RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

November 21, 2008 10:30 ET

Under the Theme "Building Canada's Future": New Products and Innovations Unveiled at the 2009 RONA Spring Show

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 21, 2008) - RONA inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian retailer and distributor of hardware, renovation and gardening products, today unveiled new products and innovations at its 2009 Spring Tradeshow, whose theme "Building Canada's Future", reflects RONA's commitment to becoming the industry's sustainable development leader. This 63rd edition of the Spring Show, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in a 100,000-square-foot exhibition space, brings together dealer-owners and managers from close to 700 RONA stores across Canada, as well as many of the Company's suppliers. The Spring Show is aimed at showcasing the 2,000 new products as well as new trends that will become available in spring 2009. RONA is also introducing two sustainable development policies in the context of the Show.

"RONA being the leader in its industry, the Spring Show is our occasion to introduce all the new products and initiatives that demonstrate how we remain ahead of the trends and are constantly innovating to better adapt to changing consumer needs," said Normand Dumont, RONA's Executive Vice President of Merchandising. "As we continue to promote responsible consumption by helping consumers adopt attitudes that are less harmful to the environment, we are also presenting the new programs we have put in place to guide consumers who are looking for eco-responsible hardware, renovation and gardening products."

NEW SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT POLICIES

As part of the 2009 Spring Show, RONA is introducing two new policies, stemming from the Company's sustainable development approach. As disclosed last September, RONA is to stop selling synthetic pesticides for cosmetic use in all its stores across Canada beginning July 1, 2009. As synthetic pesticides are taken off store shelves, RONA will continue to introduce alternatives and techniques to help consumers replace them. Raising consumer awareness on the importance of adopting responsible attitudes towards the environment as well as employee education and training are key components of this initiative.

RONA is also introducing a new Policy on forest products, stating what criteria the Company is adopting for its procurement of wood products for sale across stores from its network. More information is available in a separate news release issued today about this Policy.

NEW PRODUCTS IN THE RONA ECO LINE

Last year at the 2008 edition of the Spring Show, RONA unveiled its new RONA ECO line, whose development is based on the life cycle approach. Through a partnership with the International Life Cycle Assessment Chair, new products are introduced in the RONA ECO line today, adding to our initial offer of cleaning products.

Today, 40 new RONA ECO products are introduced, including products from categories such as horticulture, tools and building materials. To be accepted as "RONA ECO", a product has to satisfy the Life Cycle Chair specialists that throughout its entire life cycle, it has a smaller environmental footprint than an equivalent, traditional product. For each stage of their life cycle, RONA ECO products were carefully assessed based on four environmental performance indicators: climate change, ecosystem health, human health and natural resources. These indicators are the subject of international scientific consensus and take all major environmental issues into account.

IDENTIFICATION OF ECO-RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTS

A year ago, RONA was also unveiling its eco-responsible products. Rigorously selected based on the life cycle approach, they now include a total of almost 500 various brand name items. Products identified as "eco-responsible" lessen the environmental impacts of one or several phases of their life cycle. They can be found across departments, from building materials to gardening products.

In stores, these products can be identified through RONA's new eco-responsible signage, launched earlier this fall. The signage not only highlights where products can be found across store aisles, it also provides detailed, unbiased information on the environmental characteristics of the different categories of eco-responsible products, outlining why items were selected. Customers can also visit rona.ca/eco for more information on products that qualify as eco-responsible choices and the life cycle approach.

In addition to being subjected to the life cycle methodology, many of RONA's
eco-responsible products are also certified by one of the following recognized ecolabels: Energy Star®, Watersense®, Ecologo™, Green Seal™, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Forest Products Marking Program (CSA), or Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI Inc.).

PRIVATE LABEL PRODUCTS

Private label products are ambassadors for the RONA brand. The RONA and RONA Collection product lines continue to grow. Reflecting the "luxury-for-all" movement, a larger selection of high-end items at affordable prices, inspired by international trends and styles, is introduced in the RONA Collection line for 2009, including new paint colours reflecting the latest colour trends and based on RONA by Design's three styles, Oasis, Spirit and Global Village.

Over 500 new private label products are on display at the Spring Show and lines have been extended to include, among other new items, vanities, faucets, electrical and hand tools, carpets, home decor, lighting fixtures as well as power gardening tools. RONA's focus remains on products that meet consumer's expectations and give the brand a competitive edge. A total of over 3,000 high-value products will now be available to customers.

A new controlled label for tools, Haussmann, is being introduced in 2009, showcasing high-end products based on the latest technology available in the tool industry. The Hausmann and Hausmann Xpert lines will be available in all banners from the RONA network.

RONA BY DESIGN 2009

RONA by Design are turnkey renovation concepts that help customers achieve high-style rooms and settings. Our three styles - Oasis style, Spirit style and Global Village style - have become the customer's benchmark for home improvement trends and design.

The Oasis style is a design direction that favours elegant forms and rich material in a choice of soft and muted colours. The Global Village style is a decor where exotic influences get mixed with contemporary decorative currents to create a natural style accentuated by warm colours in wood tones, metals and decorative objects. Finally, the Spirit style is a home of modern simple lines articulated around primary colours and basic white, black and grey.

Six new projects for each trend are introduced at the Spring Show for a total showcase of 18 unique, stylish concepts that reflect the latest materials and colours available. In 2009, a total of 30 concepts will be introduced in RONA stores. New concepts include basements, bathrooms and bedrooms while the growing popularity of outdoor living is taken into account making facades, patios and gardens also part of the 2009 designs.

THE RONA HOME SHOW

On Sunday, November 23, the RONA Spring Show will be opening its doors to 7,500 consumers from the Greater Toronto Area. They will be able to peruse the array of new products and trends showcased by RONA and its suppliers.

Dr. David Suzuki, renowned environmentalist, will be the keynote speaker for a one-hour conference on the importance of small gestures and their impact on the environment. Jim Caruk, Master Contractor and Host of HGTV's Real Renos, will also be on site to host do-it-yourself challenges and Canadian Olympic athletes and Toronto FC players will also be greeting visitors.

In collaboration with the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, RONA is holding the Spring Show under Zero Waste Event certification criteria, promoting resource conservation, efficiency, reduced consumption, maximum reuse and recycling.

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. 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 $6.3 billion in annual retail sales. For more, please visit rona.ca.

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