High taxes force out Fabricland

Alycia Douglass

Published on February 16, 2017

Fabricland will close its doors at the end of April due to skyrocketing taxes and under-performing sales.

©Nick Seebruch/TC Media

CORNWALL, Ontario - The city’s largest fabric outlet announced Jan. 30 that it will be closing its doors at the end of April.

Fabricland’s Marketing Director, Irene Kalyniuk says that the decision came following a 65% tax increase, which the store had shouldered for the past two years.

“Up until the tax increase it was manageable, though not the success that had been hoped for,” said Kalyniuk. “Since the tax increase, it has become clear that the store is unsustainable, and because there was an escape clause in the lease after four years, the decision was made to close the store.

While the closure is largely attributed to the store’s skyrocketing taxes, Kalyniuk says that the secondary factor is under-performing sales. “Cornwall’s sewing community is passionate and loyal, but it is a small community, and it does not generate the kind of sales required to keep the store going,” said Kalyniuk. Short of getting the tax rate rolled back and encouraging hundreds more locals taking up sewing, she says there was no way the store could feasibly remain open.

“The previous Fabricville store, which was a store of 6,000 sq. ft., was not profitable,” said Kalyniuk. “Four years ago, when Fabricland had an opportunity to open a 15,000 sq. ft. store with affordable rent, they had high hopes that the larger, fully stocked superstore model would succeed.” However, when taxes increased and the store was not as successful as anticipated, some difficult decisions had to be made.

While some residents have expressed disappointment at the news, Kalyniuk says that Fabricville now has an online store, as well as several stores within a 100 km radius for local sewing enthusiasts who still enjoy browsing the aisles.

“While the local sewing community will no longer have a Fabricland at the end of April, they will have an opportunity to stock up,” said Kalyniuk. “Merchandise will be progressively discounted over the remaining weeks, with great deals to be had.”