Pollock’s Hardware Co-op members vote to stay open

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Pollock’s Hardware Co-op members vote to stay open
WATCH: Community support has saved Pollock's Hardware Co-op for a second time. Global's Marek Tkach reports – Feb 17, 2019

Following a members-only meeting, Pollock’s Hardware Co-op has voted to remain open.

Members met at the Luxton Community Centre on Saturday afternoon to vote on a motion to dissolve the 97-year-old hardware store.

More than 100 members voted 90 per cent against the proposal, leading to another vote to replace the board of directors, said Mike Walchuk, the former general manager of the store and new board member.

Over one hundred people in line at the Luxton Community centre, waiting to cast their vote. Marek Tkach / Global News

“This is the first time that membership has had to deal with something this serious, so people are concerned,” said Walchuk.

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It’s now more important than ever to support the aging hardware store, he added.

“We have over 3,500 members. We need to get our membership engaged in coming to the store on a more regular basis.”

The store has lost more than $220,000 in the last six years, he said, and sales fell by 24 per cent in 2018. The last time the store turned a profit was in 2013.

Walchuk said the financial situation of the store isn’t as dire as it seems, as the store is current on its mortgage, payroll and loans.

A display inside the front window of Pollock’s Hardware Co-op. Marek Tkach / Global News

What needs to be paid off immediately is about $28,000 owed to suppliers.

The store has started a GoFundMe with the hopes of raising $35,000 to pay suppliers and have a cushion for the spring.

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In 2008, people rallied to save the store and turn it into a co-op, making Saturday the second time Pollock’s has been bailed out.

“We know that things change, the store is going to need to adapt, but I still think it adds a lot of value to the community,” said long-time member Brad Nance.

Nance said keeping Pollock’s open despite its financial troubles can still benefit the community.

“There’s more values and quality [at Pollock’s that] you don’t get when you are going to a bigger box store.”

WATCH: A mini-documentary on Pollocks Hardware Co-op in Winnipeg

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