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Staples coming for Christmas

Jennifer Obleman
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, August 29, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - Yellowknife's new Staples store will carry the whole gamut of paper, pens, computers and other office supplies when it opens for business - but it won't be in time for back to school shopping.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Danny Bourgeois does some welding on the Staples building under construction on Old Airport Road. - Jennifer Obleman/NNSL photo

The chain's Yk location was originally targeting a May 2007 opening date, but the project fell 31 working days behind in January and February due to inclement weather. It experienced further difficulty securing tradespeople, so the timeline had to be revamped, said Rudy Roopnarine, director of construction for Staples Canada.

Now the company is hoping to open its doors to Christmas shoppers in December.

"We wanted to open as early as possible, but realistically, we said, let's put the proper timelines in place and let's make sure we open the store the way we want it looking for our customers up in Yellowknife," Roopnarine said.

He could not comment on the cost of the project because of the confidentiality of the lease agreement, but he said the bills are really adding up.

"It is the most expensive project we've done so far," he said.

"This would probably cost 80 to 90 per cent more to build a building up there. The store will cost us a substantial amount of money."

Staples had wanted to open a store in Yellowknife for the last five years, but it took some time to find the right location, said Roopnarine.

Construction began on the Old Airport Road building in fall 2006. After falling behind over the winter, crews have managed to make up some time over the summer.

"It's going good. We're out of the hole now. The structure's up. We'll start (soon) closing it in," said project superintendent Byron Taralson.

"We're in the home stretch."

The 28,000-square-foot building includes an 18,000 square feet sales floor, which will carry $1 million worth of inventory. A further 10,000 square feet of office and storage space is also in the works.

A staff of 25 to 30 people, including 10 full-time positions, will be hired with the store's opening.