Author Topic: Lowe's Exiting From Canada  (Read 1327 times)
joseph_125
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Lowe's Exiting From Canada « on: November 11, 2022, 06:08:01 PM » Author: joseph_125
So it seems like after a ~15 year run up in Canada, Lowe's has decided to sell off its Canadian operations to private equity firm Sycamore Partners and exit the Canadian market. Apparently the stores are still remaining open for now but it wouldn't surprise me that a few low traffic stores would be shut down shortly after. The Lowe's brand is also apparently going to be replaced with the RONA brand. RONA was a Canadian chain of hardware stores that was acquired by Lowe's in 2016 after a failed attempt in 2012.

I suppose Home Depot and to a lesser extent Canadian Tire and Home Hardware were already well entrenched here when Lowe's opened up so I think they always struggled to compete against the other hardware stores, especially Home Depot which was more or less a direct competitor and in my area had better locations compared to Lowe's. There were a few missteps in choosing locations too. The most notable being a since closed Lowe's location here was strangely taken over from a old mall department store location (Zellers then Target) and it was strange to see a Lowe's in a two story store. I suppose the odd two floor layout, the smaller square footage which meant a limited selection and strange location choice (Canadian Tire in the same mall, Home Depot 2.5 miles away) pretty much doomed that location from the start. It's now a computer parts retailer.

Still kind of a shame to see the Lowe's name go, when they first opened in Canada back in the end of 2007 they had arguably the best selection of lighting and electrical items out of all the hardware stores here. In terms of lighting, they had 175w MV yardlights, 100w MV mini yardlights, and Cooper 100w HPS commerical grade wallpacks along with 70w HPS tallpacks and 100w and 150w HPS yardlights. They also had a pretty decent selection of 400w and under HID lamps at the time too and I think were the few retailers here that stocked F96T8 lamps.

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Econolite03
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Re: Lowe's Exiting From Canada « Reply #1 on: November 11, 2022, 06:28:21 PM » Author: Econolite03
Here in the US, Lowes doesn’t seem to be doing great either. Declining foot traffic, increased competition with Home Depot, and a failed attempt to resurrect the now defunct OSH chain. I’m not surprised they’re exiting Canada, which I’ve heard is a tough market for most retailers. I’d say here it probably isn’t the end of the world for them yet, but worse case scenario they become a regional chain.
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joseph_125
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Re: Lowe's Exiting From Canada « Reply #2 on: November 11, 2022, 07:18:43 PM » Author: joseph_125
Hmm I suppose it makes sense then they're exiting Canada then. I've speculated myself that Lowe's here was having trouble integrating the RONA chain into Lowe's Canada operations. To this day the two chains still operate pretty distinctly with separate websites and store branding. The fact that RONA was based on French speaking Quebec and Lowe's was in English Canada probably didn't help things either. Ironically in 2016 it was speculated that the big box RONA stores would get rebranded to Lowe's and the RONA name only kept for the smaller stores.

Hopefully Lowe's still maintains somewhat of a presence in the US, even as a regional chain it would be a shame to see it go under.

Yeah, a lot of successful US retailers don't seem to translate well to Canada for some reason. Even WalMart struggled with Sam's Club here and decided to close them and there's also the notorious Target Canada closure. They lasted barely two years. Bass Pro seems to be doing ok but with a pretty limited presenc. 
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joseph_125
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Re: Lowe's Exiting From Canada « Reply #3 on: January 01, 2024, 10:08:23 AM » Author: joseph_125
An update to this, I think most of the Lowe's stores in my area have since been renamed into RONA+ with some that were too close to a existing RONA location consolidated into one single location. I think it was pretty recent as they were still branded Lowe's back in September.

I think Lowe's and RONA have pretty much sold the same things over the past few years when Lowe's Canada merged with RONA so I'm guessing not much changed aside from the name.
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takemorepills
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Re: Lowe's Exiting From Canada « Reply #4 on: January 02, 2024, 09:40:25 PM » Author: takemorepills
RONA+?

What a horrible name choice!
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joseph_125
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Re: Lowe's Exiting From Canada « Reply #5 on: January 02, 2024, 09:46:01 PM » Author: joseph_125
Yeah, I don't know why they had to make a new banner for the locations or call them RONA+.

It seems like rebranding to RONA was the better option or even reviving one of the long forgotten Canadian banners that RONA bought out such as Lansing, Cashway, The Building Box etc. I suppose they had to rebrand from Lowe's though as the license agreement to use that name probably ran out.
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Richmond2000
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Re: Lowe's Exiting From Canada « Reply #6 on: February 04, 2024, 07:40:56 PM » Author: Richmond2000
in Winnipeg there was a Home depot AND a RONA and a Canadian tire and costco all within a 2 mile radius and RONA built a NEW store in the same area so within a 2 mile radius ALL your big box needs were fulfilled
NOW the LOWES is a RONA + and the existing RONA (not plus) is still there
I am not surprised US stores often fail in Canada as they CAN NOT offer what Canadian buyers want / expect and that is the US store in Canada but import laws and setting up different suppliers and importers make it VERY HARD to "extend" US stores to Canada and often they sell the same products from the same suppliers baking Home depot = RONA = Lowes
and why Target Canada was a badly run walmart with higher prices and gave Canada ZERO new brands AT "cross border" pricing and for a LOT of Canadians NOT in Toronto a weekend trip across the border for AMERICAN SHOPPING is quite normal and big enough that the "lock down" really hurt US border towns because of NO Canadian shoppers scooting over
I will also add a "west" point of view and one that keeps RONA back is RONA "killed" a beloved western brand in Revelstoke hardware when RONA bought that chain of stores for a few years there was "RONA-REVY" but it was clear to consumers RONA was going and did "kill off" the LOCAL for a "quebec" company and RONA has never recovered out west and Home depot + home hardware enjoy better name association 
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joseph_125
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Re: Lowe's Exiting From Canada « Reply #7 on: February 04, 2024, 08:58:58 PM » Author: joseph_125
Interesting, and even in Toronto, it's common for some to go on a weekend day trip cross border shopping. Especially back in the 80s when stores were closed Sunday here.

During the transition over to RONA+ a few RONA stores that were near a Lowe's got shuttered and in one case a Lowe's got shuttered instead of converted.

Rona took over the local Lansing Buildall chain and the Building Box chain of hardware stores here in the 2000s. They initially branded the Lansing stores as RONA Lansing but later switched to the Rona only branding by the 2010s. The Building Box brand I think got swallowed up immediately.

Home Hardware originated in St Jacobs, Ontario and they still get a lot of support in smaller cities and towns. I think they took over the Beaver Lumber chain in the 90s. Home Depot took over the local Aikenhead Hardware Warehouse here in Toronto when they came from the US. 
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Richmond2000
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Re: Lowe's Exiting From Canada « Reply #8 on: February 04, 2024, 10:04:03 PM » Author: Richmond2000
I am from Victoria / Vancouver
and for us the USA is a few hour drive
and beaver lumber was a player out west along with REVY and home hardware
home depot came to the lower mainland "clean sheet" and did NOT replace / take over the competition and did a good job of bringing "AMERICAN retail" to the BC market that only had small hardware shops and commercial supply houses not geared for "retail" sales
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