RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

November 19, 2010 09:00 ET

Commitment to Customer Service is Key: 65th Annual RONA Spring Show Features New Products, Exclusive Services and Innovations Coming for 2011

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 19, 2010) - RONA Inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, unveiled today the new products and exclusive services that will be available in its network of stores across Canada in spring 2011. RONA presented more than 16,000 products in the 145,000 square-foot exhibition space at the Calgary Stampede. Over 850 participants from the RONA store network got an advance preview of more than 2200 new products selected to meet anticipated trends for the next year, as well as all the latest innovations.

"We're very happy to be getting together here in Calgary at the 65th RONA Spring Show. By holding the show in this great Canadian city, we want to stress the typically Canadian roots that have forged our company's identity," said RONA's President and CEO Robert Dutton. "This year, we want to re-emphasize the importance we attach to customer service in our stores, as well as our commitment to always listen to consumers in order to offer them the best products and provide the best possible advice."

"We're very proud, this year, of the effort we've put into offering a vast selection of exclusive, innovative and eco-responsible products to meet the increasingly diversified needs of Canadian consumers from coast to coast," said Normand Dumont, Executive Vice President, Merchandising, at RONA. "Private and controlled brands will have a special place in our merchandising activities in 2011. We're counting on the accessibility and distinctive features of these products to support Canadian consumers in their renovation projects."  

2011 Spring Show Highlights

  • Launch of a new graphic platform for RONA and RONA Collection brand paints, featuring more colours, new mix and match tools, colour swatches and exciting brochures with great design ideas.
  • An additional 1050 private and controlled brand products.
  • The Mecanair repair shops network, with more than 180 outlets across the country, will add new categories to their existing line of private and controlled brand repair services: air-conditioners, faucets, showers and toilets as well as portable power tools.
  • 36 exclusive products selected as "Heart Stoppers" for their distinctive and innovative qualities.
  • Release of a book on the history of RONA from its inception in 1939 to today.
  • The 2011 RONA Spring Show is an eco-responsible event and tends to be carbon neutral with most of the carbon emissions being compensated.

A renewed image for RONA paint … and more colours than ever

As Canada's leading paint retailer, RONA will expand and improve its RONA and RONA Collection private brand lines to better meet the varied and changing needs in this sector. Consumers will enjoy the benefits of having more colours from which to choose, including more subtle gradations, trend-setting colours and practical tools to help make their colour choices easier – colour matching charts, colour swatches, design brochures and a paint section devoted exclusively to "neutral" colours. A new graphic platform will also enhance the new features in these improved paint lines. For the RONA brand, a new image based on a more vivid and immediate colour background will help further enhance the brand's strong awareness. The RONA Collection segment's new graphic design, on the other hands, symbolizes creativity and excitement and presents the trend-setting style and decorative aspects that predominate in this brand.

New product categories for private and controlled brands

RONA's private and controlled brands were developed as a way of making some unique, added value products available to consumers, and they will have a special place in RONA's merchandising activities in 2011. RONA is adding over 1050 more items in different products categories, for a total of more than 6000 products available under 11 existing brands:  UBERHAUS, Uberhaus PRO, UBERHAUS DESIGN, HAUSSMANN, HAUSSMANN XPERT, RONA, RONA X-PERT, RONA COLLECTION, RONA ECO, PRO-PULSE and FACTO.

To help consumers extend the life of their private and controlled brand products, consumers can rely on more than 180 Mecanair outlets – a line of service and repair shops, each serving a point of sale on the RONA network across Canada. Besides maintaining portable electric tools, Mecanair will expand its available services this year to include air-conditioners, faucets, showers and toilets.

Heart Stoppers – 36 exclusive and innovative products

RONA will offer a selection of products designated as "Heart Stoppers". Exclusive, innovative and distinctive, the "Heart Stoppers" are intended to inspire Canadian consumers and at the same time help them be innovative in their renovation projects. Among "Heart Stoppers" in 2011 will be a RONA ECO charger for regular alkaline batteries, an eco-responsible high-intensity LED suspension luminaire, a made-in-Canada rechargeable lawn tractor, a solid-surface bathtub and basin from UBERHAUS DESIGN, a Cascade shower head with thermostatic valve, repositionable trompe-l'oeil sticker displays available in eight different models, Japanese decorative panels, laminated suspended ceiling tiles made of wood and a BOSCH Axial Glide 12″ mitre saw, from latest innovation, exclusive to RONA.

