Pemberton’s Hardware and Building Centre joins forces with RONA

The best way to get to know a small town is to take a stroll through its hardware store. At Pemberton Valley Hardware, the diversity of Pemberton has always been in full view, with a range of product offerings from bulk locally grown carrots by the sackload to a full range of Paderno Cookware and kitchenware, to pellet stoves and paint. Construction, plumbing and building supplies were historically the purvey of nearby Mountain Building Centre, which served Pemberton until it was bought out by RONA just before the Olympics The operation closed about a year later, leaving an unmet demand in Pemberton. Now, Pemberton Valley Hardware steps up to meet the gap as the Pemberton Valley Hardware & Building Centre, stepping away from their Home Hardware affiliation to take up a new partnership that will see the locally owned business operate under the banner of RONA.

We checked in with Manager Paul Vacirca about the change.

How long has Pemberton Valley Hardware been operating in Pemberton? Since 1982

How has it changed in terms of clientele and product mix over the years? We added the Garden Centre and Lumber and Building Materials in 2004, added wood-stoves in 2005, added large appliances and developed a focus on Tool Alley (selection and repairs)in 2008, and renovated the housewares section in 2009.

Until this moment, what was its focus? Hardware Store, Housewares, and Wood Stoves

How many people does Pemberton Valley Hardware employ? 22

Why did RONA approach Pemberton Valley Hardware? We are the new prototype of Rona. Rona’s stock shares took a dive when the markets crashed in 2008. Across Canada, Rona operating Building Centres and their focus was very  heavily on building materials. When the housing starts collapsed, so did their sales and shares. Rona recognized there was an opportunity to expand their product offerings and shield themselves from the volatility of the economy, but they needed a partner to make that happen quickly. Rona purchased Tru Serv to accomplish this goal and now has added 60,000 skus related to housewares, garden, hardware and pet supplies.

This is a very proud moment for us.  Rona approached Pemberton Valley Hardware to be their model store of the future for hardware and building supply servicing the smaller communities across Canada.

What is the vision for this new partnership? The hardware store will provide a full -service year-round housewares, home decor and garden centre.  The Lumber & Building Materials focus will be the most impactful on the community and really responds to the demand from our customers. We’ll diversify the product offering, maintain high quality and depth of lumber inventory, and be able to pass along the kind of significant price savings that aren’t normally available to small-town consumers.

How important is it to the local economy that these products can now be purchased locally?

Our prices are competitive, so people will save money. They will also save time (and pollute the planet less), not driving to the city. Shopping locally keeps jobs here in town and makes future growth possible, which in turn adds jobs and increases the overall local economy. It’s a multiplier effect. Plus we offer a home town experience. We know our customers’ needs better than a store outside our district. We’re connected and care about what happens after the sale. And finally, we’re invested in this community. Our owners are local, our staff are local, we have homes here, mortgages here, buy our groceries here, and play here.

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