A nearly century old business is slated to return to Victoria under new ownership and concept.
Capital Iron, a staple of Victoria for nearly 90 years, closed its doors for good in December after the economic climate just became too much for the business to remain open and profitable.
The family-run business announced its pending closure in October of last year. When the announcement came out, it piqued the interest of Fred Aram, owner of WestCoast Appliance Gallery.
Following the closure of the long-standing business, Capital Iron filed for bankruptcy due to unpaid debts and numerous collection agencies knocking on their door.
During the last months of Capital Iron being open, Aram and the Black family–who have owned the business since it was passed to them in 1971–have been in talks on the purchase of Capital Iron’s intellectual property, which includes the name, website and social media channels.
- Capital Iron plans on shutting its doors for good after 88 years of service
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Aram ended up making the purchase, but not from the Black family, rather the trustees responsible for the company’s receivership.
The new Capital Iron will be a completely separate entity from WestCoast Appliance and will focus on being an outdoor gallery, selling products such as hot tubs, barbeques, patio furniture, fire tables and any other outdoor amenities.
“It will not be a general store, it will just be a specialized store that will focus on what it is good at,” Aram told Victoria Buzz.
“I was already planning on introducing outdoor appliances into WestCoast Appliance, but even though we are the largest appliance store in Victoria, it still doesn’t have enough room for outdoor products.”
“When this opportunity came up I thought, ‘maybe we should look into this and get this re-established and going again because it’s strong enough to support itself as a standalone entity.’”
Aram told Victoria Buzz he has a vision in mind for the aesthetic and branding of his Capital Iron, and he wants it to be less retro and eclectic than the business was in its previous iteration.
“I want a modernized look that goes better with the current trends of backyards and outdoor gardens nowadays,” said Aram. “So it will be more of a modern look than the old, retro style.”
Aram said he has found a suitable location near the downtown Victoria core that has enough space for his rendition of Capital Iron that includes an attached warehouse space, but doesn’t want to announce where it is until the offer he has made is approved.
Once Aram has the space acquired he hopes to open the new shop as soon as possible.
“Ideally [Capital Iron] will open before the season starts, around the beginning of spring, however it all depends on the real estate,” said Aram.
“If the place I put an offer on works and I can get it going right away, then we are on track to hit the season, if not it will all depend on finding the proper location.”
Aram added that he would rather not rush it and open in a space not suitable for his needs.
After the closure of Capital Iron’s Store Street location, Aram extended the opportunity to many of its staff to work for him once the new business endeavour opened and he says that the offer stands.
“Some of them may have found jobs elsewhere, but if they change their minds and want to join back, they are more than welcome,” Aram told Victoria Buzz.
“Two [past Capital Iron employees] are already working for me at WestCoast Appliance and they will be transferring to Capital Iron.”
Aram also plans on promoting from within WestCoast Appliance for the new business and he expects that when the new Capital Iron opens, it will create between 20 and 25 new jobs in the city.
“I’m just hoping that Victorians will continue to support local businesses as they have been,” said Aram.
“I moved here around 2016 and I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by the amount of local loyalty people have toward Victoria businesses.”