Tepperman’s opens Sarnia
WINDSOR, Ontario – Regional full-line powerhouse Tepperman’s has opened its new concept store in Sarnia as it celebrates its 25th anniversary in this city on the border with Michigan.
“Over the past 25 years we’ve grown with the City of Sarnia – at the same time, the way consumers shop has also evolved,” Andrew Tepperman, third generation president of the family owned-and-operated retailer, said in a statement. “Our new Sarnia store will be larger with a more extensive selection, focusing on enhancing our customers’ experiences in areas like the coffee bar, kids’ colouring and movie section, state-of-the art customer drive thru pick-up and free electric car charging station.”
“We’ve added our store-within-a-store concept, The Bargain Annex, which is a mix of brand new factory sealed products at bargain prices and discontinued merchandise at prices local consumers will love,” he continued, adding, “We’ve also hired a number of new individuals to complement our incredible team and support the additional growth. With the recent positive local economic news, this is a perfect time to make an investment in Sarnia and Lambton County.”
The replacement store is located in the London Road Shopping Plaza, which has undergone a complete redevelopment over the past several months.
Tepperman told Home Goods Online the move was needed for several reasons. The lease on the old store in Lambton Mall was set to expire and there wasn’t enough room available for the addition of a Bargain Annex which Tepperman’s really wanted as Sarnia was the only store in the chain without one. They also wanted to improve the customer pick-up system at the store.
“The Bargain Annex continues to be growing part of our business targeting newcomers to Canada, younger consumers and those people looking for a great deal. We use different suppliers than in the Tepperman’s store,” he explained.
The new store is also slightly larger, covering 40,000 square feet – versus 33,000 square feet for the old location – and has an attached 40-foot high, 4,000 square foot warehouse, something that “allows us to increase our inventory without taking up a lot of square footage,” Tepperman said, adding the Bargain Annex occupies about 5,000 square feet.
Sarnia also boasts a free electric charge station, an enhanced customer pick-up drive-thru, a free phone charge kiosk, help yourself candy jars (borrowed from Bob’s in the U.S.), defined pathways, enhanced track lighting, and credit kiosks to apply for their in-house financing.
Tepperman said several good things happened on the Sarnia economic front shortly after the decision to move was made. “A number of very positive things were announced – from a multi-billion dollar petro-chemical investment to expansion of both the area health network and the local college,” he noted.
“Sarnia has about 70,000 people and the surrounding area around 100,000. It’s always been a steady market for us,” he continued. “The final reason why we moved was after seeing the consumer response to our new store look in Kitchener we knew it was time to update our store experience. That would have been difficult in the mall location.”
The new Sarnia located will employ about 35 people as some new sales and warehouse positions were added to support the opening. The entire company now employs some 400 people across its five locations, which in addition to Sarnia include Windsor, Chatham, London and Kitchener.