Westcoast Home Hardware will move into the old Alberni Mall in Northport next November.
The move will see the hardware store increase in size to 30,000 square feet from 8,000 square feet. More importantly, says store owner Jan Lavertu, he will have to hire 20 new people to staff his new store.
Store owner Jan Lavertu made the announcement in a press release on Wednesday.
“We definitely need the space, for two reasons,” Lavertu said. “So that we’re not double and triple handling our products because we have to keep moving it all the time.”
The expansion will allow Home Hardware to display more of the items it has for sale, such as bathtubs. “A lot of people like to see, touch and feel what (a product) is going to look like,” Lavertu said.
Home Hardware will cater to the do-it-yourselfers who need material for their weekend projects. “We feel we’re in a renovation market where a lot of people are wanting to renovate their kitchens, bathrooms.
“By offering all those amenities to the renovator it will keep those people in town.”
The move means the franchise will convert to a Home Hardware Building Centre. Lavertu would like to see Home Hardware boast the Alberni Valley’s largest plumbing centre as well as carry building materials inside the new store.
“We have always prided ourselves on offering more than just a great selection of home improvement products at competitive prices,” Lavertu said. “Our new…location will continue to feature the very best that Home Hardware has to offer, just more of it.”
The new store will be located in the old Safeway portion of the Alberni Mall. Shape Properties has a lot of work to do on the exterior and interior and the building needs a new roof, Lavertu said. Once Shape fixes up the place the Home Hardware people will configure the space to suit their needs.
In April, mall owner Shape Properties spokesperson Mike Nygren announced they had a new tenant for the space.
There are also rumours that a second business is negotiating for space in the old mall.
The Lavertus have owned Westcoast Home Hardware since February 2007.
The move will likely take place in mid-November, Jan Lavertu said.
—With a file from Wawmeesh G. Hamilton