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Eastern retailers rework marketing for ag wares

A network of independent hardware and home reno retailers across Eastern Canada plan to market their farm tools, clothes and other ag-related products in one newly-branded section of their stores.

BMR Le Groupe, a wholesale buying group for 180 “renovation centres” in Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, announced last week that its member stores will now all group such products in a specialty department dubbed “Agrizone.”

The Agrizone department will offer nozzles, lubricants, greases and other mechanical maintenance products and equipment, as well as work clothes and boots, fencing supplies, shovels, pitchforks, troughs and haymaking accessories, BMR said in a release.

“This product diversification fits perfectly into our growth strategy and enables us to meet the needs of our regional and rural customers more effectively,” BMR CEO Yves Gagnon said in a release.

“Grouping these products in one specialty department will provide agricultural producers and gentlemen-farmers a more pleasant ‘BMR experience’ by making it easier to locate what they are looking for in the store, on the web or in the flyer,” BMR said in the same release.

The BMR network dates back to 1967 in Quebec, when its retailer members began pooling their wholesale purchases under the name “Union-Six.”

The group, which shortly afterward renamed itself BMR (short for Building Material, Lumber, and Renovation) developed a new “renovation centre” concept for its member stores in 1996.

The group estimates its current combined retail sales at over $1.2 billion per year.

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