How SPR’s The Flag Shop is Supporting the Community During COVID-19
The Flag Shop is a local business that has been at 15507 Stony Plain Road since 1990. We spoke to the owner of The Flag Shop, Phyllis Bright to see how the pandemic has affected the shop and to learn more about their Healthcare Heroes initiative!
“We bought it in 1994, we were looking for a business and this one looked like an interesting one,” Bright tells us.
The Flag Shop is part of a franchise that is headquartered in Vancouver, and we are told it has proven to be an interesting and fun business to run. Employees get to meet people from all around the world looking for flags.
While the business does sell flags from locations all over the globe, they also do custom work. The shop does soft signage (printing on fabric), corporate flags, table cloths, street banners, as well as flag poles from 3″ to 100″, crests, windsocks, and more! What makes The Flag Shop so unique is that much of their product including Alberta and Canada flags and their custom work comes in as raw goods on rolls. The sewing department then cuts, sews and finishes the product on site!
“This way we can ensure that things are done correctly and well,” states Bright, “We take a lot of pride in providing good quality products.”
While the store does sell a limited number of products that are made offshore, most products are made in Canada.
When the pandemic hit, The Flag Shop immediately stopped allowing customers in the shop, and on March 20, 2020 they temporarily closed their doors. The store’s sales were down 80%.
“April, May and June are what we call the Christmas season in the flag industry, but not this year,” Bright tells us, “We are lucky in that our franchise has a great web order system, so that was helpful.
Currently, The Flag Shop is closed to allowing people in the shop, but they are happy to do phone, email or web orders, and ship orders or arrange for curbside pickup. One of the reasons for these restrictions is that they have so much fabric (flags), that it is difficult to keep everything sanitized with customers in store. The store is currently looking at ways to accomodate people who come in, but since most of their business goes out by courrier, it is not a huge impact.
The Flag Shop currently has a great initiative going that involves their Healthcare Heroes flag. The flag came about by the owner of The Flag Shop in Nova Scotia, Dr. Deb Hartlen, RN. While so many people have been keeping society going – truck drivers, grocery workers, first responders, The Flag Shops wanted to do something to honour the people working on the frontlines and are keeping people healthy. So, Dr. Hartlen designed the Healthcare Heroes flag. The blue in the flag represents code blue emergency as well as the scrubs often worn by staff, the stethoscope represents care and the heart and beat are representative of the compassion and competence of appreciation and gratitude of those receiving care. 25% of gross sales will be donated to the Edmonton Community Rapid Response Fund for up to $1,000. After that, 25% of gross sales will be donated to the Edmonton Food Bank.
To order a Healthcare Heroes flag or to contact The Flag Shop: