Nov 30, 2020

Star Building Materials Winnipeg opens new spacious retail store


Winnipeg, MB - When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit Canada in March of this year, no one knew what to expect. Business and commerce slowed dramatically, and yet, along with the restrictions placed on work, travel and socialization, there was a spike in home improvement projects and do-it-yourself renovations.

Exterior image of Star Building Winnipeg's new retail store.

For the last 60 years, Star Building Materials Winnipeg has primarily served commercial contractors, offering a huge selection of lumber, building materials, finishing products, hardware, paint, tools, plumbing and electrical materials. In the fall of 2019, the team officially opened its brand new retail store, expanding its footprint and product assortment, offering more of a selection for anyone who wants to ‘buy where the builders buy.’

When COVID-19 landed, everything stopped,” said Mark Kennedy, Vice-President, Star Building Materials Winnipeg. “For the public, there was no going to Jets games, no Blue Bombers games, no going out for dinner, no travel – so people decided to invest back into their properties. We saw huge increases in decks, fences, pergolas, garages and sheds being built. Cottages also saw a huge push, as people stayed close to home.”

The surge in demand brought with it a myriad of unexpected challenges. With mills being shut down, product shortages began to surface and commodity pricing went sky high.

“We had to manage inventory like never before,” said Mark. “But the Star Building Materials team really stepped up to ensure our customers were well taken care of.”

With an overall footprint of 52,000 sq. ft., the new store allows ample room for shelving of stock and provides a spacious retail shopping experience (18,000 sq. ft.) that supports social distancing protocols.

Inside Star Building Winnipeg's new retail store.

Interest from the public has been high, and now, attention is being turned to the store’s website and online presence.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of website quotes requested,” said Rob White, Store Manager, Star Building Materials Winnipeg. “For the remainder of the year, we will be working on creating a new website that will enable online shopping.”

Now, more than ever, customers expect to be able to engage in product research and make purchasing decisions online. The team at Star Building Materials Winnipeg is working hard to ensure an exceptional customer service experience.

“We’re working towards more touchless service,” said Mark. “Increased digital communication will be a focus for us going forward.”

With the change in weather, it is also expected that the need for interior finishing products, such as doors, millwork, paint and ceiling tile, will increase as people start to renovate indoors. 

“I don’t think anyone truly knows what the future will hold,” said Mark. “But what we do know, is the need for flexibility in our business and the importance of adapting to whatever the customer needs and wants.”

The extended yard at Star Building Winnipeg.

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