RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

August 11, 2008 09:16 ET

RONA Adds Another 12 Affiliated Stores to its Network and Achieves a Record First Half of $100 Million in Retail Sales From Recruitment of Dealers

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 11, 2008) - RONA (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, today announced that it has recruited 12 independent dealer-owners from various other purchasing groups over the past three months. The stores, which are now proudly flying the RONA banner, are located mainly in Quebec and Ontario. Ranging in size from 3,000 to 15,000 square feet, the stores represent over $50 million in estimated annual retail sales. As a result, RONA has now recruited 21 new dealer-owners in the first half of 2008, representing over $100 million in retail sales. With these new dealers, RONA now has a network of 434 affiliate and 257 corporate and franchise stores across Canada - altogether, nearly 700 stores in various formats to meet Canadians' various construction and renovation needs.

Recruitment of independent dealer-owners has always been one of RONA's key growth vectors according to RONA President and CEO Robert Dutton. "Over the past five years, we've grown our network of affiliate stores by over 50%, thanks to the recruitment of 152 dealer-owners across Canada. Our business model is unique in this market and is very attractive for independents who want to keep growing their business faster than ever. With RONA, they get the support they need to face today's market realities by gaining access to a team of experts and a degree of support that is unequalled in our industry, plus innovative store concepts and the greatest purchasing power in our industry here in Canada," he said.

"The current business environment is very favourable for ongoing consolidation of the market in Canada, especially through the recruitment of independent dealer-owners looking to join a strong banner with a very promising development plan," Dutton added. "With 21 new independent dealers representing over $100 million in annual sales added to the RONA network, we've achieved a record first half in terms of recruitment."

"We have several more candidates we are currently reviewing and we are confident that we can continue to forcefully develop this growth vector in the second half of the year. Furthermore, this should be a very promising vector for several more years to come, as independent stores represent over half of the construction and renovation market in Canada," he added.

NOTE ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" regarding RONA's objectives, estimates and expectations. Statements of this kind may be identified by the use of verbs such as "believe," "plan," "foresee," "estimate" or "expect," or by the use of the future or conditional tense. By their very nature, such statements imply risks and uncertainties. Reality may therefore differ significantly from the company's forecasts or expectations. For information on the nature of the risk factors not described or disclosed in this news release, readers are invited to consult the "Risks and Certainties" section of RONA's 2007 Management Report.

ABOUT RONA

RONA 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, employing over 27,000 employees under its various banners in every region of Canada. The RONA store network totals more than 15 million square feet of retail space, and generates over $6.3 billion in annual retail sales. Visit www.rona.ca.

Contact Information

  • Media:
    RONA Inc.
    Eva Boucher-Hartling
    Director, External Communications Relations
    514-599-5900, extension 5114
    eva.boucher-hartling@rona.ca
    or
    Financial Community:
    RONA Inc.
    Stephane Milot
    Senior Director, Investor Relations
    514-599-5951
    stephane.milot@rona.ca