RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

September 16, 2009 11:30 ET

New RONA Store Opens in Saint-Georges, Quebec

An investment of over $12 million

SAINT-GEORGES, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 16, 2009) - RONA Inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products, officially opened its new store in Saint-Georges, Quebec, today. Located at 777 150th Street, the new store represents an investment of over $12 million and provides jobs for some 70 people in the region, including 30 new jobs.

The Saint-Georges store reflects RONA's new proximity concept for stores specializing in home construction and renovation. At 52,000 square feet, it houses a 12,000-square-foot gardening centre and offers over 22,000 different types of building materials and finishing products, including paint, lighting fixtures, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, doors and windows. The store features departments for tools, hardware, plumbing, electrical, floor coverings and seasonal articles, and also includes two lumberyards: 20,000 square feet inside and 54,000 square feet outside. This is the first RONA store to apply for LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). LEED is an environmental evaluation system for new buildings.

"We're proud to be improving and expanding the network with this new store in Saint-Georges. RONA is listening to our customers and working hard to meet their constantly changing needs. So innovation is a way of life for us," explained RONA president and CEO Robert Dutton. "We're particularly pleased to be opening a store that has applied for LEED certification. It proves our commitment to protecting the environment and our desire to do things right. The store had to be entirely rebuilt after a fire in 2008, so we decided to look at it as an opportunity for improvement: the new store is more spacious, there are more employees to serve customers, and the building design meets the most rigorous environmental standards."

"People in the area have always loved the Saint-Georges RONA, and they keep coming back because of the excellent service the store team provides and the expertise they know they can count on," said store manager Eric Lessard. "The store is one of the new generation of RONA points of sale, and it shows that we intend not only to be the leader in Saint-Georges but in the entire region as well. The new RONA offers an incredible variety of products in every category, the atmosphere is brighter, friendlier and more efficient, and the prices are very competitive. We have a whole new Project Area, with a consultation counter where customers can get advice from our Project Guides on how to make their renovation projects a success."

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system

The Saint-Georges RONA has adopted the LEED criteria for new buildings, and expects to receive LEED certification for the store construction, a first for the RONA banner in Quebec. Elsewhere in Canada, the new Totem store in Strathmore, Alberta, which opened just a few weeks ago, has also applied for LEED certification.

The evaluation criteria include measures to protect air quality, such as using low-emissions materials (like paint, adhesives and waterproofing materials) in the building construction, and measures for reducing energy consumption, including a white energy efficient roofing system; additional insulation in the building envelope; T5 fluorescent lighting; a high-end control system for store lighting (movement detectors); timers to regulate lighting, air-conditioning, and heating throughout the day; and low-flow sanitation equipment.

Wood from certified forests and locally manufactured materials were used for the construction. Bike racks, changing rooms and a shower have been installed to encourage employees to cycle or walk to work. Finally, since RONA places so much importance on saving energy, the light fixtures for sale in the store use low-consumption compact fluorescent bulbs rather than incandescent ones.

Opening ceremony

At the opening ceremony, RONA president Robert Dutton and store manager Eric Lessard were joined by a group of local dignitaries and other members of RONA senior management, as well as employees of the new store and, of course, RONA customers. Karine Sergerie, silver medallist in the 67 kg category in Taekwondo at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and a member of the "Growing with our Athletes" program, was also in attendance.

The 100 athletes who receive RONA's support through the "Growing with our Athletes" program were selected by the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee in collaboration with member sports federations. These athletes are Canada's Olympians from the 2008 Games in Beijing and the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. RONA is a national partner of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver and a national partner of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams until 2012.

Donation from the RONA Foundation

At the opening ceremony, the RONA Foundation gave a $2,500 donation to the Beauce-Sartigan Maison des jeunes, which runs a program offering young people tools to develop their interests in school and keep them from dropping out. The program also gives participants access to a variety of different employability programs.

The contribution was made at the opening of the new Saint-Georges store to highlight the RONA Foundation's efforts to build better communities. The RONA Foundation was created in 1998 with the mission to provide assistance to young people between 12 and 30 who are struggling with problems such as dropping out of school and illiteracy, and to offer them the training they need to work at a trade or occupation.

About RONA

RONA Inc. is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of close to 700 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats. With over 30,000 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 billion in annual retail sales. For more information, please visit www.rona.ca.

An official photo of the opening ceremony is available on request.

Contact Information