
TRURO - The demise of a long-standing local business is shocking news that leaves a "large void" in the town's commercial core, Mayor Bill Mills says.
Wacky Wheatley's, which celebrated its 33rd anniversary in March, announced yesterday it is closing its doors.
"My response to Wacky's closing was 'whew, that's a bit of shocker to me,'" Mills said, after hearing the news. "It's going to leave a large void in this area in terms of the type of service they provide. I'm a little bit floored by that ... that's a real shame."
Vice-president of operations Bob Wheatley cited "competitive market conditions and a difficult economic situation worldwide," as the reason for ceasing operations.
"Decisions like this are not easy and never pleasant, but realistically they are sometimes unavoidable," he said in a news release. "We have been struggling for a few years, and right now it just doesn't seem like things will turn around. We always enjoyed a great relationship with the people in Truro and surrounding areas, and would like to thank them for the many years of support they have given Wackys."
The closing will see nine employees lose their jobs.
Mills, who described Wacky's as "a very conscious, community-minded organization," said the closing is regrettable not only from a business perspective but because of the store's long-standing support for community events and sponsorships.
"I guess it just goes to show, you know, the whole idea of shopping local and that supporting the businesses that are here is so
Tim Tucker, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce agreed.
"Definitely, that's unfortunate," he said of the closing. "They seem to be very big on trying to see people support local businesses."
What many people do not realize when they head out of town to do their shopping, Tucker said, is the impact their decisions are having on small, hometown businesses, which ultimately are the sponsors of local amateur sports teams, school trips and the like.
"There's definitely more to it for a business than just profit or loss," he said. "When you have businesses support the community and you lose those businesses, you lose that support as well ... When you support a local company, you are helping to keep jobs in the area. You're helping to make sure people have a source of income."
Wheatley was unable to be reached for further comment but a staff member at the store said the Truro outlet is just the latest in what is seeming to become a common trend.
Of the chain's eight stores, an outlet in St. John's, NL, closed last month while the New Minas store shut down last week. Another shop in Moncton was recently sold but it also has since closed and the worker said he believes that all eight locations will eventually be shut down.
A liquidation sale of existing inventory is set for May 16 in the Truro store with June 16 set as the final day of operations.