Outfits

This building stored goods which were selected by wintering partners for trade to Natives or for sale to Nor'Westers back in their departments. The wintering partners could be described as retailers; and the Montreal agents, who imported the goods and transported them to Fort William, as wholesalers.

All the goods and supplies shipped from Montreal each year made up the North West Company's outfit for that year. At Fort William, the proprietors for the various departments selected their own "outfits" for the coming year, the contents of which would be either traded with the Natives, sold to the winterers at the various posts, or distributed to them as part of their equipment.

Packs
The goods being shipped west would by bundled into 90 lb. packs (or bales) for transport. These bales were labelled with their destinations and numbered so that, using a bill of lading, the bourgeois in charge of a brigade would know the contents of each bale without having to open them.

Crates
Many goods were shipped to Fort William by schooners, which carried wooden crates instead of the smaller packs that were used in canoes.  At the Outfits, the large shipping crates would be broken open and their goods redistributed into 90 lb. packs or bales.