SASKATOON -- The Saskatoon branch of Ten Thousand Villages Canada is set to close March 31 as Mennonite Central Committee Canada shutters its social enterprise.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts we announce the closure of the corporate operations of Ten Thousand Villages Canada, which includes the head office, distribution centre in New Hamburg, Ont., as well as the Ten Thousand Villages Canada webstore, wholesale operations and 10 remaining company stores,” the organization says in a post on its website.

Mennonite Central Committee Canada made the decision despite customers’ commitment and support in a challenging retail environment, the post says.

“However, in spite of all our best efforts, we have been unable to achieve the level of sales that would continue to provide us with the ability to operate a sustainable business model.”

Most stores are slated to close by May 29, though some stores owned and operated by separate boards have the means to remain open.

Over 74 years, Ten Thousand Villages Canada has “empowered over 100,000 makers around the world to earn a fair and stable income, share their craft with a global market, gain access to education and medical services, better working conditions, equal opportunities for women and so much more,” the organization says.

“And the truth is, none of this would have been possible without the passion and dedication of our staff, volunteers and most importantly, you, our loyal customers.”