RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

March 17, 2010 11:00 ET

RONA Opens New Store in Welland, Ontario

Location builds on a 65 year local legacy started by the Tomiuck family

WELLAND, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 17, 2010) - RONA Inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products, opened the doors today to its new store in Welland, Ontario. Located at 165 Primeway Drive, the new store represents a $9 million investment and provides 65 jobs in the community, 53 of which are new.

RONA Welland reflects the growth of a local family business, Welland Lumber, started by Steve and Grace Tomiuck in 1945. Under the management of their grandson, Jonas Tomiuck, the business grew into a RONA affiliate in 2007.With this new corporate store, RONA is consolidating the market and bringing into its fold the experience and expertise, established business volumes and knowledgeable employees from Welland Lumber.

"RONA is honoured to be a part of this family tradition and history," said RONA president and CEO Robert Dutton. "We are confident that Jonas and the committed team of employees at the new store will help us on our mission to provide the right product at the right price to the Welland community. This new store is one of the new generation of RONA stores, and it includes an expanded range of products, brighter atmosphere, friendlier and more suited to better serve customers as well as our everyday competitive prices."

The new location also replaces the former Welland Lumber outlet at 918 Southworth Street South, and is equipped to help everyone from experienced 'do-it-yourselfers' to first-time homeowners and trades people find what they need in a friendly environment. The new store, which is twice the size of the former store, is RONA's latest proximity store that will specialize in home construction and renovation.

"For 65 years my family has built a reputation for providing excellent service to the community," said Jonas Tomiuck, manager of the store and grandson to the founders of Welland Lumber. "We look forward to providing that same level of service in a larger store environment that will better meet the needs of our customers."

Everything under one roof

At 52,000 square feet, the store features an 18,000-square-foot garden centre and over 23,000 different types of building materials and finishing products as well as specialized boutiques that include paint, decorative accessories, kitchen and bathroom cabinets and fixtures, doors and windows, as well as flooring. The store also has departments for tools, hardware, plumbing, electrical, lighting fixtures and seasonal articles and includes a lumberyard and warehouse that represent a total of 54,500 square feet.

Unlike anything else in the home improvement sector, RONA boutiques are designed to support the renovation process and make it more efficient. They allow customers to find everything they need to complete a renovation project in one single place. With the same idea in mind, RONA Welland now offers Project Guide services, a concept offering the help of knowledgeable, specially-trained staff who guide customers through the different stages of specific renovation projects. Meanwhile, RONA offers renovation and interior decoration concepts. RONA by Design are affordable trendsetting project recipes that include a selection of products and show consumers how they can achieve renovation and interior decoration projects on their own of with professional design help.

Other specialized services available at the new Welland location include installation, delivery, kitchen design, a cut shop and a separate counter for contractors.

Opening ceremony

Welland residents participated in the opening ceremony. RONA president and CEO, Robert Dutton, Doug Adlam, RONA vice president of operations for proximity stores and store manager Jonas Tomiuck were joined by local dignitaries including Councillor Leo Van Vliet, Vice-Mayor of Welland; Malcolm Allen, MP for Welland; Peter Kormos, MPP for Welland; and Aggie Giovannini, President of the Welland-Pelham Chamber of Commerce. Members of the RONA senior management team, store employees and many customers also joined the Welland team in celebrating the store opening.

Committed to the environment and sustainable practices

RONA Welland has adopted several building components that will make the store environmentally sustainable all of which are based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria. The sustainable efforts include the use of white energy efficient roofing system; energy efficient lighting and motion detectors for specific lighting controls; use of construction materials with high recycled content; water saving plumbing fixtures to lower water consumption; timers and controls to regulate air conditioning and heating throughout the day; and the use of low-emitting materials will also improve air quality.

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

RONA supports the community

During the opening ceremony, the RONA Foundation presented a $2,500 donation to Family and Children's Services Niagara. The donation will go directly toward supporting the organization's education bursary program. Today's donation marks the arrival of the new Welland store and the RONA Foundation's efforts to help troubled young people believe in themselves and in their future – for their own benefit and for the good of their community.

Created in 1998, the RONA Foundation provides assistance for young people aged 12 to 30 by supporting local organizations and projects that fight school dropout rates and illiteracy or that offer training so that they can take up a trade or a profession.

About RONA

RONA Inc., a retailer associated with service and quality, first established its presence in Ontario in 2000. Today, the company boasts a network of 171 corporate and dealer-owned RONA stores across the province. RONA has become a trusted destination for home renovation and construction, a dedicated employer for more than 5,500 employees and caring partners across the communities it serves in Ontario.

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products and operates a network of nearly 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 16 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.

Contact Information

  • Media
    RONA Inc.
    Daniel Richard
    Director of Corporate Communications
    514-599-5900, extension 5398
    daniel.richard@rona.ca
    or
    Financial Community
    RONA Inc.
    Stephane Milot
    Senior Director, Investor Relations
    514-599-5951
    stephane.milot@rona.ca
    or
    Torchia Communications
    Kathleen Stelmach
    Account Executive
    416-341-9929, extension 227
    kathleen@torchiacom.com