March 12, 2008 11:00 ET

$15 Million RONA Store Opens in Carleton Place

New-concept RONA store offers large product selection and customized service

CARLETON PLACE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 12, 2008) - RONA inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, opened its new RONA store in Carleton Place today. Existing Carleton Place RONA Cashway operations are being transferred to the new RONA store located at 535 McNeely Avenue, at the corner of Highway 7. This new outlet represents a $15 million investment and created 25 local jobs in addition to the 29 existing positions from Cashway. The RONA Carleton Place store offers the latest concept in RONA proximity stores specializing in home construction and renovation.

The 52,000-square-foot RONA Carleton Place store features a 9,000-square-foot indoor lumberyard and a 64,000-square-foot outdoor drive-through lumberyard. The store also boasts an impressive 15,000-square-foot garden centre and offers more than 23,000 products dedicated to both the professional contractor and the 'do-it-yourself' renovator.

"RONA is dedicated to creating value for each market in which we operate. We're happy to provide customers from the Carleton Place area with a brand new store where they will find all the products and services they need for their home improvement projects," says Robert Dutton, President and CEO of RONA.

"We are proud to be expanding the RONA experience in Carleton Place. We have managed to create a unique environment for the community by offering a customer-friendly atmosphere with a wide variety of products and services under one roof, usually found in large urban centres," says Claude Bernier, Executive Vice President, Proximity and Specialized Stores for RONA. "Customers from the area can now find everything they need right here in Carleton Place, including outstanding service and advice."

The RONA store combines the best of building materials with finishing and specialized products, available through boutiques such as paint, lighting, storage, kitchen and bathroom, or doors and windows. Services include kitchen design, flooring, lumber cutting, delivery as well as installation and financing services and RONA's new Project Guide service, an all-new concept offering the help of knowledgeable, specially-trained staff who guide customers through the different stages of specific renovation projects, available from the store's Project Desk. The store also features a contractors and professionals desk.

"We are excited to show off the new RONA store to our customers and contractors," says Gerry Hupe, Store Manager of the Carleton Place RONA. "Our team of employees, 25 new and 29 from the previous RONA Cashway store, are friendly, hardworking and knowledgeable. We look forward to continuing to provide the excellent service for which we've become known. With the increased selection of products, we'll be able to service our customers better, personalize the shopping experience with one-on-one help, and provide "how to" information to make home renovations easier."

Mr. Hupe was joined at today's grand opening by the Deputy Mayor of Carleton Place, Ed Sonnenburg, MPP Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington), Carole Flint assistant to MP Scott Reid (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington), President of the Chamber of Commerce, Donna O'Donohue, members of the RONA senior management team, new store employees and many customers. Andrew Willows, Gold Medalist in kayak at the World Cup in Hungary and member of RONA's "Growing with our Athletes" program, was also on hand for the celebration.

The 100 athletes supported by RONA's "Growing with our Athletes" program were selected by the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee in cooperation with their member sports federations. These athletes embody Canada's hopes for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing or the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. RONA is a national partner of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and a national partner of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams until 2012.

During the opening ceremony, the RONA Foundation presented a $2,500 donation to the Lanark Children's Aid Society Tutoring Program. The program will allow Lanark youth to have access to computers for after school online tutoring, as well as provide volunteer tutors during school hours. In other instances, tutors are hired to work with youth in their foster homes while the Society also provides learning tools such as books and laptops. This gesture marks the arrival of the new store in the Carleton Place area and the RONA Foundation's efforts to help build better communities.

RONA Foundation's mission is to give assistance to young people between the ages of 12 to 30 by working to lower school dropout and illiteracy rates, and by helping to provide them with the training they need to take up a trade or other occupation.

About RONA

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of close to 680 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats. With over 27,000 employees working under its family of banners in every region of Canada and more than 15 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store network generates over $6.2 billion in annual retail sales. Visit

Digital high resolution photos of the opening ceremonies are available on request.

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