Lowe's currently owns 67 stores in Canada, as well as 21 Réno-Dépôt stores and just over 400 Rona outlets, in addition to 100 stores under other banners.
More than a third of the closures are in Quebec, where 12 stores are affected. Nine stores will be closed in Ontario, six in Alberta, three in Nova Scotia, three in British Columbia, and one in Saskatchewan.
In a statement, Lowe's Canada interim president Tony Cioffi said the affected stores were "underperforming," and that the closures were a "necessary step" to ensure the long-term viability of the business.
Lowe's Companies Inc. says it will close 34 underperforming stores across six provinces, including one in the Okanagan, as part of a restructuring of its Canadian business.
This decision comes a month after 60 accounting jobs were cut at the company's Quebec headquarters in Boucherville.
The Canadian division of Lowe's has more than 600 corporate and independent affiliate stores under the Lowe's, Rona, Reno-Depot, Ace and Dick’s Lumber brands.
Claude Brunet, a part-time employee at one of the affected Rona locations in Saint-Sauveur, told Radio-Canada that workers were emotional when they learned of the cuts Tuesday.
"There's lots of families that are affected, several people were crying," he said. "Some people have worked here for 20, 30 years."
The vast majority of the workers affected are not unionized, said Antonio Filato, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 500, which represents workers in two of the stores in Quebec.
Twenty-six RONAs, six Lowe's and two reno-depots will shut their doors in 2020 to "optimize" the network, Lowe's said in a news release.
Filato said that one of the stores impacted, the Réno-Dépôt in Trois-Rivières, "never" had enough business to sustain itself.
"[There's] all this talk about how we shouldn't be selling our Quebec companies," he said, "but if we want to keep our Quebec companies in Quebec or in Canada, we have to shop there."
“While making decisions that impact our associates and their families is never easy, closing underperforming stores is a necessary step in our plan to ensure the long-term stability and growth of our Canadian business,” said Tony Cioffi, Interim President of Lowe's Canada, in the release.
At the time, the Liberal government faced severe criticism from the opposition for letting one of Quebec's flagship companies to be sold to an American competitor.
Jacques Daoust, who was the Quebec economy minister at the time of the sale, stepped down as a result.
Brockville Rona to close
On Wednesday, Quebec Premier François Legault described the situation as "unfortunate," and decried the previous government's decision to allow the sale of Rona to Lowe's.
He said that the provincial government had "no guarantees" from Lowe's regarding retaining jobs.
Pierre Fitzgibbon, the province's economy minister, said he wants to look into helping Quebec-based businesses break into the online market without the use of multinationals.
"Should we get our Quebec Amazon? Should we allow our domestic and national retailers, who are too small to go to Amazon, have a structure where they can interact on an e-trade basis?" he asked.
At the National Assembly in Quebec City Wednesday, Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said he will be reviewing the letter of commitment from Lowes stating its plan for both Quebec and Canada.
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RONA in Cambridge among many closing in 2020
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Lowes closing RONA stores in Oshawa and Ajax in January
8h ago Lowes to shutter 34 stores across Canada beginning in January Nicole Gibillini, BNN Bloomberg
Lowes jumps after announcing plans to revamp its underperforming Canadian operations
Lowes Canada will close 34 underperforming stores, including 26 Rona locations, the company said Wednesday.
The Lowes hardware store in the Northgate Mall opened on June 9, 2016. On Wednesday, Lowes announced it plans to close the store in February. (Northgate Mall/Twitter)
“While making decisions that impact our associates and their families is never easy, closing underperforming stores is a necessary step in our plan to ensure the long-term stability and growth of our Canadian business,” said Tony Cioffi, interim president of Lowes Canada, in a release.
“We are taking decisive action to build a healthy business which will provide us with the flexibility to reinvest in our future growth. This includes having a clear strategy for our banners, built on the strength of our Lowes, RONA and Reno-Depot brands.
Lowes, which acquired Quebec-based Rona Inc. in 2016 in a deal valued at about $3.2 billion, said eligible employees affected by the closures will be offered the chance to transfer to a nearby store.
Often when you see these major acquisitions – with [Lowes] buying out Rona a few years ago – you start to see this, said Ryan Lewenza, senior VP and portfolio manager at Turner Investments, on BNN Bloomberg. They start to close some of the underperforming branches and assets. So not a big surprise. What Im more focused on is: is this a bigger trend?
