More tough times for the big box retail market today as the home improvement giant Lowe’s announced that they were closing 31 locations – including 27 Rona stores – in Canada by the end of February. The Guelph location on Dawson Road, however, is not one of them.
In reporting by the CBC, the closure of 31 Rona and Lowe’s stores in Canada is part of a wider restructuring of the company; 20 Lowe’s stores in the United States will also be closing. In Ontario, nine stores are closing including two in Mississauga, one in North York, and several in northern Ontario.
“The decision to close stores is never one that we make lightly. However, following a detailed business review, we believe that this is the right path for the organization’s future,” Lowe’s Canada’s president Sylvain Prud’homme said.
“Everything will be done to ensure a smooth transition until the stores are closed, and Lowe’s Canada will support impacted employees, including by transferring eligible employees to other locations within our network whenever possible.”
Lowe’s acquired the Quebec-based Rona in 2016 for $3.2 billion. Retail analysts say that with so many Lowe’s and Rona locations still existing side-by-side in some places, they were eating each other’s business. There’s also stiff competition in the home improvement business thanks to other big box retailers like Home Depot, and Canadian Time.
And while the Rona in Guelph has been spared, this is probably the end of any hope of a Lowe’s opening in the west end.
In 2017, Guelph Today provided an update on Lowe’s intention to open a 10,500 and 14,500 square foot store at 129 Elmira Road South near the Costco. The lot had been graded, but no construction had begun, and Lowe’s seemed less than enthusiastic that Today was asking over a year ago.
“We do not comment on any potential store growth transactions unless a deal is closed,” Lowe’s spokesperson Valérie Gonzalo said in an email.