Calgary

Calgary businesses close without notice, leaving customers in lurch

A second Calgary store has closed its doors in as many weeks, seemingly with no warning, leaving some customers trying to sort out how to get merchandise they've already paid for.

On the whole, though, more businesses opening than closing, according to city licensing data

SHE Lingerie and Swimwear at Westhills is now closed. (Jennifer Lee/CBC)

Another Calgary store has closed its doors, seemingly with no warning, leaving some customers trying to sort out how to get merchandise they have already paid for.

SHE Lingerie and Swimwear in Westhills now sits dark and empty.

Keara MacLean, who works at a nearby shop, said the closure was unexpected.

"I was amazed that it happened so quickly," MacLean tells CBC News.

"Just completely overnight, no warning, nothing like that."

MacLean says she's getting questions from their customers in her store.

SHE Lingerie and Swimwear in Westhills is now closed, seemingly, without notice. (Jennifer Lee/CBC)

"We had a couple of customers come in and complain that they had gone in the day before and ordered stuff and now it wasn't available for pick up. So it was a little bit weird, a little suspicious."

Last week, Fitz Flooring on Bow Trail also shut its doors.

Amber Ruddy with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says business confidence is at an all-time low in Alberta.

"Given the economy right now, it's not surprising to see these kind of overnight closures… at some point people just simply have to close their doors because they're not being profitable in this market."

More businesses opening than closing

On the whole, though, Calgary has actually seen a net increase in business licences in the first half of 2016.

In total, 272 more businesses opened in the first six months of the year than closed, according to city licensing data.

That compares to a net increase of 169 business licences during the same period in 2015, 116 in 2014, and 343 in 2013.

This graph depicts the number of new businesses in Calgary, by quarter, from 2013 to 2016:

This graph depicts the number of business closures in Calgary, by quarter, from 2013 to 2016:

Camie Leard, with the Better Business Bureau, says it's important for customers to register a complaint if they encounter a problem with a particular company.

"We didn't see any complaints for any of these companies ahead of time," Leard said.

"It was rather sudden. So it's really important that the consumer, if they do have complaints about a company, that they do file so that we can see these things coming."

Camie Leard of the Better Business Bureau says it's important for consumers to file complaints before a store closes where possible. (Jennifer Lee/CBC)

Leard says it's a good idea to avoid giving any business a large amount of money up front before receiving the product.

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