If you’re a frequent user of the post office in Christie’s Office Plus, you’ll notice a pretty big change when you go to mail your next letter or parcel.
Christie’s owner Don Green said as a dealer, you’re required to review your outlet every so often to ensure it’s meeting customer and employee needs.
“We’ve been seeing a huge increase in parcels coming in, especially with online shopping,” Green said. “So, we really needed to expand the area to hold parcels and handle them.”
The renovations, which started mid-May, included new flooring, lighting and shelving.
“We took the opportunity to take a tired area of the store and upgrade it. We wanted to give it a fresh, new look,” he said.
The educational products and teacher supplies were moved to another part of the store. In its place, Green will introduce some new product lines.
“We’re remerchandising the entire area. With home offices being so important, we’re getting more home-oriented/home office supplies, which include some lighter, fun options,” he said. “We’re also going to bring in a some gift items.”
The Canada Post outlet at Christie’s Office Plus serves the entire downtown area, as well as the North Hill.
Green, who is celebrating his 20th anniversary this year with Christie’s, said the store is much older than that. It has a long history in the city as E.L. Christie opened it back in 1881.
Christie’s Office Plus is located at 705 Pacific Ave. and online at christiesop.com.
Another locally owned business has moved into the downtown area. All Points Electric moved at the end of April into the building where Sturgeon Tire used to be on Princess Avenue.
Company owner Darren Wright said they now have about four times as much space.
“This was a big move for us. We went from renting to owning our own building,” Wright said. “We do a lot of commercial work, so we wanted to be right downtown, close to a lot of the commercial buildings that we do work in.”
All Points Electric (allpointselectric.ca) has four employees and has been serving the Brandon and Souris areas for 20 years. They offer residential and commercial electrical services, as well as provide maintenance to traffic signals for Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation.
Wright, an electrician for 26 years, took over the company five years ago.
“I moved to Canada from England on June 18 seven years ago — that’s why I chose the 18th for our grand opening,” he said. “We have two good reasons to celebrate.”
All Points Electric will be serving up coffee and showing off its new digs at 1126 Princess Ave. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, during the grand opening.
If you’re ever at the corner of 18th Street and Richmond Avenue, you’ll notice something looks a bit different in the southeast corner of the intersection since the Petro-Canada gas bar and convenience store are no longer there. The wholesale site, including the card lock system, will remain.
According to a Suncor Energy Inc. representative, a decision was made after a business review in 2013 to close the gas bar and convenience store — in part since the building, gas bar and canopy were in need of upgrades.
Ken Wesselius, owner of South End Service (southendservice.ca), which is adjacent to the former gas bar, said the change will definitely benefit his business.
“This gives us the opportunity to expand our services in the future. We could have a bigger showroom, a bigger shop and, of course, having more visibility and parking out front is definitely better for us,” he said.
Wesselius also owns West End Service at Victoria Avenue and 26th Street. They provide auto and light truck repair and maintenance services.
Happy Father’s Day
I know it’s a day early, but Happy Father’s Day to all the “world’s greatest dads” out there!
Have a splendid day.
» Wanda Kurchaba is a Brandon freelance writer and a communications and marketing specialist. This column on Westman’s business community appears each Saturday. Contact Wanda directly with any story ideas.