A new visual identity for RONA by Design

The RONA by Design projects were designed and developed to help consumers with their own indoor and outdoor renovation projects in a personal style that reflects their favourite trends. In 2011, RONA will renew the visual identity of these stylish, highly affordable home projects in order to reflect more clearly the creative inspiration and decorative design purpose underlying the three main styles of the projects: Oasis, Global Village and Spirit. In 2011, a series of nine RONA by Design projects will be developed for each style – 27 projects in all – for bathrooms, basements, patios and gardens, garages, lavatories, kitchens and dining rooms, and shelving and storage.

New features and innovations in stores for a better shopping experience

A new concept for doors and windows will be introduced in RONA stores across Canada. All products and items needed for doors and windows projects – including single side panel exterior doors, patio or garden doors, sash windows, sliding windows, and vertical or horizontal casement windows – will be located in one dedicated and substantially expanded area. It will include standing displays showing doors and windows mounted in position, giving consumers a better idea of the finished product's structure and appearance. Other improvements in RONA stores will be added to optimize the customer shopping experience. There will be an area devoted entirely to shelving and storage items, where consumers can find an expanded selection of accessories for closets, kitchens and bathrooms, as well as decorative storage boxes. Total-solution storage projects will also be offered, including computer customized shelf systems designed on-site, complete fabrication and installation specs. Introduction of this new concept will begin at Réno-Dépôt stores in Quebec in 2011.

RONA: From 1939 to Today

RONA is proud to release a book which tells the story of our company from its inception in 1939 to today. Our company was founded by people who thought "outside the box" and still continue to think differently. They were dedicated businesspeople who felt that a company should respect the dignity of its owners and workers, and who saw profit not as an end in itself but as a just reward for a job well done. RONA: From 1939 to Today is a tribute to the builders who contributed to the company's growth and development over the past seven decades. RONA: From 1939 to Today is 240 pages, with colour illustrations, and is available in French and English exclusively online at www.rona.ca. Price $15 (tax included). Limited quantities.

The 2011 Spring Show: An eco-responsible event

Sustainable development is a commitment RONA maintains on a daily basis. Which is why RONA has taken strict measures to minimize the environmental footprint of the 65th annual Spring Show. To make this possible, RONA worked closely with the Calgary Stampede and Metro Waste to put a complete recovery program in place. Two 40-yard bins for collecting wood and mixed recyclable materials, including cardboard, plastic and beverage containers, as well as a 6-yard bin for metal, were installed on site. This was done in addition to the Calgary Stampede's existing comprehensive waste recovery program. With regards to catering services, recycled or recyclable dinnerware is preferred and water is served in pitchers instead of plastic bottles. With these waste reduction and recovery efforts, RONA intends to make the 65th annual Spring Show an event that truly respects the principles of sustainable development.

In addition, the RONA Spring Show tends to be carbon neutral for the first time ever with most of the carbon emissions being compensated. Planetair, an independent non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about sustainable development, conducted a systematic audit to establish a specific figure for the total carbon emissions resulting from the event. The carbon credits issued as a result were registered with the Chicago Climate Exchange and served to offset transport and accommodations for the participants and organizing committee, transport of goods and meals. The credits were graciously donated by our partner, AbitibiBowater.

Last but not least, all products and materials that were used for the 2011 Spring Show and cannot be resold or reused in RONA stores will be donated to the Vermillion Energy/YWCA Skills Training Centre in Calgary – a non-profit organization that helps young women escape the cycle of poverty and dependency by opening the doors to a satisfying career in the construction industry. The centre trains young women living in the Calgary area to acquire the skills and the self-confidence they need in order to find employment in the construction sector.

About RONA

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of nearly 700 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats. With close to 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. Visit www.rona.ca.

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