Rona on Commissioners Road closing in October
Rona has announced it will be closing 11 stores by the end of 2013, including one in London.
The location at 1305 Commissioners Road East in London’s Pond Mills area will be closing in October 2013, putting about 90 full- and part-time employees out of work.
President and CEO Robert Sawyer said in a statement it is part of new restructuring and reorganization measures to ramp up the recovery and improve profitability.
“With the measures announced today, Rona will become more agile and efficient, with a simplified business structure and an even stronger balance sheet.”
The new measures are expected to generate annualized cost-savings of $70 million, in addition to the $40 million announced in February 2013.
The cost-saving plan includes closing eight stores in Ontario and three in British Columbia.
There will also be a reduction in administrative, marketing, merchandising and distribution expenses, and 125 jobs will be cut in the four administrative centres in Canada, which was announced to employees last week.
Liquidation of the stores is expected to begin as early as July.
Customers say they are sad for the employees, but also frustrated that retail in southeast London continues to falter, with some saying traffic in the retail portion of the store often seemed slow.
But contractors like Ryan McFadden who rely on the story daily for materials say losing the store will cost him in both travel time and gas.
He figures he’ll need to travel an additional 20 minutes to the nearest Home Depot location.
“Nothing seems to take root in this area of town. You know you have Pond Mills right there, Summerside right here. I just don’t get why nothing seems to flourish here.”
The Rona store served as the anchor for about 10 other business, and while some storeowners admit losing it will hurt their bottom line, others aren’t too concerned.
Lisa Danko, manager of the nearby Wild Wing, says “It may affect our business slightly, just from what we get from Rona, but I don’t think it will impact those we get from the nearby sports complex, the Summerside neighbourhood and our regulars.”
Either way the retail future of the area appears to be up in the air as land owned by Loblaw sits empty and a closed Zellers that was supposed to become a Target location remains shuttered.