Driving the perky home-renovation sales trends are core maintenance and repair work in an aging U.S. housing market, "rather than the remodelling ups, downs and recovery processes that have characterized most of the last 15 years," said analyst Scot Ciccarelli of RBC Capital Markets.
Its not the first time the company has announced mass store closures in this country. In November 2018, Lowes said it would shutter 31 Canadian locations by Feb. 1, 2019. And the closures are a dramatic departure from the optimistic tone from the CEO of Rona who presided over the retailers takeover by Lowes in 2016.
“I am confident that Rona will be in good hands as part of Lowes and will have new opportunities and resources to grow its brands and build upon its heritage, providing Canadians with trusted products and advice to build and renovate their homes in total confidence,” said Robert Sawyer in a release on May 20, 2016.
Although we still have work to do, I am confident we are on the right path to build a better Lowes and generate long-term profitable growth. We are committed to the Canadian market and are taking decisive action to improve the performance and profitability of our Canadian operations…I would like to thank our associates for their commitment and dedication to serving our customers and communities, said Marvin R. Ellison, Lowes president and CEO, in a press release.
“This is an excellent next step for our people, our partners, our customers and our former shareholders.”
Lowes Canada closing 34 underperforming stores, including two Ronas in Durham Region
Lowes has more than 600 corporate and independent affiliate stores under the Lowes, Rona, Reno-Depot, Ace and Dicks Lumber brands in Canada, and seven distribution centres.
-Lowes Prince George 2999 Massey Drive. Closing Feb. 19, 2020 -RONA Surrey (Newton) 6965 King George Boulevard. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Osoyoos 6014-51 Street. Closing Jan. 31, 2020
CORNWALL, Ontario – Our city’s Lowe’s storefront may close as soon as Jan. 2020 following a company-wide strategic review, which has announced the closure of 34 ‘underperforming’ stores across Canada.
-Lowes Calgary – Shawnessy 295 Shawville Boulevard S.E. Closing Feb. 19, 2020 -RONA Airdrie 2649 Main Street South. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Calgary (Midnapore) 14815 Bannister Road S.E. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA St. Albert 730 St. Albert Trail, St. Albert. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Sherwood Park 340 Baseline Road, Sherwood Park. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Edmonton (Ellerslie Road) 1003 Parsons Road S.W., Edmonton. Closing Jan. 31, 2020
Lowes CEO says e-commerce remains a mystery for the company, and it reveals a stark reality for the home-improvement chain
-Lowes Etobicoke – North 48 Lowes Place. Closing Jan. 31,2020 -Lowes Thunder Bay 1000 Fort William Road. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -Lowes Cornwall 950 Brookdale Avenue. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Brockville 550 Stewart Boulevard.. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -Home & Garden RONA – Cambridge 66 Pinebush Road. Jan. 31,2020 -RONA Mississauga (Rockwood 4141 Dixie Road. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -Reno-Depot Aurora 140 First Commerce Drive. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Oshawa 1279 Simcoe Street North. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Ajax 19 Notion Road. Closing Jan, 31, 2020
-RONA Granby 316 rue Denison Est.Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Sorel 1293 chemin des Patriotes. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Bécancour 3365 boulevard Bécancour. Closing Jan. 31, Bécancour 2020 -RONA Nicolet 2145 boulevard Louis-Fréchette. Closing Jan.31, 2020 -RONA Saint-Tite 700 rue Notre-Dame. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Trois-Rivières 15 rue Philippe-Francoeur. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Saint-Félix-de-Valois 3110 rue Henri-L. Chevrette. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Carignan 2395 chemin de Chambly. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Saint-Lambert 707 rue Saint-Charles. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Saint-Sauveur 180 rue Principale. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -RONA Bellefeuille – 905 boulevard de la Salette. Closing Jan. 31, 2020 -Réno-Dépôt Trois-Rivières 4575 boulevard des Forges. Closing Jan. 31, 2020
-RONA Dartmouth, 500 Windmill Road. Closing Feb. 19, 2020 -RONA Dartmouth, 1000 Cole Harbour Road. Closing Feb.19, 2020 -RONA Bedford 1658 Bedford Place Mall. Closing Feb. 19, 2020