Quinn Bender photo Boota and Diljit Uppal along with son Shaan in the showroom of their new store. Terrace Appliances & Mattresses is now open for business on a limited scale and a grand opening is planned for an undetermined date in September.

Back in business: former Sears franchisees go it alone

Boota and Diljit Uppal’s new store opens in same location

Sears Canada may be gone for good, but former Terrace franchise owners Boota and Diljit Uppal won’t let that hinder their success as a local home-furnishings retailer. The couple has renewed their lease at the old Sears location and are planning a grand opening event for what’s now an authentically independent business, Terrace Appliances & Mattresses.

“Mostly it was my customers who wanted me to try, and told me not to give up,” Boota said. “So we’re trying. We’re happy. I love Terrace and I want to stay in Terrace.”

Customers will see very little change from the brands and items once offered under the Sears banner, but the prices will be lower, Boota said.

The new store is part of the Mega Group, a membership of hundreds of Canadian home furnishing retailers who combine their numbers to achieve a level of buying power on par with the large competitors. Without the apparatus of a major company, like infrastructure, offices and layers of management, the Uppals say they will see greater price flexibility than what was achievable with Sears.

“I’m very excited. I’ve had my own business for 17 years, and I would not be happy now working for someone else. For two months I didn’t know what I would do, but then I started visiting other stores (former Sears franchises) in Smithers and elsewhere and they were doing quite well on their own.”

Last October Sears Canada’s liquidated all its 190 stores and assets, following almost four months of court-approved creditor protection.

Despite 17 years of success with their franchise, the Uppals were forced out of business.

The action came just weeks before Boota’s annual humanitarian visit to his home village in India. Along with local physicians and surgeons volunteering their time, Boota and four others now living in North America pool their money to finance eye, medical and cancer clinics for the poor.

Boota fulfilled that mission regardless of his business uncertainties. At the time he said the hardest part of losing the franchise was the doubt it cast over future missions abroad.

“I am very happy being successful for 17 years, but I’m sad my humanitarian work has to stop,” he said at the time. “When I start my new business I would like to keep helping in the community, in Canada and in India.”

Over the years the Uppals have also used their success to give back to the local community, including the donation of refrigerators on multiple occasions to the hospital, food bank, schools and daycares, as well by sponsoring the athletic and academic pursuits of youth both here at home and abroad.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Terrace Minor Softball closes season with wins

Teams with be competing in nationals in Saskatoon

Bicyclist crashes into car

Police briefs July 12-14

Malicious Monster Truck Tour returns to Northwest

Crowds gathered at the airport for show

Terrace SAR rescues shopping carts in Skeena River

Many have yet to be retrieved due to high water level

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Injured humpback returns to waters near Comox a year later

Photographer spotted Ocular near Comox again and noticed the whale has been healing

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Most Read