La Shop: Downtown hardware store concept unveiled in Montreal

Canadian retailer Groupe BMR has opened a new urban hardware store concept called La Shop, in Montreal’s Griffintown.

The pilot store has been designed to appeal to an urban-dweller customer base, supplementing a traditional hardware offer with products and services targeting the local neighbourhood. For example, customers can buy small home appliances and kitchen accessories, premium pet food, bicycle accessories and storage solution products and La Shop will also offer home handyman services.

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And the store will offer a new sharing-based concept: tools will be rented out free to customers who don’t need to buy and store them so they can complete small renovation tasks.

As the photos show, the store has very much an urban design feel to it – there is no sign of the traditional cramped, stark, cluttered hardware store feel most westerners would be familiar with.

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“Firmly future-oriented, these urban hardware stores propose an omnichannel experience for attracting both the old and the new generations of consumers,” said Pascal Houle, CEO of Groupe BMR.

“This new concept meets the needs of millennials, a generation that is both tech savvy and keen on supporting local retail products and businesses. La Shop allows them to shop locally and affordably with tailor-made service,” he said.

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“This pilot store in Griffintown will give us the chance to implement a variety of technologies over the next few weeks to optimise the customer experience in-store and on all La Shop digital platforms. We will carry out different tests and collect customers’ comments, which will allow us to put the finishing touches on our omnichannel experience this fall,” added Martin Lecomte, Groupe BMR’s VP of Retail.

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Groupe BMR is a subsidiary of La Coop Federee, which groups 300 home renovation centres and hardware stores in Quebec, Ontario, and the Maritime Provinces of Canada. The group and its members turn over an estimated C$1.2 billion (US$936 million) annually under banners BMR, Unimat, Potvin & Bouchard, Agrizone, and now La Shop.

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