Home Hardware investing in Lloyd

By Geoff Lee

March 10, 2016 4:00 AM

Home Hardware is a family owned business undergoing an expansion. Jeff Hilderman, Sarah Rurka and David Rurka pose in front of a new wood truss near the location of the new entrance.

Home Hardware’s motto is home owners helping homeowners.
The Rurka family, owners of Home Hardware on 50 Ave., will be able to do that better as work proceeds on a 20,000 sq. ft. expansion of all departments.
“We’re super excited about the expansion,” said Sarah Rurka vice-president of marketing.
“The expansion offers us the opportunity to expand our current product selection and also bring in new lines.”
Additions will include a redesigned exterior, larger aisles, upgrades in the garden centre, an expanded baby and children’s department, and a lot of new product and display in the lumber and building materials division. 
“A big part of our business is supplying products to build homes and dealing with contractors,” said Rurka.
Jeff Hilderman, VP of store operations, one of eight family members who work at the store, said contractors are their bread and butter.
“We help them build their business and they help us build ours,” he said.
“The contractors are a vital part of our business and one of the main reasons why we are expanding to better serve our customers with new product lines and services.”
The expansion is being constructed by Bexon Construction Ltd. with a fall 2016 completion date.
A spectacular grand opening is in the works according to Rurka.
Customers will love the fact the Gingersnaps cafe is being enlarged and repositioned with access to a beautifully landscaped patio in the garden centre.
The quality of food for customers to snack on while shopping will be as good as ever.
“We have always worked with local farmers to supply food for our cafe, and we want to continue building on those relationships,” said Rurka.
The redesigned garden centre will open in April with fresh paving on the way.
“So it’s going to be easier for our customers to push carts,“said Rurka.
The outdoor portion of the garden centre is good focal point to admire the gigantic wood truss beam where the new store entrance will be.
The Rurka’s had the freedom as a 100 per cent dealer owned store to build an entrance that reflected the businesses’ home building niche.
Home Hardware is not franchise, but individual stores operate as a cooperative sharing a warehouse and an advertising and branding program.
“We wanted to have a really unique look and to showcase a big part of our business which is building materials,” said Rurka.
“The truss system is one of the most beautiful parts of a home and it never gets seen.”
She said a truss inspires excitement and pride during home construction as the homeowner can start to fully picture what their house looks like as it is being turned into a home. 
“The vision for our store is everything you need to build a house and make that house a home,” said Rurka.
She said that means everything from the ground up to framing and building house to warming it up with furniture and decor and gardening and landscaping.
The store is undergoing its second expansion since Rurka’s dad moved the family from Red Deer to start the business in 1999.
Today there are 10 members in the Rurka family.
The store initially expanded in 2004 from 10,000 sq. ft to 26,000 sq. ft.
The current expansion will create one of the largest Home Hardware Building Centres in Canada at 43,000 sq. ft.
Rurka said customers has been understanding and supportive throughout construction.
“We’ve always had very supportive customers that have been with us through the years and supported our non-traditional vision of a hardware store,” she said.
“We pride ourselves on being a neighbourhood and a community store.
“That’s one of the reasons we stayed where we are rather than moving out to a power centre type location.
“Staying in our current location allows families in our neighbourhood to walk or bike to the store, and allows us to landscape the property to really make it feel special.”
That community­-mindedness is essential in how the Rurka family runs their store.
Since their entire family lives in Lloydminster they provide the same family values to the 70 full-time and 10 part ­time employees they have.
That means not opening on Sundays to give staff a day off with their own families.
“We want to be more than a retail store – we’re a member of your community,” said Rurka.
“We do have one late shopping night, Thursdays until 9 p.m to hopefully offer a chance for those that can’t make it during the day to do their shopping.”
The store is also known for its landmark electronic billboard.
“We wanted a way to communicate with traffic about what was on the inside of our store,” explained Rurka.
“We like it for use to advertise local events and we do sell ad space to other companies.”
They also run some free notices for local non-profit groups along with the current date, time of day and temperature for motorists to see.
The expansion won’t be finished until fall of 2016, but when complete, the Rurka family plans for a spectacular grand opening celebration. “Our staff and customers have been waiting a long time for this, and we can’t wait to show them their new store.”

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