Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Monday, August 1, 2016
Ben Moss Stores to Close
After more than 100 years, Ben Moss will be closing the remaining locations of the store in Canada. At one point the company had over 60 stores across Canada but reports are that it will be 54 shutting down.
The company had its start in 1910 on Main Street in Winnipeg when Ben Moss set up shop. The children of the founder under the name Trepel took over in 1959 and began opening additional locations thereafter. At one the company was considered to be one of the best stores in Canada for women employees. In 2013, the Trepel family sold the company to private interests in Toronto. The new owners JSN seem to have had problems almost immediately.
The head office remained in Winnipeg but the company seemed to stumble from one financial headache to another. Nearly 300 employees and loyal customers wondered what the future would hold. In the end, it was decided to liquidate everything including fixtures.
Many jewellery stores never survive past one generation at one location. Ben Moss had 100 years at multiple ones. It is hard to imagine going into a mall in Winnipeg and not seeing a Ben Moss near center court.
It is a tough market with international companies, online sales all nipping at the bricks and mortar stores. Still, it is hard not to think that good companies usually have people owning them and operating them who have a certain drive.
A sad day for the workers and customers of this long time company and Winnipeg institution.