RONA INC.
TSX : RON
TSX : RON.PR.A

RONA INC.

June 29, 2011 09:30 ET

RONA Opens Newest Store in St. John's Area

Torbay Road Store built to meet LEED criteria

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - June 29, 2011) - RONA inc. (TSX:RON)(TSX:RON.PR.A), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, has officially opened its new RONA store in St. John's today. Existing St. John's Chester Dawe operations on Torbay Road are being transferred to the new RONA store located at 710 Torbay Road. This new outlet represents a $20 million investment and created 50 local jobs in addition to the 35 existing positions from Chester Dawe Torbay location.

This newest RONA St. John's store features a retail sales area of 44,000 square feet and approximately 30,000 products dedicated to both professional contractor and 'Do-it-Yourself' renovator. The store will also have an impressive 46,000 square foot outdoor drive-through lumberyard, a 9,700 square foot garden centre and a 23,500 square foot covered lumberyard.

"RONA is dedicated to pursuing its growth in the Atlantic Canada market. The opening of our latest store in Newfoundland and Labrador will translate into healthy economic benefits for St. John's and other communities in the area," said RONA Vice President of Retail in Atlantic Provinces Gordon Kennedy. "We are extremely proud of the new RONA store in St. John's. It is a consumer-friendly environment that offers an extensive variety of products, services and attractions under one-roof. We're happy to offer this opportunity to residents in the area, who will continue to receive the superior customer service they were accustomed to when previously shopping at Chester Dawe."

The Torbay Road store is the fourth major RONA project completed in Atlantic Canada including the acquisition in 2010 of the Pierceys chain of stores in Nova Scotia; $2.8 million investment in the O'Leary Avenue store in St. John's; and $1.9 million in renovations to the Bay Roberts RONA in 2009, replacing two stores that no longer satisfied the Corporation standards for adequately meeting customer expectations.

"We are excited to continue to provide top quality products delivered with excellent customer service to existing and new customers alike," said Torbay Road store manager, John Reardigan. "RONA customer service is built on a foundation of working alongside customers to advise them, guide them, and ultimately help them successfully achieve their home improvement projects. This remains to be an important part of our approach to serving customers in this store, and across the entire RONA store network."

Everything under one roof, all with a reduced environmental footprint

The new RONA store has more than 30,000 different types of building materials and finishing products as well as specialized boutiques that include kitchen and bathroom cabinets and fixtures, doors and windows, and much more. The store also has departments for tools, hardware, plumbing, electrical, flooring, plaint, mouldings, lighting fixtures and seasonal articles.

Unique in the home improvement sector, RONA boutiques are designed to support the renovation process and make it more efficient. The boutiques allow customers to find everything they need to complete a renovation project in one single area. With the same in mind, RONA's Torbay Road store offers Project Guide services, a concept offering the help of knowledgeable, specially-trained staff who guide customers through the different stages of specific renovation projects. Among the other specialized services offered at the new store are installation, delivery and cutting, as well as a counter dedicated to contractors.

RONA also offers products that are respectful to the environment. In addition to RONA ECO and eco-responsible products, the new RONA store was built following the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria. To protect air quality, low-emissions materials (like paint, adhesives and waterproofing materials) were used in the building construction, and measures for reducing energy consumption, including a white energy efficient roofing system; additional insulation in the building envelope; T5 fluorescent lighting; a computerized control system for store lighting (movement detectors); timers to regulate lighting, air-conditioning, and heating throughout the day; and low-flow sanitation equipment are employed. In addition, wood from certified forests and locally manufactured materials were used for the construction. To further reduce environmental impacts, bike racks and changing rooms are available to encourage employees to cycle or walk to work.

RONA supports the local community

St. John's area residents took part in the opening ceremony along with local, provincial and national dignitaries including: His Worship, Dennis O'Keefe, Mayor of St. John's; St. John's East MHA, Ed Buckingham; Gordon Kennedy, RONA Vice President, Retail – Atlantic Provinces; and John Reardigan, RONA Torbay Road Store Manager. City Councillor Danny Breen, Tampa Bay Lightning's Teddy Purcell, RONA store employees, and many customers also joined the Torbay Road team in celebrating the store opening.

At the opening ceremony in St. John's, the RONA Foundation made a donation of $2,500 to Choices for Youth. Choices for Youth's mission is to help provide young people with adequate, stable, and age-appropriate support systems during a transition period in their lives.

Created in 1998, the RONA Foundation provides assistance for young people aged 12 to 30 by supporting local organizations and projects that fight school drop-out and illiteracy rates, or offer training that leads to the acquisition of a trade or profession.

About RONA

RONA entered the Newfoundland and Labrador market in 2006 with the acquisition of Chester Dawe. In addition to its own truss plant, RONA has stores in Bay Roberts, Fortune, Gander, Goulds, Kelligrews, Wabush, and St. John's. RONA has quickly become a trusted destination for home renovation and construction, a dedicated employer and a caring partner in all Newfoundland and Labrador communities where the Corporation does business.

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products and operates a network of more than 950 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 17 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store network generates over $6 billion in annual retail sales. Visit rona.ca.

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