RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

April 19, 2007 10:02 ET

RONA Expands Again: Three New Big-Box Stores in the Montreal Region

$75 million investment to create over 325 jobs

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - April 19, 2007) - RONA Inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, has announced plans to open three new big-box stores in the Greater Montreal Area. As the construction of a RONA L'entrepot in Pierrefonds enters its final stages with a planned opening in the summer, the company will begin construction of two other stores over the next few months, a Reno-Depot in Candiac and a RONA L'entrepot in Brossard on the South Shore. The Brossard project will give the current Taschereau Boulevard RONA L'entrepot a complete makeover, with a new concept and a new location in a shopping mall in a busy sector of the city. These three projects together represent investments of nearly $75 million and will create over 325 jobs. RONA already operates 40 big-box stores in Quebec.

"Today's announcement is in keeping with our growth strategy, which relies on the construction of new stores of various sizes and formats and the consolidation of the Canadian market. Construction of these stores is part of our overall development plan which includes building 15 big-box and proximity stores across Canada in 2007," explained RONA president and CEO Robert Dutton.

"With the investments announced today for Candiac and Brossard, RONA will create a unique vantage point for serving the fast-growing population on Montreal's South Shore, with over twenty stores of various sizes and banners strategically located in each of the main municipalities in the area," he added.

Opening of a new RONA L'entrepot in Pierrefonds

The construction of a new RONA L'entrepot has been underway since fall 2006 at 3933 St-Charles in Pierrefonds. The 80,000-square-foot store will be 100% owned by RONA and will create over 150 jobs in the area. The grand opening is planned for summer 2007.

The new store will include the entire range of services offered by the RONA L'entrepot concept and an inventory of over 40,000 different products. The store layout will be based on the new RONA big-box concept, with three separate zones: a seasonal and gardening zone, a renovation and interior decoration zone, and a zone for construction materials and basic products. Specialized boutiques will feature paint, interior decoration, floor coverings, lighting fixtures, mouldings, doors and windows, and kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The lighting, customer traffic areas and signage of the various boutiques and product displays have been updated to more effectively direct consumers through the store and provide them with an even more enjoyable shopping experience. Customers will also be able to take advantage of specialized services such as kitchen and deck design, a woodcutting centre and delivery.

Construction of two big-box stores on Montreal's South Shore:

a Reno-Depot at Carrefour Candiac and a RONA L'entrepot at Brossard's Quartier Dix30

RONA has acquired a 500,000-square-foot property in the Carrefour Candiac mega-mall, at the intersection of Highways 15, 30 and 132, and plans to use it for a new 100,000-square-foot Reno-Depot. Construction is expected to begin in June 2007 for a spring 2008 opening. The store, which will have an inventory of over 35,000 items and create more than 175 new jobs, will be 100% owned by RONA. The Candiac store will be based on RONA's new big-box concept, which was introduced successfully in the Rimouski Reno-Depot. The new concept features more open spaces, product displays that are more customer-friendly, and completely redesigned store lighting. The design also uses pictograms to help customers find products that complement their major purchases.

To better meet the needs and expectations of customers in the Brossard area, the current RONA L'entrepot at 9105 Taschereau Boulevard will be strategically relocated in the new Quartier Dix30 commercial zone at the southeast corner of the junction of Highways 10 and 30. The new 120,000-square-foot store will be based on the same concept as the Pierrefonds RONA L'entrepot. Construction is slated to begin this month. Employees and services from the current store will be transferred to the new location when it opens in late 2007. The new store, like the existing Taschereau location, will be co-owned by RONA and a group of RONA dealer-owners.

"For each of these stores, we have chosen the optimal site, format and concept for the sector in question. All three projects announced today demonstrate the flexibility and strength of RONA's approach, with our range of store sizes and formats," said Pierre Dandoy, RONA's executive vice-president for big-box stores.

About RONA

RONA Inc. is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a chain of 662 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 generates close to $6 billion in annual retail sales.

For more information, please visit the RONA website at rona.ca.



List of RONA stores on Montreal's South Shore
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Name Banner Location
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Bibeau Varennes RONA L'express materiaux Varennes
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Materiaux R.M. Bibeau RONA Le Renovateur Ste-Julie
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Centre de Reno Boucherville RONA Le Renovateur Boucherville
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Centre de Reno Boucherville RONA Le Renovateur Boucherville
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Ferronnerie A Leduc RONA L'express Longueuil
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Brien Ferronnerie RONA L'express Longueuil
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Bibeau Longueuil RONA Le Renovateur Longueuil
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RONA Le Regional Longueuil RONA Le Regional Longueuil
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Centre de Jardin St-Hubert Botanix Saint-Hubert
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Quincaillerie
Mario Gelineau RONA L'express Saint-Hubert
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Reno-Depot St-Hubert Reno-Depot Saint-Hubert
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Ferme Florale Botanix Saint-Bruno
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RONA L'entrepot Saint-Bruno RONA L'entrepot Saint-Bruno
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R. Marcil & Freres RONA Le Rennovateu Carignan
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Quincaillerie Rousseau RONA L'express Saint-Lambert
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RONA l'entrepot Brossard
(new location 2007) RONA L'entrepot Brossard
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Reno-Depot Brossard Reno-Depot Brossard
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J.F. Faucher Botanix Laprairie
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Quincaillerie Berger RONA L'express Laprairie
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Reno-Depot Candiac
(construction 2007) Reno-Depot Candiac
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R. Marcil & Freres RONA Le Renovateur St-Constant
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RONA Le Regional
Haut-Richelieu RONA Le Regional St-Jean
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RONA Le Regional
Chateauguay RONA Le Regional Chateauguay
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Contact Information

  • RONA Inc.
    Michele Roy (Media)
    Vice-President
    Communications and Public Relations
    514-599-5900, extension 5398
    michele.roy@rona.ca
    or
    Sphere Communications
    France Bouffard
    514-286-2772, extension 10
    Cell: 514-718-4811
    fbouffard@spherecom.qc.ca
    or
    Financial community
    RONA Inc.
    Stephane Milot, Investor Relations
    Senior Director
    514-599-5951
    stephane.milot@rona.ca