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Home Improvement (Lowe's, Rona, Home Depot)

Richard White

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Corporate just spent millions on that store. The problems are entirely dealer related. Corporate wants the mall entrance and also wanted to open the entrance back up to Marks next door. The store didn’t want to.

I’m hoping a more motivated dealer comes in at some point.

I am surprised Corporate does not demand they fall into line lest they be forced to give up the store. I would have assumed it would have been in some sort of dealership agreement.

On that note, is the current dealer insane? As I said before, they are losing a ton of business by closing the mall entrances. Anyone visiting the mall or coming in from the subway will not want to walk all the way around the Eaton Centre for cleaning supplies or a hammer.

Yup! New one took over, and then bailed on it. Now there’s another new one.

I know the GM Joe from a condo I used to work at. I always said he should have tried to take over the store.

Not sure if Dave Williams is still the dealer for the Allen and Lawrence store but he was always so stressed doing that job.
 

JasonParis

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store used to be better than average too in the first few years: clean, little clutter, people who could actually help, and not having an automotive section helped.

I went only to buy some vacuum bags and light bulbs. I had trouble with their crappy self checkouts, so a clerk ended doing it after overriding an alert. But then as I finally left with nothing in my hands except the small CT bag, a security guard stares at me, rubs his fingers together in my face and demands to inspect the bag and receipt.

I’ll never return.
I'm also shocked that their lease with CF allows them to close their mall access. I can see them letting it pass during the height of COVID, but there's little reason now. It also makes for a not well-used part of the Eaton Centre, to be even less well-used, probably, ironically, hurting Mark's in the process.
 

Richard White

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I'm also shocked that their lease with CF allows them to close their mall access. I can see them letting it pass during the height of COVID, but there's little reason now. It also makes for a not well-used part of the Eaton Centre, to be even less well-used, probably, ironically, hurting Mark's in the process.

It probably is killing Marks as the only other access is through Canadian Tire.

That being said, I wonder if the owner has either mental health issues (Covid is going to kill us all if we do not limit capacity) or a self-inflated ego (I know better than all of you).

This strikes me alot like the Senator where the owner closed until in his mind Covid was eradicated. I wonder if he is only opening the store for in person shopping because corporate said he had to.
 

Tuscani01

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I'm also shocked that their lease with CF allows them to close their mall access. I can see them letting it pass during the height of COVID, but there's little reason now. It also makes for a not well-used part of the Eaton Centre, to be even less well-used, probably, ironically, hurting Mark's in the process.
It probably is killing Marks as the only other access is through Canadian Tire.

That being said, I wonder if the owner has either mental health issues (Covid is going to kill us all if we do not limit capacity) or a self-inflated ego (I know better than all of you).

This strikes me alot like the Senator where the owner closed until in his mind Covid was eradicated. I wonder if he is only opening the store for in person shopping because corporate said he had to.
Neither. Theft was a big problem through that exit and the closing of it resulted in a pretty significant drop in losses. They also can’t find staff to run more cash registers, so having two entrances isn’t feasible right now.

The store is doing a bit better these days in terms of sales from what I’ve heard, so there’s probably no pressure to reopen the entrance.

And I also know Joe - he’s a good guy and knows his customers well. He was the one corp liked to deal with as well as he knew the store and its customers better than anyone. Sadly, even if he tried to become a dealer - he wouldn’t have got that store. You don’t get a choice and get placed in small town middle of nowhere stores for your first store.

At the end of the day, it’s up to the store to run their own store. Corp has very little control over these things. Most CT mall stores permanently close their mall entrances once corp hands off the keys, so it’s no surprise to me that this one is using Covid as an excuse for as long as it has. It’s at the point where corp doesn’t even plan for mall entrances anymore because they know they won’t be used. (See the brand new store in Orillia for example)
 

Tuscani01

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But couldn't CF pull out their lease agreement and say "open your entrance" (assuming it is in there) though?
I’m sure they would’ve if there was something that allowed them to. CF and CT aren’t on good terms so I’m certain they would’ve by now if they wanted to.
 

lenaitch

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(See the brand new store in Orillia for example)
In that case they can do pretty much anything they want - they own the mall. I have to believe that all of the psychology involved in store layout, product placement, 'traffic management', etc. along with staffing implications, is seriously impacted when there are two check-out zones. I haven't been into the Barrie, Bayfield store in a while to know if theirs is still there.
 

Tuscani01

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In that case they can do pretty much anything they want - they own the mall. I have to believe that all of the psychology involved in store layout, product placement, 'traffic management', etc. along with staffing implications, is seriously impacted when there are two check-out zones. I haven't been into the Barrie, Bayfield store in a while to know if theirs is still there.
It was as of a few years ago, but the store was looking to close it as part of an expansion plan, and there was no issue with doing so.

I haven’t been to the store at Albion Centre since the grand re-opening - but we were able to convince the dealer to re-open the mall connection in that case. I’m not sure if they have kept it open since then though.
 

