e-retail turns Home Hardware store around

ST JACOBS, Ont. — Michel Robidoux’s Home Hardware in Sainte-Julie, Que., went from the brink of bankruptcy to outgrowing its space and he credits an e-commerce push with the turnaround, according to Les Affaires. Established in 2009, the independent retailer affiliated with the Home Hardware banner last year. During its first few years, the store struggled to make the sales it needed to hire staff and grow.

Robidoux, who managed a Montreal Canadian Tire before striking out on his own, turned to e-retail in 2011 and the effect was immediate: that year, income from e-commerce enabled him to expand the store expanded from 2,000 to 3,500 square feet. A second location an hour’s drive away in Acton Vale opened in the spring of last year. The merchant points to the cost savings of bulk purchasing direct from the supplier as a primary benefit of e-retail, as well as the platform for a wider audience, noting that “for every customer who walks into my store, I have 100,000 who could see my products on the internet.”

“Retailers tend to think people won’t buy saws or flooring on the Internet,” HARDLINES’ own fearless editor told Les Affaires. “But they’re wrong.”