Box Watch - January/February 2006

January 03, 2006
Written by Greenhouse Canada
New gift cards issued by RONA, in cooperation with Desjardins Group, went on sale in November in the hardware chain's 560 retail outlets across Canada. A new product for both organizations, the cards arrived in RONA stores just in time to feature as super stocking stuffers for Christmas shoppers.

The gift card plan is another facet of RONA’s policy for making the shopping experience as easy and as pleasant as possible for consumers. With its tremendous potential as a gift idea for home improvement and gardening enthusiasts, the new product replaces existing stocks of RONA gift certificates, which will continue to be honored in stores until the current supply runs out.

“With the RONA gift card, consumers have everything they need for their hardware, home renovation or gardening purchases, whenever they visit any one of our store banners. This card, which offers a number of advantages, is part and parcel of our vision – to stay one step ahead of customer needs,” says RONA senior vice-president of marketing and development Michael Brossard.

As many as 800,000 cards have been issued across RONA's nationwide store network. Each card is valid for 36 months and can be used to pay for store items just like cash. The cards will be processed by Desjardins through its electronic payments system.

According to Jean Yelle, vice-president for Card Services at Desjardins, the gift card “will mean a richer spread of services for Desjardins business partners. It’s also a response to significant demand for a product of this sort. Gift cards are flexible, innovative, and very attractive to both retailers and customers in terms of building consumer loyalty. RONA has a well-established, national network and a very dynamic marketing style, both key factors in the success of Desjardins gift cards, since selling them is the merchant’s responsibility. Desjardins supports the card operations at the technological end, through our leading-edge expertise in payment solutions. We're very proud to have RONA as a partner for the launch of this first-ever Desjardins gift card offer.”

An original vertical design distinguishes the new magnetized cards, which are printed in the RONA, Réno-Dépôt or BOTANIX colours. The cards fit into a handy card case and are ready to give as is.

RONA Welcomes Five New Stores
RONA Inc. announced that five new affiliate stores joined its network in November 2005. The new RONA stores are located in Cobble Hill, Duncan, Nanaimo and Fort St. John, B.C. and in Toronto, Ontario.

Besides building new medium-size and big box stores, expanding existing RONA stores, and acquiring other stores and chains, RONA is growing its network by recruiting independent hardware retailers as affiliates.

Since the beginning of 2005, RONA has added 31 new affiliate stores to its network (16 in Western Canada, eight in Ontario, six in Quebec and one in Nova Scotia), for an additional $190 million in retail sales and an additional 335,000 square feet of retail space. 
In October 2005, five other new affiliate stores also joined RONA, including B&P Building Materials Ltd. in Hinton, Alberta. In Quebec, two new affiliates joined RONA’s ranks: Camille Dumais Inc. in La Pocatière and Paulin Moisan Inc. in Saint-Raymond de Portneuf. And in Ontario, B & L Farm Services Ltd. in Chesley and Stoney Point Hardware in Stoney Point decided to hoist the RONA banner as well.

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