Thunder Bay – Lowe’s Closing Thunder Bay Store In January

Chamber president laments Lowe’s job losses but says other stores may benefit

The announcement that Lowe’s will close its Thunder Bay outlet in the new year is sad news for the 126 affected workers, but may give a boost to locally-owned hardware and home improvement stores.

That’s the perspective of Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce President Charla Robinson.

“It’s certainly disappointing for the loss of the jobs there, and losing an anchor tenant at Intercity is a concern, but there’s always a positive,” Robinson said in an interview Wednesday.

Whenever a big box store closes, it provides an opportunity for others, “like Maier Hardware, and Canadian Tire and Home Hardware,” which are all owned locally or operated by local franchisees, she said.

“People will have to shift their shopping, and hopefully that provides an opportunity for some local businesses to maybe pick up some new revenue,” Robinson added.

She said Lowe’s decision to close 34 underperforming Lowe’s and RONA locations across the country is another sign of the changing retail scene.”

We know a lot of folks are doing retail shopping online for household items and those sorts of things. Generally, people don’t seem to be buying the way they used to. There’s a whole transformation happening in any store environment.”  – Tbnewswatch

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This should finally extinguish any last flicker of hope that Costco would open a store in Thunder Bay.

If the competition in the hardware business in Thunder Bay is stiff, the competition in the food sales business is more extreme.
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