Manitoba

Lowe's purchase of Rona good for Canadian consumers, marketing expert says

U.S. retail giant Lowe's purchase of Quebec-based Rona is good for consumers but bad for Canadian suppliers, a Winnipeg marketing expert says.

'When you have a sharp market competition it actually gives you better choices, better pricing'

Lowe's officials have said the company will keep Rona's name and employees. (Alex Wong/Getty)

U.S. retail giant Lowe's purchase of Quebec-based Rona is good for consumers but bad for Canadian suppliers, a Winnipeg marketing expert says.

Fang Wan of the University of Manitoba's Asper School of Business said Lowe's will provide stiff competition for Home Depot, and that's where consumers will benefit.

"When you have a sharp market competition, it actually gives you better choices, better pricing," Wan said.

"I think from consumers' perspectives, it creates value. But from suppliers' perspectives, Canadian business perspective, it may have some negative effects."

Lowe's will likely add to Rona's stock with products from its American suppliers, which could take business away from Canadian companies, Wan said.

Lowe's officials said the store will keep Rona's name and employees, and Wan said that's good.

"They [will] try to maintain the cultural identity of Rona. Its employees, its suppliers, the executive management, the Canadian-ness is much in the operation, not in the ownership," she said.

"So, if you look at it that way, it's not entirely not being Canadian."

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