About Rona
Business Profile
Business History
Business Profile
RONA Inc. is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of over 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 $6.3 billion in annual retail sales. For more, please visit rona.ca.
Business History
Since its founding in 1939, the RONA organization has enjoyed an interesting history, one that is memorable for its audacious and courageous decision-making. This brief document highlights that history.

In order to get around a monopoly that was threatening their ability to access supplies, a group of hardware store operators formed Les Marchands en Quincaillerie Ltée in 1939. A few years later, Rolland Dansereau and Napoléon Piotte took charge of the company, which eventually became Le Groupe RONA Inc. In 1962, member-merchants acquired all shares in the company and adopted the cooperative system which is still favoured by the organization today.
2001 RONA acquires a chain of 51 Revy, Revelstoke and Lansing stores - located in Western Canada and Ontario - to create the new Canadian Powerhouse in home improvement. November 5, 2002, RONA closes a public offering consisting of a total offering of $150,1 millions of Common Shares. RONA's Common Shares are then traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "RON". RONA and its dealer-owners now operate more than 620 stores in all regions of Canada. More than 25,000 employees and dealers work in the RONA network, which boasts annual retail sales of approximately $5.7 billion.
2000 RONA acquires the Cashway Building Centres chain, which is the third largest company in its industry in Ontario, with 66 stores.

The company permanently opened its online store on the www.rona.ca website, where customers can directly purchase a wide variety of products.
1999 RONA inaugurated a brand new ultra-modern warehouse adjacent to its headquarters. The new distribution centre measures 654,000 square feet, doubling RONA's warehousing capacity. This warehouse allows RONA to achieve considerable cost savings.
1998 The company refurbished its banners and eliminated the Le Quincailleur and Dismat names. At the same time, two new banners, RONA L'express and RONA L'express Matériaux, were introduced. The Ro-Na Dismat Group Inc. changed its name to RONA Inc. Last but not least, in 1998, RONA once again proved its flair for innovation with the all-new RONA Le Rénovateur Régional stores, a banner that combines the advantages of super-size operations with the personal touch found in more conventional stores.
1997 ITM Entreprises S.A., a group based in France, invested $30 million in the Ro-Na Dismat Group, became a shareholder of the company, and formed a purchasing alliance with RONA.
1994 The year 1994 heralds the arrival of large-surface stores in the Ro-Na Dismat Group, which launches its RONA L'entrepôt big boxes. The warehouse stores differentiate themselves from the competition by offering the same quality service as traditional stores.
1990 The Ro-Na Dismat Group decides to increase its purchasing power. Already associated to Home Hardware Stores Ltd., a group of over 1,000 merchants in Canada, the Group pursues a further alliance with Hardware Wholesalers Inc. of Fort Wayne, Indiana, with over 3,000 retailers in the United States.
1988 Merger with Dismat, another group operating in the building materials field. This confirms the company's coming of age and gives birth to the Ro-Na Dismat name.
1984 Ro-Na and Ontario-based Home Hardware Stores Ltd. merge their purchasing power to create an affiliated company called Alliance RONA Home Inc.
1983 Ro-Na begins selling interior decorating products through specialized boutiques operating under the Ambiance Boutique name.
1982 Ro-Na purchases the assets of Botanix and integrates its dealer network into its own operations.
1974 Move to the new building in Boucherville. Replacement of order catalogue by a microfiche system with microreader in all stores to facilitate access to information and reduce head-office operating costs.

In the fall, major expansion of the delivery radius in Quebec. This expansion is part of a province-wide integration of the delivery system, the installation of a mini-rail system in the warehouse and the use of new containers for shipping.
1970 Dissolution of Quincaillerie Ro-Na Ltée and adoption of the Marchands Ro-Na Inc. name in replacement of the Marchands en Quincaillerie Ltée name.
1968 Death of Napoléon Piotte. Appointment of Charles Morency, hardware operator from Quebec City, as President of both companies. Implementation of a first self-financing program based on guaranteed deposits derived from the holdback of a portion of the monthly rebates and annual volume discounts earned by the merchants.
1962 Acquisition of Les Marchands en Quincaillerie by a group of hardware store operators led by Napoléon Piotte. This transaction represents a major event in the organization's history as it marks the beginning of the cooperative system which the Group favours to this day.
1960 Incorporation of Quincaillerie Ro-Na Inc. Its objective: increase business through collective advertising and sales promotion of all types. According to the popular legend, the name Ro-Na comes from the first two letters of the first names of Rolland Dansereau, then President, and Napoléon Piotte, then External Relations Agent.
October 1939: Founding Les Marchands en Quincaillerie Ltée. Their objective: pool orders for various product lines in order to secure better prices.
RONA is a network of affiliate, franchise and corporate stores, all leaders in their respective market. The RONA mission is to offer North American consumers the very best in service with the right merchandise always at the right price thanks to a variety of store formats and the most efficient management and distribution support in the hardware, home improvement and gardening products industry.
  • Customer service is the top priority for RONA and our employees. This unconditional commitment to serve is both our reason for being and the key to our shared success.
  • Unity is our founding principle. At RONA, we’re all part of the same team. Our common goal is to offer the best possible shopping experience to each and every customer.
  • The working conditions we provide illustrate the respect we have for our employees. It’s also shown in the resources we invest in developing our people and in the care and attention we give all employees, customers, shareholders and business partners.
  • At RONA, the search for the common good allows us to join forces with people and businesses that believe in the benefits of working together and who accept the rules of doing so. We are always guided by the common interests of our employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers and other partners.
  • At RONA, everyone is encouraged to take initiative in any way they can to contribute to the company’s success. By fostering a solid sense of responsibility in every employee, we ensure that our human resources grow with us.
“May I help you?” Just a few simple words. But for decades those few simple words have summed an entire culture at RONA. A culture that today still follows a rule the independent dealer-owners who founded RONA in 1939 always insisted on: that every customer who enters a RONA store should be a satisfied customer when they leave.

