Anyone who remembers the staircase leading to the downstairs portion of the old Stedman’s building here will get a vivid reminder of the past when they walk into Howarth’s Home Centre these days.
Howarth’s is in the process of re-opening the lower level of the store, where plans to showcase its living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture are underway.
“We’re not allowing the public down there yet but we will [be],” enthused bookkeeper Arlene Georgeson, who also noted plans were in the works to expand the furniture line.
“And all the main floor is changed around. We have better display areas, better access for the public, and better monitoring [capabilities] for us,” she said.
“Computer sales have gone up so much in the last couple of years and the proper working space for those technicians just wasn’t there,” she added.
“Now they have better access to work on computers without having to leave the sales floor,” she remarked.
Georgeson said the ongoing expansion project is a direct result of four years of overall success in business at the Scott Street location. Howarth’s moved there in September, 1994 from its original “Radio Shack” location around the corner on Portage Avenue.
She also said the renovation goes to show that the downtown business core is alive and well.
“You have to generate before you renovate. This is a positive, new step we’re able to take,” she stressed.
“We’re out of the pinches of the recession and have the opportunity to do it now [and] it’s nice to see stores opening up rather than closing down,” she added.
Georgeson estimated the store’s renovations would be completed near the end of May, with a grand re-opening planned some time after that.