Hello to all reading this. Joanne here, writing to update you on our search for a new location for THE CAT HOUSE after the November 12th, 2015 fire that destroyed our business and five others in the Stadium Shopping Centre. Many of you have contacted us to let us know that you are anticipating our store reopening. Understandably some of you are wondering what's taking so long to find a new location and set up again. Please know that we are still actively searching but have simply not found a space that fits our needs. At any given time only a small percentage of retail space is vacant or available. Our leasing agent told us that there is less retail space in NW than in any other quadrant of the city, and our customers have clearly communicated to us that they would prefer that our store remain in NW. Over the past eight months we have found, enquired about, and visited dozens of potential locations. Only three have met our criteria and in all three cases our negotiations were fruitless.
We are looking for a 2500 sq ft space with:
- a delivery door in the back that very large trucks can pull up to with pallets of cat food and litter
- easy access for cars to pull in and free parking for our customers
- good visibility from nearby roads
The first location we liked was given to another tenant. We recently found other good location, then a good customer found another one, but in both cases the landlords increased their asking price significantly during negotiations. So we are still looking. Just this week we checked out another location.
When news of the fire hit the media we were contacted by many of you with offers to help, and suggestions to set up a fund raising campaign. Candace, our young manager, is very adept with social media and set up a GoFundMe campaign which quickly reached the $25,000 goal. Those funds are safe in a separate GoFundMe bank account that Candace set up. The money will be used to help with the expenses of setting up a new location.
We had hoped to be up and running months ago and understand you may be concerned about the GoFundMe contributions. Please know that we are doing all we can to keep THE CAT HOUSE going. We will continue our search and post updates on our website, www.facebook/thecathouseinc.com & GoFundMe
If you wish to contact me for any reason call 403-228-2287 (403-CAT-CATS) or email to
We appreciate all the support you have shown us through this dramatic and traumatic turn of events. Your kind words have meant the world to us and we are keenly aware of your wishes for us to reopen as soon as possible. We know that retail is location, location, location and we can only choose from what is available at the moment.
Please know that we are still busy in the background keeping up with pet industry news and continually sourcing new products. We can hardly wait to show you all the creative cat products found on a recent business trip.
Prior to the fire, we knew that the Stadium Shopping Centre was going to be redeveloped in the next year or so. We had hoped to partner with our young manager, Candace, who would have been the ideal person to carry on this unique business. At our age we need to start thinking about our exit plan, and our future retirement. When most leases are negotiated, the standard term is for five or ten years. We may need someone to take over before that time period, which is why want to have a partner when we sign the lease.
Circumstances have changed that make this particular partnership unlikely to happen now.
We have put 24 years in to this business and would like to see it continue. THE CAT HOUSE has incredible potential to continue growing. It is already the largest cat specialty store in Canada. We have many products not found in other pet stores. The Internet and eCommerce could possibly double our sales within the next 5 years.
If you are interested in joining with us to reopen THE CAT HOUSE please contact us. We would stay in the business long enough to get it going strong again and you feel confident taking over.
- Joanne (403) CAT-CATS