RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

November 28, 2007 13:00 ET

New-Concept RONA Store Opens in Calgary

RONA invests $20 million and creates 150 local jobs

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 28, 2007) - RONA inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, officially unveiled its new RONA Calgary store today. The opening of the 100,000-square-foot big-box store, at 12330 Symons Valley Road represents a $20 million investment in Calgary and creates over 150 new jobs, a great opportunity to start a career at RONA.

Today's ceremony marks the opening of the 44th RONA point of sale in the province. RONA, a brand associated with service, first initiated its presence in Alberta with the acquisition of Revy stores in 2001. Since then, the Company has built and added stores across the province, including the Totem chain in 2005. RONA also opened a 320,000-square-foot distribution centre in Calgary in 2004, serving as the main supply hub for the Company's network of stores in Western Canada. Through its various banners, RONA has become a trusted destination for home renovation and construction, a dedicated employer and a caring partner across the Alberta communities where the Company is present.

"Calgary is a dynamic city that is experiencing strong economic growth. These conditions are ideal for RONA's product and service offering. The RONA Calgary store benefits from all the latest innovations in terms of signage, specialized boutiques and services, including our recently introduced Project Guide service as well as our installation services," explained RONA President and CEO, Robert Dutton.

"The new Calgary store fits perfectly into our unique business model, which allows us to meet the specific needs of all the different communities we serve, no matter what their size or location, with stores of different formats. We're very proud to offer this customized formula to people around the area," he added.

Everything under one roof

Experienced do-it-yourselfers, first-time homeowners and the trade will all find what they need in the customer-friendly, 100,000-square-foot store. Along with its vast sales area, the store boasts a spacious 3,000-square-foot greenhouse, a 20,000-square-foot outdoor garden centre and a 15,000-square-foot drive-through lumberyard. RONA Calgary offers a full selection of over 30,000 different products, 90% of them from Canadian suppliers.

"We've been hard at work for months in preparing for today. The whole team is very enthusiastic about welcoming customers from the Calgary area to an innovative store that features personalized service, a very well-planned layout to make finding products easier and quality products at competitive prices. Our goal is to give our customers a helping hand in completing their projects and to really exceed their expectations in the process," said store manager Richard Howard.

The RONA big-box formula offers all the service advantages of a neighbourhood hardware store and all the attractions of a larger store. RONA Calgary offers construction materials, finishing materials and specialized boutiques including paint, the latest decoration accessories, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, doors and windows as well as flooring.

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, the Company just launched its new Project Guide service, an all-new concept offering the help of knowledgeable, specially-trained staff who guide customers through the different stages of specific renovation projects. Meanwhile, the "RONA by Design" renovation and interior decoration concept offers suggestions and solutions to manage projects such as bathrooms, facades or kitchens.

Specialized services at the new RONA Calgary also include installation, kitchen design, tool rental, a cut shop, delivery and a separate counter for contractors.

RONA, supporting athletes and youth

Accompanying Pierre Dandoy, RONA's Executive Vice President of Big Box stores at the opening ceremony were Deputy Mayor Jim Stevenson, members of the RONA senior management team, new store employees and many customers. Gina Kingsbury, an athlete in ice hockey, one of the athletes that RONA supports through the "Growing with our Athletes" program, also took part in the opening ceremony.

RONA has made a commitment to support Canadian athletes through its "Growing with our Athletes" program, which offers financial support to 100 top-level athletes practising winter or summer sports, whether they're already Olympians or headed in that direction. Every RONA store in Canada is paired with one of these athletes to increase community support and participation. RONA is also a national partner of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as a national partner of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams.

During the Calgary store opening ceremony, the RONA Foundation presented a $5,000 donation to the Alberta Mentor Foundation for Youth (AMFY), which has been receiving support from the RONA Foundation for the past three years. The RONA Foundation believes in AMFY's mission of helping young people achieve their full potential. Many young people today are living in difficult situations because of personal, family or even self-esteem problems, issues which can ultimately lead to their dropping out of school. AMFY's focus is to work with youth before they're overcome by their difficulties and suffer the consequences. By having their mentors spend time with young people at their schools, AMFY is helping many to choose the right path. Today's donation marks the arrival of the new Calgary store and the RONA Foundation's efforts to help build better communities.

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 them training so that they can take up a trade or a profession. The RONA Foundation is dedicated to helping troubled young people believe in themselves and in their future again - for their own benefit and for the good of their community.

About RONA

RONA inc. is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of more than 670 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats. With over 26,000 employees working under its family of banners in every region of Canada and more than 14 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store network now generates over $6 billion in annual retail sales. Visit www.rona.ca.

Digital photos of the opening ceremonies are available.

Contact Information

  • Media
    RONA inc.
    Eva Boucher-Hartling, Director, External Relations
    514-599-5900 x 5114 or Cell phone: 514-237-8738
    eva.boucher-hartling@rona.ca
    or
    Focus Communications
    Sue Heuman, ABC
    780-732-7213 ext 202
    Cell phone: 780-914-9147
    sue@focuscom.ca
    or
    Financial Community
    RONA inc.
    Stephane Milot
    Senior Director, Investor Relations
    514-599-5951
    stephane.milot@rona.ca