Rona closing in October

The Rona at Versatile Drive in Kamloops will be closing this October, the company announced Thursday morning.

KAMLOOPS – The Rona store on Versatile Drive is one of 11 stores in B.C. and Ontario deemed unprofitable and set to be closed later this year.

The Kamloops store will be closing Oct. 6, the company says, but there are not any plans to close the Mt. Paul Way location. The other two B.C. stores to be closed this October are in Duncan and Abbotsford.

In total 51 employees will be affected at the Kamloops location, about two-thirds are part-time employees according to communications advisor Valerie Lamarre.

"We try to relocate when possible," she says of the possibility of some employees getting transferred to the Mt. Paul Way location. "It's always on the table."

The Versatile Drive location opened in 2007 but has not proven profitable, Lamarre says.

"All of the stores we announced are underperforming and losing money. The savings from the optimization will be partially reinvested," she says. "We are optimizing the network. It is a business decision that makes sense."

Another 125 administrative positions are to be eliminated as well, the company announced last week. The company sold the commercial and professional market division to EMCO Corporation last week as well and in February the company got rid of 200 administrative positions.

The company expects to save $70 million annually with the 11 store closures.

Lamarre is unsure as to whether the stock will be cleared out prior to closing or moved to another location after the closure.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

This story was edited at 1:10 p.m. June 27, 2013 to include comments from Rona spokesperson Valerie Lamarre.

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