Rona sets up satellite store in New Westminster
Rona has chosen New Westminster as the location for its first "satellite" store in British Columbia.
In an effort to keep pace in the highly competitive home improvement business, Rona Canada recently announced a strategy of establishing satellite and "proximity" stores.
A sign has been put up on a storefront in the Columbia Square Plaza that formerly held a women's fitness centre saying Rona was coming, and work has already begun on the conversion. It will be the only hardware store in the mainland portion of New Westminster.
A satellite store is about 5,000 to 10,000 square feet in a densely populated area that is connected to one of its big box stores, which in New Westminster's case will be the one on Grandview Highway in Vancouver, said Dave Carr, Rona vice-president of retail for Western Canada.
"It's an interesting location for us. That community is well served with the density of housing there. It's an area we can come to and have a presence in. It gets us closer to the customer, one click away, and a smaller store format allows us to do that in that area," said Carr.
He said the company is targeted to open Oct. 17.
The first satellite store to be opened in Western Canada will be in Calgary. Car pointed out satellite store customers will still have access to everything Rona sells because it can be delivered from the Grandview Highway outlet.
"You're not going to see the depth of product you're going to see in the big box, but that doesn't mean it's not going to be available to you," said Carr. "We're excited about this one, we're excited about this solution."
The satellite will concentrate on products like hardware convenience items, paint, cleaning supplies, electrical supplies and plumbing.
Carr said Rona will also be introducing "proximity" stores which will be medium sized, about 35,000 sq. ft., the first of which was opened in Edmonton on Aug. 8.
Carr said that's a similar size to the Rona store at Kingsway and Edmonds in Burnaby. With a new development being proposed across the street, there are rumours the Rona property will be converted into residential development as well. Carr said the site is under review but nothing has been decided.