Rona to open 'satellite' shop in New Westminster



Rona has chosen New Westminster as the location for its first “satellite” store in British Columbia.


In an effort to keep pace in the highly competitive home improvement business, Rona Canada recently announced a strategy of establishing satellite and “proximity” stores.


A sign has been put up on a storefront in the Columbia Square Plaza that formerly held a women’s fitness centre, saying Rona was coming, and work has already begun on the conversion. It will be the only hardware store in the mainland portion of New Westminster.


A satellite store is about 5,000 to 10,000 square feet in a densely populated area that is connected to one of its big box stores, which in New Westminster’s case will be the one on Grandview Highway in Vancouver, said Dave Carr, Rona vice-president of retail for Western Canada.


 “It’s an interesting location for us. That community is well served with the density of housing there. It’s an area we can come to and have a presence in. It gets us closer to the customer, one click away, and a smaller store format allows us to do that in that area,” said Carr.


 He said the store is targeted to open Oct. 17.


The first satellite store to be opened in Western Canada will be in Calgary. Carr pointed out satellite store customers will still have access to everything Rona sells because it can be delivered from the Grandview Highway outlet.


“You’re not going to see the depth of product you’re going to see in the big box, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be available to you,” said Carr. “We’re excited about this one, we’re excited about this solution.”


The satellite will concentrate on products like hardware convenience items, paint, cleaning supplies, electrical supplies and plumbing.


 Carr said Rona will also be introducing “proximity” stores, which will be medium sized (about 35,000 square feet), the first of which opened in Edmonton on Aug. 8.


Carr said that’s a similar size to the Rona store at Kingsway and Edmonds in Burnaby. With a new development being proposed across the street, there are rumours the Rona property will be converted into residential development as well. Carr said the site is under review but nothing has been decided.



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Concerts at the Quay coming to New Westminster waterfront


A new summer series, Concerts on the Quay, is being launched by the Hyack Festival Association in partnership with River Market.


 The concerts will be free and take place between 2 and 5 p.m. each Sunday.


 Two dates have been confirmed, Aug. 12 with Dustin Bentall and Kendel Carson, and Aug. 26 with Steve Dawson. The main stage will be on the boardwalk between the River Market and the Fraser River Discovery Centre.


“We are delighted to introduce an on-going music series that helps attract both a local and regional audience to showcase our beautiful waterfront area,” said Hyack executive director Douglas Smith in a press release.


He said the plan in 2013 is to have the series grow to eight to 10 weeks.


 “Concerts on the Quay is a great complement to the on-going music we are showcasing,” said River Market president Mark Shieh.


 “We often schedule local musicians to set up and perform on the boardwalk so the new music series will help establish the boardwalk as a ‘go-to’ area for high quality live music during the summer months.”


 Bentall is the son of Canadian rocker Barney Bentall, and will be performing with his partner, Victoria violinist Kendel Carson.


Dawson is a two-time Juno Award winning producer, musician and songwriter who has produced albums by artists Jim Byrnes, Kelly Joe Phelps and The Sojourners.




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