• John Jantak

Pincourt Walmart will shut down Faubourg de L’Île outlet in June


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Pincourt officials confirmed that the Walmart retail outlet at the Faubourg de L’Île will close its doors in June due to restructuring by the retail giant.

The Walmart retail outlet at the Faubourg de L’Île mall will shut its doors in June, Pincourt town officials confirmed on May 7. No firm date for the closure has yet been announced.

“It’s never good news when a store closes,” Mayor Yvan Cardinal told The Journal. “It’s a big loss for the Faubourg de L’Île and it’ll be a big challenge for the owner of the mall to find another store to take its place.”

Cardinal said the town will work with Groupe Quint and President Ian Quint, the owner of the mall, to try to find another similar store to replace the Walmart. “I think the owner would like to replace it with something else. They can call us for any help that they might need,” he said.

‘Disappointing but not surprising’

While news of the closure surprised many residents, Town Manager Michel Perrier said it was ‘disappointing but not surprising.’

“We’ve known for a while the expectation Walmart had for that the store didn’t meet any of the objectives that were set for it. It wasn’t a very profitable operation for them. We could foresee this kind of possibility,” said Perrier.

“They will be closing other outlets elsewhere in Quebec and Ontario as well. It’s a restructuring of operations on the Walmart side. They’re closing their smaller and less profitable stores,” Perrier told The Journal.

Not in line with other outlets

Walmart opened the Pincourt branch at the Faubourg de L’Île about six years ago to keep rival retail giant Target from acquiring the space at the time after the Zeller’s chain shuttered their store. The smaller size of the facility meant Walmart didn’t have quite the same inventory or offerings that they usually have in their larger stores, said Perrier.

“You have to keep in mind that the average square footage for Walmart is between 100,000 to 130,000 square feet. The old Zeller’s store had about 72,000 square feet. This store wasn’t in sync with their other operations. We could foresee that the store wasn’t going to last. Their expectations weren’t met at this store,” he said.

Commercial tax revenue stream intact

The Walmart closure will not affect the town’s commercial income tax revenue stream for the next three years because the valuation rate for the mall was established this year.

“The valuation has been set. We’re okay for the next three years but things have to happen so that we’re not facing a valuation decrease in the next three years. We have to get in motion right now. It takes time to transform this kind of space,” said Perrier.

Town offers mall owner helping hand

Perrier reiterated the town will work with Groupe Quint to help find a suitable replacement. “We’re going to have discussions with the owner of the mall and see what they have planned. We’re going to try to be helpful as much as we can. We want the space to be occupied by something that will be beneficial for the entire community,” he said.

“We’re not going to be just spectators,” added Perrier. “We’re going to get involved and try to do as much as we can within our power so that we can make that operation successful again.”

Calls to Groupe Quint requesting comment were not returned as of press time.

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