It was recently announced that Wholesale Sports will be shutting its doors. I feel it is important that I pay my respects.
When I was a kid, it was always exciting to come to the city because it meant we might go to wholesale sports. I can still remember the layout of that old store and how I would drool over the airguns. When the new location opened, I couldn’t believe how spacious it was. When I finally moved to the city for university I, of course, applied. I told the manager I was willing and able to work in any department. I was hired on in the camping section with the understanding that I would train and fill in for other departments when they needed it.
It was at that camping kiosk that I read my first Capstick book. That turned into a lifelong addiction to books on African hunting and exploration. It was from that old used rack that I bought my first deer rifle. I paid $450 for a used Ruger M77 in .243, I’ve still got the sale papers for it buried away in my safe. It was also that job that financed by trip to New Zealand and Fiji. When I got back from Fiji I had $0 in my account but I walked into the store and was given a job, at the gun counter this time. It was all those conversations with hunters over the years that made me decide to take up bear hunting. It was those Capstick books that convinced me to write about it, and it was a coworker who told me to send my story into Alberta Outdoorsmen. It ended up being my first published story. When I finished university I moved on to a job on an oil rig. It paid well but was short lived, I was laid off and Wholesale saved me again, this time with a job in their warehouse. That job helped keep Erin and me afloat until our wedding and trip to South America.
I don’t know what their reason for the shutdown was but I would speculate they placed the blame on outside competitors and overall market down turn in the face of Canada’s current recession. I also have some strong held beliefs that some things could have been done much better, but that is simply a byproduct of working on the ground floor of a company for nearly a decade… You get to see behind the curtain from time to time.
Wholesale has announced that their last day of business will be December 28, 2017 until then there will be a continuous clearance sale. So when we go to cash in on the sales and pick the flesh from the bones of the dead.. lets try to remember that this old relic of the past was once a hub of education for young hunters. It also helped more than one person become who they are today… for better or for worse.
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