The City Centre Mall in Thompson will be short another tenant in two months’ time, since Myleen’s Treasures is shutting down March 31.
Owner Marilyn Tanner-Spence said she isn’t pulling the plug for financial reasons, since the business is still turning a profit.
Instead, this decision was strictly personal. Tanner-Spence says she was forced to re-evaluate her priorities after a second brush with cancer last summer almost claimed her life.
“I was in a lot of pain and had a lot of blood that shouldn’t be coming out,” said Tanner-Spence, who is in better health now. “So it was just pretty scary and I made plans to, if I didn’t live past the summer, get my things in order and one of them was looking at all of my leases. The lease for Thompson was up so I just made arrangements to close.”
To make life even simpler, the entrepreneur is also aiming to close her other business, Teekca’s Aboriginal Boutique, in Norway House sometime next year, although her location in Winnipeg will remain open under different management.
However, Tanner-Spence isn’t completely abandoning the world of business, and is currently drawing up plans to develop an online store.
“I haven’t quite looked at what I’m going to sell 100 per cent, but it would be more giftware stuff that I know sells throughout the north, so that’s what I’m focusing on,” she said.
Tanner-Spence opened Myleen’s Treasures in the City Centre Mall around 15 years ago as a basic dollar store. However, throughout the years, her business model gradually evolved to encompass different kinds of products.
“Dollar stores really have a hard time making money if you don’t have the volume of people, so we started to bring in other products like the Manitobah Mukluks and guitars and different things that weren’t up there already,” she said. “So that made the store more viable and our party section was probably the highest percent of sales.”
While Tanner-Spence does feel bad about saddling the City Centre Mall with another empty space, especially after the closing of Don Johnson Jewellers in January, she maintains that Thompson is still rife with business opportunities. In particular, she believes that the closing of Myleen’s Treasures will give others the chance to sell speciality items like musical instruments.
“If you looked at how many [instruments] I sold in a year and someone dedicates themselves to that I think it would be something that could carry its own weight.”
Otherwise, Tanner-Spence wanted to thank her customers for all their years of loyal patronage, and wishes other northern business owners well on their future endeavours.
“I feel sad that I’m leaving, for sure,” she said. “I lived in Thompson for years and years and it’s such a beautiful place to be and now there’s one less place for people to shop.”