YEAR IN REVIEW — Penny Lane stores close

Summerland’s two Penny Lane Bargain Outlet stores closed their doors at the end of May, after 11 years

Summerland’s two Penny Lane Bargain Outlet stores closed their doors at the end of May, after 11 years of providing clothing and home furnishings and raising money to benefit the youth of the community.

The first of the two stores, on Victoria Road North, opened in July of 2002.

A second location later opened on Main Street to sell home furnishings.

For most of the store’s history, it had enjoyed a relationship with Sears Canada, but that relationship came to an end in October, 2012.

Over the years, Penny Lane raised more than $2 million for youth organizations.

Funding from Penny Lane has assisted the Breakfast Club programs at Giant’s Head Elementary School and Summerland Middle School.

The stores also raised money for numerous youth programs and for the hiring of two youth counsellors at Summerland Secondary School, in partnership with the Okanagan Skaha School District.

Bruce Hallquist, a member of the Penny Lane Bargain Outlet society said the closure came because of difficulties in acquiring merchandise after the Sears agreement ended.

While the stores are now closed, the support to the community has continued.

In fall, a new Penny Lane Community Fund, with an initial commitment of $500,000, was created by the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan and the Summerland Charity Shops Society.

In addition, a new store, based on the Penny Lane model, opened in August.

Full Circle Outlet, on Victoria Road North and across from the Penny Lane location, was set up to provide a similar array of merchandise, offered at low prices.

Money raised through Full Circle Outlet will go to benefit local initiatives.