The North West Company is a grocery and merchandise store in remote communities across northern Canada, Alaska and four other countries. Through its subsidiary, Cost-U-Less stores, it also operates in the US territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa, and in the Caribbean.
The company traces its history back to the North West Company, a fur trading business headquartered in the city of Montreal in British North America from 1779 to 1821. It was merged into the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821. The enterprise continued as the Fur Trade Department, and then the Northern Stores Division of Hudson's Bay Company. In 1987, the division was acquired by a group of investors and in the 1990s it was relaunched under the old name of the North West Company. It is now a publicly traded company and is composed mainly of the old HBC Northern Stores Division. The Alaska Commercial Company traced its routes back to the Russian American Company.
The North West Company operates stores under the banners of:
- Northern (123 stores in Canada)
- AC Value Centre (129 stores in Alaska),
- NorthMart (7 stores in Canada)
- Quickstop (12 locations across Canada)
- Alaska Food For Less (2 location in Kodiak)
- Giant Tiger (36 stores across Canada)
- Valu Lots (1 location in Winnipeg)
- Solo Market (1 store in BC, 1 store Pinawa,MB)
- Cost-U-Less (12 stores in Guam, Hawaii, California, US Virgin Islands, America Samoa, Fiji, Netherlands Antilles and Cayman Islands)
As of January 2004, the North West Company had 44,552 employees in Canada and 736 in Alaska, and was the largest employer of aboriginal people in the business sector. Holding to its roots, it also runs the largest Inuit art marketing service in the world and a fur marketing division.
It has its head office in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, near the site of Upper Fort Garry. This building formerly served as the head office of the Hudson's Bay Company.
Link Financial Services
The Link Financial Services division operates a series of ATM machines in each store, offers the Link Debit Card, Link Credit Card and Link Prepaid Visa.
- Ahrens, Merv. Fort Lac La Pluie of the North West Company, 177?-1821. Fort Frances, Ontario: Fort Frances Times Ltd, 2006.