Reno-Depot hits the road for Moving Day

The hardware retailer delivered free tools and supplies to save Montreal tenants a trip to the store for their small projects.
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Moving always comes with small renovation projects, from hanging pictures and installing new fixtures to doing a deep clean. To help take a trip to the store off the to-do list, Reno-Depot went directly to movers.

On Moving Day this week, longtime brand spokesperson Dave Morissette drove a “Réno-Dépanne” van (roughly translated: “Reno Helps Out”) around Montreal to provide assistance to movers and save them a trip to the store. Morissette delivered tools and supplies for all of the little needs and projects that come up when first moving into a new place, be it for painting, cleaning or moving large appliances.

Sid Lee Montreal led the execution, which was promoted over the weekend with social posts putting out the call for the van to visit their neighbourhood.

Though it hasn’t been legally mandated for some time, Moving Day has remained a tradition in Quebec, with more than 100,000 households moving into their new homes every year and brands frequently planning stunts to make the hectic day easier or more enjoyable. In addition to being helpful, the surprise of having Morissette show up with his trademark humour was meant to lift people’s spirits on a day that can be exhausting, the spokesman said in a release.

But Moving Day was an even more complicated affair this year, as having to move in the midst of the pandemic caused difficulties when it came to viewing properties or finding a place to live while still being out of work. Those factors exacerbated the fact that the Quebec housing market is experiencing a crunch due to low vacancy rates, rising rents and “renovictions,” especially in urban centres like Montreal. Housing advocacy group FRAPRU estimated that 373 households across the province had not secured a new lease by Moving Day this year, the highest the number has been since 2003.

Reno-Depot and other Lowe’s-owned hardware banners remained open as essential businesses during the pandemic. Reno-Depot continued to focus its marketing on helping customers complete smaller home improvement and renovation projects, though adapted to showing them being done in a socially distanced way. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting Canada, Reno-Depot also released “While You’re At It,” a five-episode digital branded content series in which Morissette had one day to update and refresh a room in a family’s home.