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This article was published 7/11/2017 (222 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg’s first Lowe’s store will open early next spring, although the exact date is still being kept under wraps.
"For competitive reasons, we cannot be more specific on the timeline," Lowe’s Canada spokeswoman, Valérie Gonzalo said Monday.
In preparation for the big day, the home-improvement giant is holding a two-day job fair later this week in Winnipeg. It’s hoping to find local candidates to fill the most of the more than 130 staff positions in the store, which is under construction at 1799 Kenaston Blvd.
The job fair is being held Thursday and Friday at the Canad Inns Destination Centre Fort Garry, 1824 Pembina Hwy. The workers the company is seeking include department managers, sales specialists, customer service associates, a plumbing pro, an electrical pro, head cashiers, cashier/returns associates, night crew, a receiving clerk and janitorial/maintenance workers.
The company said 30 to 40 additional seasonal contract positions will be opening for next spring and summer.
Gonzalo said most of the successful candidates will begin work later this month or in early December. Salaries will vary, "and they do factor in people’s experience," she said.
The 95,000-square-foot store is in the Linden Ridge Shopping Centre, which is located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Kenaston and McGillivray boulevards. Lowe’s Canada also has a big-box Rona store in the shopping centre on the northwest corner of the intersection, and some might wonder why it would want two big home-improvement stores so close to one another.
In an interview last June, when the company first confirmed it was opening a Lowe’s store at that location, the executive vice-president of Lowe’s big box business said the fast-growing southwest quadrant of Winnipeg is big enough and healthy enough to support both a Lowe’s and a Rona store.
"That is such an active hub," Jim Caldwell said. He also noted the two brands have a different product offering.
"A typical Lowe’s store is very fashion forward. Apart from having a full assortment of home and garden products, we also have a great assortment of private brands and our appliance floor is one of the largest appliance sales floors in Canada," he said. "And we have an exemplary seasonal program, so the two will coexist very nicely."
Gonzalo said that thinking hasn’t changed, and the plan is to continue operating the Rona outlet.
The opening of the Lowe’s store will provide a new anchor tenant for the Linden Ridge Shopping Centre, which has been owned since 2012 by Winnipeg-based Artis REIT.
The store is being built on a parcel of land Artis purchased from Walmart after it purchased the shopping centre. Brad Goerzen, Artis’s senior vice-president of leasing for the central region, said Walmart had originally planned to build a Sam’s Club outlet on the site and, when those plans were scrapped, it sold it to Artis.
Goerzen said it made sense for Artis to buy the land so it would have control over what was built there.
"It will be nice to have Winnipeg’s first and, I guess for a while, its only branded Lowe’s store. I think what it also does, first and foremost, is it provides certainty and stability. There was always the question of what was going to be going in this field that never seemed to get developed."
He said the shopping centre’s other tenants — there are about 31 altogether — should benefit from having Lowe’s as a neighbour because it will draw customers to the fully-leased centre.
Although there is another undeveloped parcel of land in front of the Lowe’s store, Goerzen said Artis is not in any hurry to find a tenant for that.
"We’re going to take a little bit of a wait-and-see approach... and see what’s best (for the site) once Lowe’s is open and operational and we see how the site works and those kinds of things," he said.