Lowe's Canada provides overview of its activities, six months after acquisition of RONA

BOUCHERVILLE, QC, Dec. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - Lowe's Canada established itself as a market leader in home improvement when it acquired RONA Inc. last May. Six months later, the company would like to provide an overview of its plans to drive growth and reaffirm its progress on the commitments made to RONA's stakeholders including to:

  • Maintain RONA's multiple retail banner strategy;
  • Continue pursuing RONA's local and ethical procurement strategy;
  • Enhance distribution services to affiliate dealers;
  • Establish the head office for Canadian operations in Boucherville, Quebec;
  • Retain the vast majority of RONA's employees at the time of acquisition and keep in place key senior executives from RONA's strong leadership team;
  • Continue supporting Canadian communities through the charitable and environmental initiatives of Lowe's Canada and RONA.

RONA: A strategic driver of growth for Lowe's
Lowe's Canada now brings together multiple banners. The company undertook an in-depth analysis aimed at redefining the market segments for all its banners. This exercise made it possible to better target the positioning of each banner and build a profile of the consumers they seek. In order to undertake this shift toward being more customer-centric, the company has adopted a new structure comprised of four business units: Big Box, Proximity, Pros and Contractors, and Affiliate Dealers.

"We have adopted a new functional growth model, so that each banner can have the ability to optimize its development," said Lowe's Canada President and CEO, Sylvain Prud'homme. "In this context, the RONA banner has clearly been identified as a strategic driver of growth for Lowe's. We have begun to reposition the RONA banner, with the goal of making the banner the number one retailer in the proximity store market (small and medium surfaces), which currently accounts for about 56 percent of the home improvement market in Canada."

Specifically, the RONA banner repositioning focuses on creating a new value proposition and a new store prototype. In 2017, RONA will implement more growth projects in a single year than it has in the last five years. These include the opening of four new proximity stores, the overhaul of nine stores, the introduction of large appliances at 47 stores, a thorough review of the product selection in several categories, as well as the development of a multichannel strategy (mobile, online, store) with frequent updates to enable customers to make their choices when, where and how they want.

Procurement policy that favours local suppliers
The goal of Lowe's Canada is to offer customers products that meet their needs in each province, at the best price possible, while ensuring that they remain competitive in markets across the country. The company deals with more than 3,000 suppliers. Lowe's Canada has adopted a clear corporate policy aimed at favouring Canadian suppliers and manufacturers that meet specific criteria: consumer preferences and trends, quality, price and production capacity.

While continuing to provide Canadian consumers with products that live up to their expectations, Lowe's Canada is proud to contribute to the growth of many smaller manufacturers and intends to continue doing so. All procurement-related decisions by Lowe's Canada and its banners, including RONA, are made here in Canada.

Firm commitment to develop the network of affiliate dealers
The intentions of Lowe's Canada with regard to the network of affiliate dealers under the RONA and Ace banners have always been clear: the goal is not only to maintain them but also to make them prosper. The dynamic repositioning of the RONA banner allows affiliate dealers to benefit from generous joint investment programs to stimulate their projects for expansion, relocation and even acquisition. Starting in 2017, new marketing programs will also help them improve their competitiveness. Teams entirely dedicated to affiliate dealers are at their service to guide them in their growth projects and pursue recruitment efforts of new affiliates.

Ace dealers, who have smaller stores and are mainly located in the regions, are also a priority since Lowe's Canada is determined to strengthen its presence in the renovation centre and hardware segments.

Head office in Boucherville, jobs preserved and community involvement supported
From the day of the formal closing of the acquisition on May 20, 2016, the company's head office has been located in Boucherville. The vast majority of jobs at RONA have been preserved. In addition, since May 20, 13 new stores across our network of banners have opened their doors, generating more than 1,100 new jobs. Finally, Lowe's Canada and its various banners maintain a close involvement with – and a strong presence in – the various communities they serve. In Quebec, on the corporate level, Lowe's Canada has also committed to support, among others, the Corporation des fêtes 2017 in Boucherville, the Hôpital Charles-LeMoyne Foundation and the Foundation of Stars.

"As the year draws to a close, I am very pleased with the progress we have made in this integration, and I would like to sincerely thank all our employees, who form the new face of Lowe's Canada, for their commitment during this important transition period," Mr. Prud'homme concluded.

About Lowe's Canada
Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving more than 17 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With fiscal year 2015 sales of $59.1 billion, Lowe's and its related businesses operate or service more than 2,355 home improvement and hardware stores and employ over 285,000 employees. Based in Boucherville, Quebec, Lowe's Canadian business, together with its wholly owned subsidiary, RONA, inc., operates more than 535 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores in a number of complementary formats under different banners. These include Lowe's, RONA, Réno-Dépôt, Marcil, Dick's Lumber and Ace. In Canada, the companies have more than 24,000 employees, as well as more than 5,000 employees in the stores of RONA's independent affiliate dealers. For more information, visit Lowes.ca.

SOURCE Lowe's Canada

For further information: Media Contact, Valérie Gonzalo, Media Relations, 514 626-6976, media@rona.ca

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