May 2, 2017 1:51 pm

Earth’s General Store closing in downtown Edmonton

Earth's General Store in downtown Edmonton.

Courtesy: Facebook/Earth's General Store
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An organic health food store in downtown Edmonton is closing its doors.

Earth’s General Store posted on its website that it’s given notice to its landlords that it will shut down its location on 101 Avenue and 104 Street on Oct. 31.

“It is with an extremely heavy heart that I have to announce that we are in the position where we are closing our downtown store on Oct. 31, 2017,” owner Michael Kalmanovitch wrote.

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“I tried to squeeze another month before giving our notice to see if things improved but had to finally resign to the reality – things are not improving and I have to minimize our losses.”

READ MORE: Local store issues ultimatum to downtown Edmonton: ‘use us or lose us’

In January, Earth’s General Store issued an ultimatum to the community that it would close its downtown location if business didn’t pick up, and that didn’t happen, according to Kalmanovitch’s online post.

“When Sobeys closed down I was concerned that we would not be able to meet the demand for good quality groceries at fair prices and offering organic foods. This demand not materialize,” Kalmanovitch wrote.

“The downtown store has never made money. It always ran at a deficit. It was propped up by the Whyte Avenue store but extra funds from Whyte have diminished and I am simply running out of money.”

READ MORE: Edmonton downtown development focus for city and business community 

Kalmanovitch apologized to his employees and the downtown community, who he said he “failed.”

“I am not a businessman. I am a person that does business. I think a ‘good’ business person would have done things a bit differently since their value system has a different focus and that a ‘good’ business person would have seen the writing on the wall a while ago and pulled out of this venture but I see more than just the return on investment of a financial return,” Kalmanovitch wrote.

Kalmanovitch said there is a possibility of opening Earth’s General Store at a different location but sales will need to increase for that to happen.

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