RONA wants to focus on its image as a local company. Affiliated merchants will now have their name written in large letters on the facade and even inside the store. A strategy aimed at attracting new merchants so that they adopt the brand, believes Richard Darveau, president of the Quebec Hardware and Construction Materials Association (AQMAT).

According to him, the various chains are currently engaged in a fierce battle to attract new owners. “Marauding is at its peak,” he says bluntly.

For his part, Jean-Sébastien Lamoureux, senior vice-president, RONA affiliated dealers and public affairs, did not hide the fact that the company had “the very firm intention of recruiting new RONA dealers.” Our teams are hard at work,” he confirmed on the phone.

“Our affiliated dealer network is an integral part of RONA’s growth strategy and is a key priority for our organization. Following in-depth market analyzes and consultations with RONA merchants, we have reviewed our overall offering so that merchants can dominate their market,” declared Andrew Iacobucci, President and CEO of RONA, in a press release.

Thus, the company decided to invest “several millions” to redo the visual signature of the stores and write the names of the owners on the exterior sign. “We also found ways to make them more competitive in the sale of lumber and construction materials. They will be able to be more aggressive in the market, which will translate into additional sales for them,” explains Mr. Lamoureux.

“Quebecers and Canadians like to know who they are shopping with,” he says, referring to the new brand image. This notion of an owner who is there on the floor, who helps them, who serves them, we see that there is a very strong resonance in the market. We want our merchants to be able to get the most out of it. »

The company made the announcement of these investments last week during its meeting with its affiliated merchants. Across the country, the company has some 200 RONA stores, owned by affiliated merchants. Of this number, around a hundred are in Quebec.

By his own admission, Mr. Lamoureux maintains that the company, which has changed hands a few times in six years, wants to make a “return to its roots.”

He specifies that currently, the names of the owners do not systematically appear on store signs. RONA wants to have a certain uniformity. The change isn’t visible yet, but “will be rolled out soon.”

At AQMAT, Mr. Darveau seems unsurprised to see RONA adopt this strategy. “All the banners deploy their arsenal of services and marketing to keep and attract their affiliated merchants who are extremely in demand by the competition,” he says. It must be said that since the pandemic, hardware has rightly been seen as a growing market. Raiding is at its peak. No brand is spared, each trying to gain market share by increasing its number of points of sale rather than by creating new stores. »

In November 2022, the Lowe’s renovation chain announced the sale of all its Canadian operations, including the RONA and Réno-Dépôt brands, to the New York private equity firm Sycamore Partners, for a cash sum of US$400 million and a deferred consideration calculated on future return.

Since then, RONA has begun converting its fifty Lowe’s stores located outside Quebec into RONA. This will be completed at the end of February. In a few weeks, the Lowe’s website will no longer be active and all transactional activities will be transferred to the RONA website.