Richard White

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Neither. Theft was a big problem through that exit and the closing of it resulted in a pretty significant drop in losses. They also can’t find staff to run more cash registers, so having two entrances isn’t feasible right now.

This makes sense actually.

I worked at Dundas and Jarvis for a year and came across more than a few crackheads and criminals. In the mid 2000s I worked at Best Buy Store 977 (Bay and Dundas), the amount of theft that occurred there was unreal.

We would get people walking in and stealing burner cellphones off the racks. They also stole CDs and DVDs on the regular. The staff were damn near cavity searched on Boxing Day 2008 when I worked there.

I am not surprised that theft is high at Canadian Tire given all the grabbable items on the racks. Tools, Cleaning Supplies, etc are all easily poachable.
 
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wopchop

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I think the Reno-Depot business in Quebec was fairly sound before Lowe's entered the Canadian market, and probably still is.............

The problem is the English Canadian side, which Reno-Depot entered as RONA, and Lowes.

Aside from @afransen 's example above...........

My observations of Lowe's in Canada would be that they were tasked with taking marketshare from Home Depot.

HD didn't really have a direct competitor of any scale in Canada when they entered (sure there's overlap with CT, but CT has automotive, camping, sporting goods, and extensive housewares; while lacking tool rental, lumber of any scale, and depth and range of contractor-grade equipment/supplies.)

By contrast, Lowe's had had HD to contend with....and dislodging and established player is a real challenge.
So, RONA actually bought Reno-Depot. I want to say that was about twenty years ago. I
However, they had actually entered Ontario a few years prior to that when they bought Cashway and Lansing , both big players. I think Lansing may have even been bought by someone else before that happened. Cashway I remember had many more locations in Ontario, probably 50+. Lansing was (and still is, as many GTA Rona's were Lansing) bigger in the GTA. Back in the day, we had accounts at Lansing, so I had been to a lot of them. I still use Rona Lansing in Oakville frequently - it is still a decent lumberyard.

The Lowe's buyout came much later, approx 10 years ago they tried to buy in and it was rejected. Then they tried again maybe 5-6 years ago and it was accepted.

I have not dealt with HD in many years, but their contractor services used to be total shit compared to even RONA, not to mention the real lumberyards still around.
Lowe's I have never dealt with on the pro side, but every time I have been in a Lowe's it has been a ghost town.
 
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Northern Light

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So, RONA actually bought Reno-Depot. I want to say that was about twenty years ago. I
However, they had actually entered Ontario a few years prior to that when they bought Cashway and Lansing , both big players. I think Lansing may have even been bought by someone else before that happened. Cashway I remember had many more locations in Ontario, probably 50+. Lansing was (and still is, as many GTA Rona's were Lansing) bigger in the GTA. Back in the day, we had accounts at Lansing, so I had been to a lot of them. I still use Rona Lansing in Oakville frequently - it is still a decent lumberyard.

The Lowe's buyout came much later, approx 10 years ago they tried to buy in and it was rejected. Then they tried again maybe 5-6 years ago and it was accepted.

I have not dealt with HD in many years, but their contractor services used to be total shit compared to even RONA, not to mention the real lumberyards still around.
Lowe's I have never dealt with on the pro side, but every time I have been in a Lowe's it has been a ghost town.

Good memory!

Looking it up.........the story of acqusitions is a bit dizzying.

 

ShonTron

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Lowe’s buying Rona was a mistake. They had trouble keeping good buyers as they were forced to maintain a Quebec headquarters, and there was a big chasm between the Lowe’s people and the Rona people. It was one thing for Rona to buy up smaller Ontario chains like Lansing (which had the short-lived Revy big box brand) and Cashway, but another for Lowe’s to absorb Rona.
 

lenaitch

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Lowe’s buying Rona was a mistake. They had trouble keeping good buyers as they were forced to maintain a Quebec headquarters, and there was a big chasm between the Lowe’s people and the Rona people. It was one thing for Rona to buy up smaller Ontario chains like Lansing (which had the short-lived Revy big box brand) and Cashway, but another for Lowe’s to absorb Rona.
Ya it stuck me odd as well. Although the Lowe's side was big footprint and bigger markets, in a lot of departments the two lines were essentially competing with each other.

In the smaller markets, you need a solid relationship with the trades and have a credit/payment system that can accommodate their cash flow. I don't know about Lowe's but I know HD has struggled with this. Around here, Rona seems to have a decent presence on jobsites although not as prominent as Home Hardware Building Centres. In other small markets, they are also up against TimberMart which, in a lot of cases, are built on long-standing local private lumber yards.
 

yoshirocks702

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It was as of a few years ago, but the store was looking to close it as part of an expansion plan, and there was no issue with doing so.

I haven’t been to the store at Albion Centre since the grand re-opening - but we were able to convince the dealer to re-open the mall connection in that case. I’m not sure if they have kept it open since then though.
The last time I was there, they re-closed the mall entrance unfortunately
 

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