Island Outfitters, the region’s retail hub for hunters and anglers, which was abruptly shut down by an arson fire in January, is planning to open the first week in October in a new location and under new ownership.
Ian and Megan White and Brenda Lineham, who all worked at the original store on Douglas Street, have acquired the business from Ward Bond and Darren Wright. They plan to reopen Island Outfitters in the building formerly occupied by Andre’s Electronics and McKays at 1681-A Island Highway in View Royal.
Megan White said Friday the 26-year-old company is still awaiting some permits to operate, but is hopeful for an opening during the first week in October. Work on the space is largely complete and the shelves are being stocked with merchandise as inventory continues to arrive, she said.
“We’re getting really good feedback from people; they’re happy we are opening again,” said White. “I think the new store [on the West Shore] makes it a little more convenient for people.”
The Jan. 4 fire dealt a severe blow to the business owners and staff, as well as hundreds of regular customers who frequented the store for hunting and fishing supplies. Victoria and Saanich fire departments said the blaze was started in storage sheds in the rear of the building on Douglas Street near Cloverdale Avenue. No one was hurt in the fire. The case is active, but no one has been charged.
White said Island Outfitters salvaged some of the inventory, and will be selling some of those items in a “fire sale” near the end of October in tents outside the new location.
“It was really hard for us to get it going again … we had the fire and then COVID came, so we’re really happy people were so patient and we had support,” said White.
She said most of the 20 employees are returning, and hiring will ramp up as the fishing season approaches in March.
Ian White is the general manager and has worked for Island Outfitters for more than 15 years. Megan White, who also has a long history with the company, is in charge of inventory, marketing and other duties. Lineham has been the backbone of the administration for more than a decade. Her husband, Mike, is also part of the new ownership group.
Wright and Bond will continue to operate their charter and fishing accommodation businesses.