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Home Depot aims to hire 900 workers in B.C.

Hiring spree comes as competitor Lowe's struggles
Home Depot bills itself as the largest home-improvement retailer in the world | Shutterstock

What happened: Home Depot Canada plans to hire 900 sales associates in B.C. to support its busy spring season, the company announced February 18. The move is part of the company’s plan to hire 5,500 workers across Canada.

Why this matters: The move is in stark contrast to many retailers, which are closing stores. Just a couple days ago, home-decor retailer Pier 1 announced that it has filed for bankruptcy protection and will close all of its Canadian stores.

The U.S.-based home-improvement giant’s (NYSE:HD) Canadian division is hiring full-time, part-time and seasonal positions in B.C., including overnight workers, daytime sales associates, cashiers, department supervisors and others.

The hires are expected to range in age and demographics, according to Home Depot Canada vice-president of human resources, communications and sustainability Aliana Rozenek.

“We’re proud of our diversity and the individual talent, skills and experience which strengthens our customer service,” she said. “Our team is built on a set of core values shared by four generations of associates working in our stores.”

Home Depot bills itself as the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, as it has 2,291 retail stores and employs more than 400,000 workers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Its largest rival is Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE:LOW), which bought Canadian home-improvement retailer Rona for $3.2 billion in 2016 and kept that banner for most of its Canadian stores.

Lowe's has been struggling. In November, Lowe’s announced that it planned to restructure corporate staff and close 34 stores in Canada because the stores were underperforming. That spate of closures included stores in Surrey, Osoyoos and Prince George. The company said last year that the Surrey store would be closed effective today (February 19).

Lowe's, back in November, operated more than 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores that employed approximately 300,000 associates, so the retrenchment was a small fraction of the company’s footprint. It was significant, however, as it was part of a trend. In 2018, Lowe's announced plans to close 27 Canadian stores.  

In 2011 when the company made much fanfare about opening its first B.C. store in New Westminster’s Queensborough district, the move followed what was then a recent announcement that it would close 20 U.S. stores and lay off 1,950 employees.

In addition to the Lowe's and Rona banners, the company also operates the store banners Ace, Reno-Depot, Dick’s Lumber and Contractor First.

Prospective workers at Home Depot can text Home Depot Jobs to 97211. The company will then follow-up.

Job fairs are also set to take place across the country.

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