Thousands of MEC members ask retailer to halt sale to US company

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Thousands of Mountain Equipment Co-op members added their signatures to a petition asking the outdoor retailer to cancel a planned sale to a U.S. company that would see it turn into a private corporation.In a Change.org petition titled “Save MEC,” Paul Finch calls on Vancouver-based MEC to rescind the deal and immediately hold a board election.

Finch alleges that the current board of directors approved the sale of the co-op without consulting or obtaining permission from its five million members.

“MEC is a $ 500 million per year company with an enormous wealth of real estate assets. Selling the cooperative not only robs its members of their rights, but will convey that value with little oversight or accountability, ”he wrote.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition had more than 12,000 signatures with a target of 15,000 signatures.

MEC’s ​​board of directors announced Monday that the 49-year-old co-op and its 22 retail stores will be sold to U.S. investment firm Kingswood Capital Management under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

The Canadian outdoor store has been in financial trouble for some time, and they have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It suffered a loss of $ 11.5 million in its last fiscal year report, for the period ending February 2019. MEC attributed the overall negative performance to rising costs and increased competition in the retail, particularly with the boom in online retailing.

With files from Kenneth Chan

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