One of the country’s largest big-box hardware store brands is about to disappear from the Canadian retail landscape entirely, as US chain Lowe’s has announced that all of its stores in Canada will soon be absorbed under the Rona brand.
The home improvement store operates 60 locations across the country, which will all be converted to branches of Canadian hardware outlet, Rona, in 2023, announced in a company statement earlier this week.
“In 2023, our Lowe’s stores will begin a new journey under the umbrella of a strong Canadian brand that has been serving customers for over 80 years: RONA,” the statement reads.
“As you may already know, our Lowe’s stores will gradually be converted to RONA,” the statement continues, adding that the transition is being planned to make sure the customer experience at existing stores is not impacted.
“We will make this possible by keeping our stores open,” assures Lowe’s/Rona.
“The conversion of the Lowe’s stores will have no impact on you. You can count on our 26,000 employees across Canada to be there for you as you have always been there for us.”
The change comes after Sycamore Partners acquired the brand from Lowe’s Companies Inc. In February, it was announced that Rona had re-established itself as an independent company.
But what does this mean for customers with products under warranty or gift cards issued by Lowe’s?
Customers can breathe easy, as the statement stresses that, despite the change in branding, all service agreements, warranties, and gift cards issued by Lowe’s will be honoured at Rona locations.
The change also poses questions for current Lowe’s locations in proximity to existing Rona stores. One case is found in Scarborough, where a current Lowe’s at 800 Warden Avenue already exists in close proximity to a Rona at 768 Warden.
It is not yet known what will become of such Lowe’s locations that would essentially compete with themselves after the rebranding is complete.