RONA recognizes that consumers, like dealer-owners, have varying needs and goals. Which is why RONA has developed a unique business model designed to satisfy different types of customers and different types of dealer-owners as well.

This unique model comprises four store formats that address specific markets or consumer sectors: big-box, proximity, specialized – consumer and specialized, commercial and professional. And three ownership formulas: corporate stores, franchises or affiliates. So even dealer-owners who prefer to remain independent can still enjoy all the advantages, energy and solid foundation that make RONA what it is today.
RESPECT FOR THE FUTURERONA has been in business for almost 70 years. A success story that spans decades requires a culture that values and respects the future: its own future, of course, but also the future of its stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, neighbours and fellow citizens.

RONA subscribes to the definition of sustainable development proposed in 1987 by the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Sustainable development doesn’t change our reason for being in business – which is to grow our business through high quality service and efficiency. What it does determine, on the other hand, is our way of being in business. Our commitment to sustainable development must be central to life at RONA and a test we must pass in everything we do on an ongoing basis. This commitment to sustainable development is not only the duty of the good corporate citizen, it has also become an imperative for doing business. Besides its positioning, a company’s conduct and practices have today become criteria of choice for prospective consumers and employees.

Our commitment and how it works
RONA intends to become the industry’s standard for sustainable development in Canada. We will exercise our leadership through our product selection and services and through our management tools and practices as well.

The basis of our commitment to sustainable development is our values: service, respect, unity, a sense of responsibility, and pursuit of the common good.

These values are embodied in certain frameworks we have adopted, particularly:

  • Our code of conduct, which defines ethical rules that must govern our behaviour. This code applies to our suppliers as well as to our employees.
  • Our responsible purchasing policy, which establishes the rule that we should develop business ties only with those suppliers and partners who respect the environment and workers’ rights. Sustainable development is an ongoing project, a process that is never completed. In 2007, to move this process ahead, we put some new and important features in place:
  • We created the Sustainable Development Committee, which brings together managers from all RONA sectors. It is indeed fundamental that sustainable development not be treated as the sole domain of any one administrative unit but as a way of being for all sectors in the company.
  • We also created the ECOmmittee made up of 15 employees from all sectors of the company and from every region in Canada. The ECOmmitte makes concrete suggestions for responsible use of our resources and the environment.
  • We have become involved with two university chairs. At HEC Montréal, we have become partners in the new Chair in Ethical Management. We are also partnering with the International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment at the École Polytechnique de Montréal. In addition to furthering the advancement of knowledge in their respective fields, both these groups of experts will collaborate with us in the future, training our managers and helping us choose eco-responsible products to offer our customers.

RONA has been in business for almost 70 years. A success story that spans decades requires a culture that values and respects the future: its own future, of course, but also the future of its stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, neighbours and fellow citizens.

In order to contribute to our world, our company must guarantee its own economic survival. This requires efficient operations, returns sufficient to attract the investment our company’s sustainable development requires, and reinvestment of a sufficient share of our profits back into our company to finance this development.

For the past decade, RONA’s business volume has grown at an annual compound rate of 21.4%. Roughly half this growth is internal: higher sales in existing stores, new store construction, recruitment of new affiliates. The other half is the result of acquisitions during this time, particularly since 2000. In our opinion, these acquisitions are more than a mere amalgamation of different organizations. On the contrary, they create real value, and promote the viability of the activities and jobs in RONA and within the acquired companies. This growth has generated value for an ever-growing number of RONA employees.

As RONA makes approximately 90% of its purchases from Canadian suppliers, our growth is also contributing to the economic prosperity of Canada.

A strong balance sheet is a measure of a company’s viability. RONA exercises prudent management of its asset base. We pay no dividends, and all earnings are dedicated to investing in our growth. Any new capital required for growth is assembled on the best possible terms so as to maintain a strong balance sheet and guarantee continued access to financial markets.
Hardware, home renovation and gardening products.

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This page was last updated on July 23, 2008