U.S. hardware chain Lowes aims to expand into Winnipeg
The large American retailer Lowes is hoping to set up shop in Manitoba.
Lowes has submitted a plan to city hall to build a store west of IKEA as part of the Seasons of Tuxedo development.
The city's administration is recommending approval of the project.
Economist Phil Cyrenne said that more competition, with Lowes possibly opening up in Manitoba, could help drive prices down.
He added, however, that consumers shouldn’t expect to pay the same lower prices featured in Lowes’ U.S. stores.
Cyrenne said it’s because it costs businesses more to operate north of the border.
“There has been, in the past, some disgruntled Canadians consumers who don't see the same prices, even adjusting for the exchange rate in the Canadian outlets,” said Cyrenne.
In a market that already has major retailers such as Home Depot and Rona, some Winnipeg shoppers said Monday they don’t believe there’s room for more.
Others said that more competition would be welcomed.
Mike Wolchock is the general manager for Pollock’s Hardware Co-op.
He said the addition of Lowes would just mean the big box stores could fight it out among themselves.
“It’s just another company for us to watch, look at and figure out what they’re doing wrong,” said Wolchock.
Earlier this year, Lowes failed in its bid to buy Canadian company Rona.
Cyrenne said acquiring Rona could be Lowes’ real motivation for setting up shop in a city like Winnipeg.
“It could be that they really want to buy Rona and if they put pressure on Rona in a number of markets, they might sell,” he said.
Shopper Dan Garroni said he hopes that doesn’t happen.
“I like the fact that Rona is a Canadian company and keeping the money in Canada,” he said.
Lowes isn’t the only chain wanting to set up in the Seasons of Tuxedo development. Bouclair also hopes to open up a home decor store.
Lowes wouldn’t comment on its plans Monday, with its proposal still before Winnipeg city hall.