By Ken Ryan
Fitz Flooring, a member of the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA) and a mainstay retailer in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, for 25 years, abruptly shut its doors on Aug. 1.
Fitz Flooring, which began operations in 1994, operated five stores across Alberta and British Columbia, and was Calgary’s highest-volume flooring dealer. However, the economy in Alberta has taken a hit in recent years amid declining oil prices in this oil-rich province.
John Fitzsimmons, president and founder of Fitz Flooring, addressed the closing in a letter that was taped to the front entrance window on Aug 1. In it Fitzsimmons thanked customers and his team of service professionals, calling them “the best of the best.” The letter read, in part: “It is with great sadness that I announce the closing of Fitz Flooring after 25 years of doing business in Alberta and British Columbia.
We have dealt with the best customers we could ever have hoped to serve and had the best team of flooring professionals in the industry. This is a day I had never thought would ever come, but with these tough economic times we are facing it is time to embrace change of dramatic proportion and close our doors.”
Several customers had complained to local authorities that they had given Fitz Flooring deposits on flooring jobs. A civil enforcement warrant was filed against Fitz Flooring at one location by the strip mall’s landlord, claiming the retailer owed more than $100,000 in rent.
The Alberta economy has been racked by the decline in oil prices, leading to thousands of layoffs and a spike in unemployment. Amber Ruddy, representing the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said in August that business confidence is at an all-time low in Alberta. “Given the economy right now, it’s not surprising to see these kind of overnight closures. At some point people just simply have to close their doors because they’re not profitable in this market.”
Fitzsimmons, in the letter, stated: “In closing, I am deeply saddened and disappointed by the hardship caused by the closing of our business. I hope you will remember being a part of the success and the legend of Fitz Flooring and of making our community a better place to live in.”
Fitz Flooring abruptly shut its doors on August 1.