CORNER BROOK — With store setup already underway, Richard Lanoue is confident the Rossy stores in Corner Brook and Stephenville will open ahead of schedule.
Lanoue, the vice-president of finance with the Quebec-based family retail chain Michael Rossy Ltd., said the Corner Brook store is scheduled to open on Aug. 10 and the Stephenville one on Aug. 17.
But with eight stores already opened, the latest was Port aux Basques last week, Lanoue said staff have gotten "pretty good at it," and he expects both stores to open at least a week early.
The stores are all located in spaces that were previously occupied by Hart Stores Inc.'s Hart and Bargain Giant brands.
Lanoue said the move into the province has been a big project for Rossy, and one that involved a lot of advance work and trips to the various locations to find out everything about the areas from what people eat to what they want.
"So to make sure what we provide was the right stuff," said Lanoue. "And I think we did our homework the right way."
He said part of the process involved hiring some of the managers from the previous Hart stores and some of the staff.
Lanoue said these people know the areas and the Rossy will serve.
In February a team of workers from Montreal travelled to the province to assist in the store setups and openings. Lanoue said some of them have been here since then and some have worked on a rotation basis.
He said all the stores have new equipment and merchandise.
"So there's no old stuff that was transferred from other stores. It's all brand new goods."
The result he said has been quite pleasing.
"We have very nice stores," he said. "We're very proud of our stores, they look good."
And he said people are pleased with what they are seeing in the stores that have already opened.
"They're happy because we are a full store for the house, for the families, kids, adults, teenagers, everything."
With the variety of goods offered he said people are wowed and calling it "a complete store."
Lanoue said moving into Newfoundland has been an "exciting time" for Rossy and he said the company looks forward to becoming a part of the communities it serves.