RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

April 23, 2009 10:00 ET

New Reno-Depot Store Opens in LaSalle

Investment of over $20 million

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 23, 2009) - RONA inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian retailer and distributor of hardware, renovation and gardening products, opened a new Reno-Depot store in LaSalle today. Located at 2199 Lapierre Street, the new store is entirely rebuilt on the site of the original LaSalle store. The original store's demolition and the construction and finishing of the new 130,000-square-foot store represent a $20 million investment. Some 160 employees work at the store.

"RONA is proud to be expanding our network by opening this new, entirely rebuilt Reno-Depot store here in LaSalle. We are continuing to invest in the renovation and upgrade of our Reno-Depot stores, having recently completed the renovation of our St-Hubert and Anjou locations last February. At RONA, we are constantly listening to our customers and aim to meet their ever-changing needs by innovating on an ongoing basis," said RONA President and CEO, Robert Dutton.

"Local customers appreciate the LaSalle Reno-Depot store and keep coming back for great service and expert advice from store employees," said Pierre Dandoy, RONA Executive Vice President, Retail operations. "The new store we are offering them today is part of the new generation of Reno-Depot. It offers all the advantages that have made the banner so popular, like competitive prices and a wide variety of products in every category, in an upgraded setting that's even friendlier and more efficient. The new store also offers the new Project Space, a consultation area where customers can get valuable advice and help for major renovation projects," he concluded.

The latest generation of Reno-Depot

The new LaSalle store offers everything customers need to complete major renovation or construction projects. In addition to 114,000 square feet of retail space, the store features a 16,000-square-foot garden centre. The product selection includes no less than 32,000 different items.

The store was built to reflect the latest Reno-Depot big-box concept. The central axis of the store is lined with boutiques offering different decoration and finishing products: flooring, doors and windows, kitchen, bathroom, paint, interior decoration and even a storage boutique. Along the central aisle, signage helps customers easily find the products they're looking for, while more space is allotted for the contractor counter, which has increased service efficiency by grouping all contractor services together in one place.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) assessment system

RONA has adopted certain criteria from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) assessment system for new building construction.

In LaSalle, these criteria include the option of a white roof to minimize thermal gains due to sunlight; additional insulation in the building envelope to reduce energy consumption; addition of an entranceway vestibule for contractors to help save energy; use of low-emission materials (paint, adhesives, etc.) to promote better air quality; thermal wheels on air conditioners to help recover energy; use of a CO2 detector; installation of light wells to allow entry of natural light and reduce the need for artificial lighting in certain areas; "T5" fluorescent lighting, which delivers higher performance than traditional lighting; sophisticated control of store lighting using motion detectors, plus timer-controlled lighting, air conditioning and heating during the daytime period; water-saving plumbing fixtures; bicycle racks, changing rooms and showers to encourage employees to use bicycles for travel to the workplace; and, last but not least, recovery and recycling of materials from the demolition of the original building. In addition, only one-third of the lamps and lighting fixtures will be turned on in demonstration areas.

Because of our concern for saving energy, all conventional lighting in the store has been replaced by fluorescent lamps and only one third of the lighting units on display will be turned on at any one time.

The Project Space

At the very heart of the store is the Project Space, a consultation area where customers can meet with experienced advisors - Project Guides - to discuss their renovation projects. The Project Space has a reception counter and a by-appointment-only expert zone, where projects can be discussed in depth.

Project Guides can advise customers on the products they need and help them coordinate the tasks involved in their projects. They can also take care of organizing installation services, including getting estimates from professionals, making appointments to have the work done and following up to make sure the final results meet customer expectations.These advisors can also discuss project financing with customers, including the Build Up Plan program where consumers obtain gift cards when they purchase materials used for projects eligible for federal and provincial home renovation tax credit.

RONA Foundation donations

At the opening ceremony, Robert Dutton and Pierre Dandoy were joined by a number of guests, including LaSalle mayor Manon Barbe; President of the "Chambre de commerce et d'industrie du Sud-Ouest de Montreal" Brigitte Beauchemin; TV personality and emcee for the event Normand Brathwaite; alpine skiing athlete and member of RONA's Growing with our athletes program Genevieve Simard; as well as other members of RONA senior management, employees of the new store and, of course, many Reno-Depot customers.

At the event, the RONA Foundation presented two $5,000 donations to "Toujours Ensemble" and to the "Boys and Girls Club of LaSalle", two community organizations supporting academic success for local youth. The contributions were made to celebrate the opening of the new LaSalle store and to reflect the RONA Foundation's efforts to help build better communities. The RONA Foundation was created in 1998 with the mission to provide assistance to young people between the ages of 12 and 30 who are struggling with problems such as dropping out of school and illiteracy, and to offer them the training they need to work at a trade or occupation.

About RONA

Reno-Depot is a banner of RONA, 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 close to 30,000 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. Visit www.rona.ca.

An official photo of the opening ceremony is available on request.

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