New location just off Malpeque Road is more than three times larger than company’s current store on Allen Street
© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel
Jim Power, store manager with Kent in Charlottetown, says the new location across from Sears in Charlottetown will offer some unique options, such as drive-thru service. The new store, featuring more than 100,000 square feet of space, opens its doors on Aug. 31.
The new Kent Building Supplies store will open its doors just off Malpeque Road in Charlottetown on Saturday, Aug. 31.
The project, which began last year as a $10-million endeavour, will feature more than 100,000 square feet of space, which includes a drive-thru warehouse.
Located at 65 Walsh Road, the giant Kent sign can be seen off Malpeque Road, across from Sears.
“Our plans are on schedule,’’ says Jim Power, manager of the Kent store. “This store is going to be very dynamic.’’
The current Charlottetown location is at 68 Allen Street. Schurman’s Building Supplies moved to that location in 2001, and it was purchased by Irving-owned Kent in 2005. The new location is more than three times larger than the company’s location on Allen Street.
Power says the design and layout of the store makes it unique in the company.
“We mirrored a couple of unique options that we have in some of the locations to this one. In short, this store is going to be our flagship store, not just for P.E.I. but for Atlantic Canada.’’
Power said one of their priorities was to give its contractors exclusive service.
Kent surveyed its contractors before drawing up plans for the new store, seeking their input on what would make life easier for them.
“Our contractor business is very important to us and we wanted to make sure this store was going to be designed for the contractors’ needs as well as the homeowner. We’ll have a contractor’s desk that will exclusively serve the contractor business with its own exclusive entrance with Pro Pass parking and a Pro Pass express lane to the exit gate.
Another feature gives customers (contractors and the public) drive-thru service. They’ll literally be able to drive in the bay doors, pick up their supplies and drive out, protected from the weather.
The new Kent will also feature a year-round greenhouse, which is unique to the company’s box store locations.
There will also be a “project desk’’ dedicated to the do-it-yourself homeowner or, as some people call them — weekend warriors.
“When you walk into Allen Street (location) you walk in the front door and the first thing you see at the back is the sales desk which is kind of traditional in most of our mini-box formats. Customers tend to gravitate to that area. We want to provide an exclusive desk for our contractors.
“The contractor is a business person and their focus is speed and productivity. They need to get in and get out as quick as possible and we want to sharpen that service being offered.’’
The aisles will also be much wider and a larger store means a greater assortment of products. Power calls it a ‘one-stop shopping’ epicenter for home improvement.
“The lighting display alone we have in the (new) store is the size of the (entire) electrical department on Allen Street.’’
Parking shouldn’t be an issue. The new location offers 300 spaces.
Staff currently working at the Allen Street location will be making the move uptown. Kent has also hired an additional 40 employees.
The store on Allen Street will be closing its doors at the end of business hours on Friday, Aug. 30.
And the party begins the next day at the new location across from the Sears mall. There will be a grand opening and plenty of specials and contest giveaways. There will also be a special home improvement contest announced soon with the winner receiving a major home improvement package.
“I’m very proud of this store and our team,’’ Power said. “Our team came together from both the Island and the mainland to set this store and it’s our people that will truly make this store a stunning success.
“It’s the largest store we’ve built within the last 10 years. We’ve been renovating, relocating and retrofitting a lot of our stores all throughout Atlantic Canada. This store is going to be our flagship designed store.’’