While most retailers grapple for real estate in big cities, The North West Company L.P is quietly building up store locations far from the fray. Serving rural and urban communities, The North West Company operates some 230 stores in remote areas of Canada, Alaska, the Caribbean, and South Pacific. Its stores, which include Northern (its flagship), NorthMart, Giant Tiger, AC Value Center, and Cost-U-Less, sell groceries, general merchandise, clothes, electronics, and other items suited to local community needs. The firm also operates a small chain of convenience stores, as well as a financial services company that provides prepaid credit and debit cards. It is owned by holding company The North West Company Inc.