Iqaluit's Arctic Ventures sold to Arctic Co-operatives

One of Iqaluit's major retail stores has a new owner - Arctic Co-operatives Limited has bought Arctic Ventures.

Sale will bring Arctic Co-operative store to Nunavut capital for first time

Arctic Ventures has been running in Iqaluit since 1985. (Patrick Nagle/CBC)

One of Iqaluit's major retail stores has a new owner.

Arctic Ventures has been sold to Arctic Co-operatives Limited after rumours of the sale circulated for months.

Arctic Co-ops confirmed it will take over the store Nov. 1.

Arctic Co-ops has retail stores throughout Nunavut, but has never before had one in the capital city of Iqaluit.

Company spokesperson Rod Wilson said acquiring Arctic Ventures could have an effect on other co-op stores in the region.

"Certainly with the synergies that come with additional buying power, the additional tonnage of freight to be moved through the system, we see a lot of efficiencies. Efficiencies and synergies both that will benefit the co-op system, not only the individuals here in Iqaluit, but the other co-op communities," said Wilson.

Arctic Co-op officials met with staff at the store Tuesday to tell them the news. Wilson said those employees will be kept on after the official transfer of ownership, but there will be at least one person moving on - entrepreneur Kenn Harper.

Harper has owned Arctic Ventures since 1985. He said he is ready for a change.

"I'm a historical researcher and writer, and I intend to spend more time doing that –a lot of writing projects I'd like to complete, a lot more I'd like to start. So it's just time for me to do different things in my life," he said.

Harper said Arctic Ventures has a successful formula, so he doesn't expect any major changes when Arctic Co-operatives takes over the store.

Arctic Co-operative stories sell everything from fresh and packaged foods, to electronics and pet supplies.