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Nature’s Fare to move into Toys R Us building in Kamloops

The toy retailer will close on Jan. 15, while Nature’s Fare Markets will begin renovating the 20,000-square-foot space as it plans a move across the parking lot
toys R us
With Toys "R" Us set to close on Jan. 15, 2022, the store's former space in Columbia Square, at 500 Notre Dame Dr. in Sahali, will soon be leased by Nature's Fare.

Nature's Fare Markets will soon move to a new home in Kamloops — one not too far from its current location.

With Toys R Us set to close on Jan. 15, the store's former space in Columbia Square, at 500 Notre Dame Dr. in Sahali, will soon be leased by Nature's Fare.

The company specialized in selling healthy and organic food, along with vitamins and supplements. The Nature’s Fare store in Kamloops is now located across the parking lot from Toys R Us, facing Summit Drive.

Work in the Toys R Us building is expected to begin in the spring, with an opening date in early 2023, according to Nature's Fare marketing director Stephanie Thatcher.

"We're still working through the design of the interior space, but it is quite a bit larger, so we're excited about that," Thatcher said.

The company's current store in Kamloops is about 8,600 square feet in size, while the new space has approximately 20,000 square feet.

Once open in the new space, Thatcher estimates the company will add five or six new full-time staff, but those details have yet to be fully worked out.

Although the store design is still in development, Thatcher said that with the larger space, there will also be new offerings from the market.

Nature's Fare Markets was founded in 1993 by Rick Monahan and is headquartered in Vernon. The chain was sold in 2019 to Buy-Low Foods division of the Jim Pattison Group.

Toys R Us is closing as its lease has expired. There has been no word on whether the company will reopen elsewhere in Kamloops.

In 2018, Fairfax Financial Holdings, a Toronto-based company, bought the Toys R Us Canadian chain for $300 million, a deal that kept 82 stores in Canada open and saved more than 4,000 jobs, including those at the Kamloops store in Columbia Square in Sahali.

The American side of the chain, however, closed its 735 stores , putting more than 31,000 people out of work. In March, the United Kingdom side of the chain also closed all 100 stores, with about 3,000 people losing their jobs.

Neither was able to find a buyer nor restructure debt of billions.

In July 2018, then-Toys R Us president Melanie Teed-Murch embarked in a nationwide tour to reassure the public that the company’s stores were remaining open in the various communities.

Teed-Murch visited KTW’s newsroom that month with that message.

A year later, in August 2019, Teed-Murch resigned as president of Toys R Us and is now CEO of Onroute, Ontario’s highway service centres.