Home Hardware’s Eastern Distribution Centre
Home Hardware has nearly 1,100 stores across Canada, making it the country’s largest dealer-owned hardware, lumber, building materials, and furniture home improvement retailer.
But hundreds of those stores would be sitting empty if it wasn’t for Home Hardware’s Eastern Distribution Centre located in the Debert Business Park.
Phil Smith, Assistant Manager of the Home Hardware Eastern Distribution Centre in Debert, says it’s one of only four distribution centres across Canada that are responsible for managing the 60,000+ hardline SKUs that hit the shelves.
“Debert was chosen because Truro Colchester is a hub. It’s really central for us because it allows us to get products to stores in all four Atlantic provinces. That’s what we were originally built here to do,” says Smith. “We now also service half of Quebec, and that’s given us the opportunity to have back-hauls with our trucks.”
“Back-haul” is a trucking term that means a vehicle is hauling cargo from their destination back to their original starting point. Back-hauling makes economic sense, since it means the company is making money in both directions.
“We have our own fleet, and now we’re leaving our distribution centre with full trucks and we’re coming back with full trucks,” says Smith. “It’s worked out really well for us to be centralized here in Debert.”
Smith says Home Hardware’s Eastern Distribution Centre is about 600,000 square feet. At any given point, it houses about 52 million products — and a team of between 250 and 280 employees.
“The freight comes in on trucks, our receiving department puts it into our system, and then our machine operators put the stock on our racks to store until we need it to fulfill orders,” says Smith. “When the day’s orders are processed, the products are packaged up in our shipping station where we have people loading the trailers to go out — getting each product to the store that needs it.”