Canada’s oldest hardware store is now about to become one of its largest hardware stores.
Gow’s Home Hardware is putting the finishing touches on a brand-new 58,000 sq. ft. store on High Street in Bridgewater.
Construction started last summer and is nearly wrapped up. A team is already hard at work inside, setting up shelving and merchandising products. The plan is to open their doors in May.
“There’s been a lot of buzz around town. People are excited to see what the new store will be like,” says owner Amanda Fancy. “It’s going to look different in a lot of ways. Even the exterior is not going to look like that of a typical Home Hardware store.”
Gow’s Home Hardware dates back to 1848, making it the oldest known hardware store in the country. It was run by the Gow family from 1929 until Fancy — a longtime employee — bought the business in 2012.
Gow’s Home Hardware has moved three times so far in its 171 years in business. For the last 30 years, it’s been located at 450 LaHave St. — which has 26,500 square feet of shopping space and another 6,500 square feet of warehouse space. But Fancy says they’ve simply outgrown the space, and it’s time to expand.
“We’re being somewhat secretive about which new items we’re adding, because we want customers to experience that ‘wow factor’ when we open the doors,” says Fancy. “We’re taking all of the really positive things about our current store and incorporate them into the new, larger location with a larger product selection.”
Fancy says the move to the new location will actually involve two stores. Gow’s Home Furniture (641 King St.) will be merged with the new, larger Gow’s Home Hardware. So along with automotive, electrical, paint, heating, plumbing, housewares and tools, customers can shop for appliances and furniture for bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms and home offices. The new store will also include a large garden centre.
Julie Gow, the owner of Gow’s Home Furniture, says it’s an exciting move to combine the two stores into a new, larger space.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have our two store come together as one, to service our customers in Bridgewater and surrounding communities,” says Gow.
Fancy says she and Gow are planning grand-opening celebrations to take place in May, and details will be announced closer to opening day.
“Customers will be able to come to our new store in Bridgewater and have a huge variety,” says Fancy. “We’re very excited about the new location. We think it’s going to be great for the store, and also great for our customers.”
Gow’s Home Hardware is one the Top 10 Home Hardware locations in Canada. Fancy says she and her team are “very grateful” to fall under the Home Hardware and Home Furniture banner, which has excellent brand recognition across Canada.
She believes the new, larger store will give a boost to Bridgewater’s economy, as they’re in the process of hiring 10 to 15 new employees.
“Bridgewater is a strong, growing market. We have many long-term local customers, and we do have people who travel from different areas of the province to visit the store,” says Fancy. “We’ll have the same great customer service and friendly faces, just in a brand-new location.”