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Rona, Inc

Rona Inc. is a Boucherville, Quebec-based retailer of home improvement and construction products and services.

Founded in 1939, the company operates a mixture of company-owned and franchised retailers under multiple banners, including Rona, its big box formats Rona Home & Garden (Rona L’Entrepôt in Quebec) and Réno-Dépôt, as well as smaller brands such as Rona Cashway, Marcil Centre de Rénovation, and Dick's Lumber.

History[edit]

  • 1960 - July 20, 1960 Ro-Na name adopted, after ROlland Dansereau and NApoleon Piotte, two of the founders of Les Marchands en Quincaillerie. Ro-Na member stores begin adding the Ro-Na logo to identify themselves as members of the buying co-operative.
  • 1988 - Rona merged with Dismat, another building materials company, to create Rona Dismat Group Inc.
  • 1990 - Rona formed an alliance with Hardware Wholesalers, Inc. of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • 1997 - ITM Entreprises S.A., a France-based group, invests $30 million in the Rona Dismat Group Inc. ITM becomes a shareholder and forms a purchasing alliance with Rona.
  • 1998 - Rona eliminates the Le Quincailleur and Dismat names and introduces Rona L'express, Rona L'express Matériaux and Rona Le Rénovateur Régional. It also changes its name from Rona Dismat Group Inc. to Rona Inc.
  • 1999 - Rona opens a new warehouse adjacent to its headquarters, measuring 654, 000 square feet (61, 000 m²), doubling its warehousing capacity and achieving considerable cost savings.
  • 2000 - Rona acquires Ontario-based Cashway Building Centres, with 66 stores. It permanently opens its online store on the rona.ca website.
  • 2001 - Rona acquires 51 Revy Home and Garden, Revelstoke Home Centres (located in Western Canada) and Lansing (Ontario) stores, thus owning many more stores in the Greater Toronto Area. Revy was a BC-based company.
  • 2002 - Rona closes a public offering consisting of a total offering of $150.1 million of Common Shares. Rona's Common Shares are then traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "RON".
  • 2003 - Rona acquires Réno-Dépôt Inc. from British Kingfisher plc, including The Building Box stores. Rona also opens its third large distribution centre in Calgary, Alberta.
  • 2004 - Rona acquires Totem Building Supplies Limited, an Alberta company. Rona Dream Home airs on Global. Rona also joins the AIR MILES Reward Program.
  • 2005 - Rona Dream Home 2 airs on Global.
  • 2006 - Rona acquires Stephens Home Centre/ Castle Inc., Sydney N.S
  • 2006 - Rona acquires a majority (51%) stake in Matériaux Coupal Inc.
  • 2006 - Rona acquires Curtis Lumber Building Supplies
  • 2006 - Rona acquires St. John's, NL based Chester Dawe Limited
  • 2007 - Rona acquires Burnaby, BC based Dick's Lumber
  • 2007 - Rona acquires Concord, ON based Noble Trade
  • 2010 - Rona acquires Pierceys, based in Nova Scotia and, through Noble Trade, Plomberie Payette & Perreault based at Boucherville, QC as well as Don Park Canada and TruServ

In 2012, the U.S. hardware store chain Lowe's attempted to buy Rona; however, the deal was met with objections from Rona shareholders (particularly the Caisse) and franchisees, and was eventually called off. On February 3, 2016, Rona announced that it had accepted an offer to be acquired by Lowe's for CDN$3.2 billion, pending regulatory and shareholder approval. Post-merger, the Canadian operations of Lowe's will be based out of Rona's headquarters in Boucherville, and remain headed by Lowe's Canada's current CEO Sylvain Prud'homme. Lowe's agreed to "continue to employ the vast majority of its current employees and maintain key executives from Rona's strong leadership team", and will maintain Rona's retail banners.

Rona "big box" stores[edit]

In the 1990s, under competitive pressure from The Home Depot and other big box retailers, Rona established the Rona Home & Garden stores.

Rona Home & Garden stores are large, ranging from 85, 000 to 150, 000 square feet (14, 000 m2), with a warehouse-style similar to The Home Depot and Lowe's. Faced with chronic under-performance in some markets outside of Quebec, Rona closed six big boxes in 2012, five in Ontario and one in British Columbia.

Resources
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It's Interesting

  • Annette Verschuren, OC is a Canadian businessperson. She was president of Home Depot Canada from March 1996 to January 2011.
    A native of North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Verschuren received a Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier University...

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