RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

March 27, 2008 11:00 ET

RONA Inc.: New Reno-Depot Opens in Candiac

Investment of over $20 million creates 150 new jobs

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 27, 2008) - RONA inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian retailer and distributor of hardware, renovation and gardening products, launched a new Reno-Depot store in the heart of the retail hub of Carrefour Candiac today. Located at 100 Strasbourg Street, at the intersection of Highways 15, 30 and 132, the new store is corporately owned by RONA. The construction and finishing of the 105,000-square-foot store cost over $20 million and its opening has created 150 new jobs.

"RONA is proud to be expanding our network by opening our 16th Reno-Depot, here in Candiac. The inauguration coincides with a recent announcement of another $20 million investment to improve the shopping experience in all our Reno-Depot stores. At RONA, we always have our ear to the ground, listening carefully to make sure we're meeting our customers' needs," said RONA President and CEO, Robert Dutton.

"Carrefour Candiac is an ideal location. Mid-way between the Champlain and Mercier Bridges, and at the crossroads of the major roadways, this location will give Reno-Depot the opportunity to get close to the residents of this dynamic sector of the metropolitan region," explained Pierre Dandoy, RONA Executive Vice President, Big-box stores.

"This store 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," Dandoy added.

The latest generation of Reno-Depot

The new Candiac store offers everything customers need to complete major renovation or construction projects. In addition to 105,000 square feet of retail space, the store features a 25,000-square-foot garden centre and a 45,000-square-foot drive-through outdoor lumberyard. 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. Since storage is an emerging priority for today's customers, the boutique is conveniently located near the store's entrance and it offers a wide range of storage and organization products for the garage, kitchen, basement and cupboards.

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.

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.

RONA Foundation donation to Benado

At the opening ceremony, Robert Dutton and Pierre Dandoy were joined by a number of guests, including Brossard-La Prairie MP Marcel Lussier, La Prairie MNA Monique Roy Verville, and Candiac Mayor Andre J. Cote, 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 a $5,000 donation to Benado, a Candiac organization that works to prevent juvenile delinquency through awareness and rehabilitation activities, in cooperation with the community. The contribution was made to celebrate the opening of the new Candiac 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 inc., the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of 680 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 $6.2 billion in annual retail sales.

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

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

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