by Phil Ambroziak

“People in Meadow Lake want to shop at The Brick and they shouldn’t have to travel to do that.”

That’s how Genine Franklin, co-owner and manager of The Brick store in Cold Lake summed up her decision to open a new location in Meadow Lake.

“We’ve leased a location downtown and are still working on getting in there to complete some renovations, but if all goes as planned we hope to be open by the end of August,” Franklin explained.

The store will be located at 317 Centre St. – the site of the former IGA store and later the Northern Nugget Entertainment bingo hall.

“We’ve always done a lot of business in Meadow Lake over the years – we are always making deliveries to customers who live there,” Franklin continued. “When they (The Brick) teased us about opening another location we said we wanted to go to Meadow Lake.”

This doesn’t mean Franklin, who co-owns the Cold Lake location with her sister, didn’t do the necessary due diligence before committing to Saskatchewan’s northwest.

“We did the necessary research,” she said. “My sister and I started coming to Meadow Lake regularly after this opportunity presented itself and we were very impressed. We just fell in love with the community.”

While the Meadow Lake store won’t be as large as some other locations customers of The Brick may be familiar with, Franklin said it will be nice to start out small and see where Meadow Lake takes them.

“There are some really neat businesses already located in Meadow Lake and we can’t wait to join them,” she said. “We’ll for sure offer our line of best sellers at our new location, but we can bring in anything our customers are interested in. I believe, even though anything can be ordered online today and shipped in, you need to be able to see the furniture you’re buying firsthand, feel it, compare sizes, try it out and that’s what we plan to offer to the people of Meadow Lake.”

Cold Lake will remain the primary base of operations for the Meadow Lake store in terms of warehouse space and so on, but Franklin did note the new location will also mean the creation of three to four local jobs.

“We’ll definitely need a merchandiser, someone in customer service and a couple of sales associates,” she said. “I plan to be there quite a bit, especially in the beginning, but if the right person comes along I may end up hiring someone in a management role as well.”

Franklin reiterated the need to offer the shops and services people want as close to home as possible.

“Again, many people from Meadow Lake shop at The Brick but their closest location has always been an hour-and-a-half away,” she said. “I believe there’s a lot going on in Meadow Lake, but we have a lot to offer as well.”

The Brick Ltd. is a Canadian retailer of furniture, mattresses, appliances and home electronics. The company was founded as The Brick Warehouse LP by brothers, John, Fred, and Bill Comrie. The first warehouse opened Sept. 1, 1971 in Edmonton.