Big Box Outlet Store to Expand Outside of BC with 1st Alberta Location Amid Rapid Growth [Interview]

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Big Box Outlet Store, Western Canada’s leading liquidator, is expanding outside of its British Columbia base into the Alberta market.

The company currently operates 11 stores in the West Coast province.

Big Box Outlet Store is Western Canada’s leading liquidator, offering a wide range of products from around the world, including new, manufacturer-direct, seasonal closeout, refurbished, and open-box items. Its selection includes electronics, fashion, outdoor gear, hardware, kitchenware, appliances, furniture, and even groceries.

Image: Big Box Outlet Store

Jordan Clarke, Head of Purchasing, Logistics & Marketing for Big Box Outlet Store which is headquartered in Abbotsford, said the company will open its 12th store February 1 in Edmonton.

“Our Costco business is booming. We’re getting so much Costco right now. It’s pretty crazy. It’s more than we’ve ever received . . . There’s not enough stores to keep up with the influx of products we’re receiving,” he said.

The brand has seven stores currently in the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley area as well as four stores in the Okanagan (Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna and Vernon).

“Our main bread and butter is reverse logistics. Our biggest supplier is Costco but we get goods from places like Target and Amazon. Some are returns. Some are last year’s stock. Some are overstock. They bought too much and they didn’t clear as much as they hoped and they give it to us. We buy it for a percentage of what they paid and we’re able to sell it for less,” said Clarke. 

“Then I also go to buying shows, buying trips, and source out local vendors and go to China to try to find different products that supplement that.”

Big Box Outlet Store Walnut Grove

Formally known as MTF Price Matters, Big Box Outlet Store has been family-owned by the Funk’s since 1985. The core of the brand has kept focus ever since on finding brand name items through its reverse logistics purchasing channels, in order to sell products to customers at heavily discounted prices, said the company on its website.

Mark Funk, Founder and President of Big Box Outlet Store, has made a long career of finding big success by recognizing great opportunities. “We know how to keep it relevant,” says Funk on the company website. “we never lose sight of what our customers love, and that’s brand names and great prices.”

Clarke said the company’s top category is clothing. It’s its bread and butter. It’s followed by furniture and large appliances and then groceries.

“You can get anything from a sauna worth $3,000 to a jar of jam for 99 cents,” he said.

Big Box Outlet Store Kamloops (Image: Google)

“We’re going to see how Alberta goes. We have store number two opening we’re hoping in April in Alberta. We’re going to open probably about half a dozen in Edmonton and surrounding areas and work our way to Calgary. Our main one in Edmonton will have a distribution centre similar to what we have set up in Abbotsford.

“When we receive goods we check them and test them and make sure there’s no problems with it . . . We’re going to open up four to six stores in Edmonton and the surrounding areas and, this isn’t confirmed, but we’re hoping probably to go down to Red Deer and then into Calgary.”

Big Box Outlet Store’s mission is being the most relevant retail-discounter in its markets.

“At times like this is when we seem to maintain where everyone else is dipping. I wouldn’t say we thrive but when everyone has a big drop in January when everyone gets their VISA bills back from Christmas, people start looking at stores like us because that extra 10-15 per cent they’re saving on their food makes a difference. It adds up,” said Clarke.

Image: Big Box Outlet Store

“We’re very unique in the sense we’re very conscious of the environment because all of the stuff that would normally go to landfill, and get thrown out, we take that and repurpose it.

“Our motto is helping people afford everyday life. That is what we’re all about.”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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