Lowe’s Canada has bucked a closure trend of its locations with the start of construction on a giant new distribution centre near the Calgary airport.
Last November Lowe’s, the second largest home-improvement retailer in the world, after Home Depot, announced the imminent closure of 34 stores across Canada early in 2020, including six Alberta locations.
Lowe’s Companies Ltd. retrenchment represents a tiny fraction of the company’s footprint. It has about 600 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores in \
Lowe’s Canada operates banners such as Lowe’s, RONA, Réno-Dépôt, Ace and Dick’s Lumber, but it has struggled in Canada since it took over Rona in a $3.2-billion transaction in 2016.
Yet cconstruction has started on a massive new Lowe’s Canada distribution centre in Calgary’s “centre ice” industrial hub near the Calgary International Airport.
The U.S.-based company says the project will cost about $120 million, with investment shared with Calgary-based developer Highfield Investment Group.
The 1.22 million square-foot facility is expected to open in the fall of 2021, joining several other recently built distribution centres, including Amazon, Walmart and Costco, in Rocky View County.
Lowe's said the facility will consolidate several existing satellite warehouses and regional centres in the Calgary market, but will not affect its existing distribution centre in the southeast corner of the city.
Earlier this year, Lowe’s struck a deal to sell its Ace Canada business to the owner of TSC Stores as part of a restructuring that included closing 34 underperforming Rona and Lowe's stores.
Lowe’s new 1.23-million-square-foot centre will be located in the High Plains Industrial Park, a distribution hub located just north of Calgary.
The new distribution centre is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021.
“High Plains Industrial Park is centre ice for corporate Canada’s Western distribution centres and e-commerce fulfillment facilities due to its excellent transportation efficiencies, outstanding labour force, and compelling rent economics,” said Adrian Munro, president of Highfield Investment Group, in the release. “We’re excited to be the developer of choice for the largest leased distribution centre in Western Canada.”