Box Watch - January/February 2007

January 27, 2007
Written by Greenhouse Canada
Retail giant, RONA, recently opened its 14th and 15th big-box style stores for Quebec, giving them a total of 72 such stores across the country.

The Charlemagne RONA L’entrepôt was the first to open its doors and has 140,000 square feet of shopping zones including; seasonal and gardening products, renovation and interior decoration, as well as basic construction materials.

For the interior, there are specialized boutiques for paint, interior decoration, flooring, lighting, mouldings, windows and doors, kitchen cabinets and bathrooms.

For the exterior, a large selection of seasonal products is on offer ranging from snow blowers to lawn fertilizer, plus a 37,000 square foot indoor lumberyard with drive-through service, and an 18,000 square foot garden centre. Specialized services include kitchen and patio design, lumber cutting and delivery.

The Charlemagne store represents an investment of $20 million for both RONA and the family of Ange-Albert and Jacqueline Prud’Homme who opened their first business 50 years ago, a 1,500 square foot general store that grew into the Repentigny RONA. As dealer-owners, the Prud'Homme family will manage the new store and its 250 employees.

The second big-box store to open was the Réno-Dépôt in Rimouski. It too represents an investment of $20 million and features 78,000 square feet of retail space with 175 employees.

Unique to the new Réno-Dépôt are interactive displays, redesigned lighting and a new, clearer and more detailed system of in-store signs. Based on a series of icons inside and outside the store, the new signs are intended to facilitate cross-category shopping making it easier for customers to find complementary products that add value to their main purchases.

Storage and shelving, a growing priority among today’s consumers, is a major feature in the Rimouski store. A new department devoted exclusively to storage products offers an expanded range of items for shoppers seeking new ways to organize their garages, kitchens, basements and wardrobes at home.

“We’re very pleased to offer people in the Rimouski region a Réno-Dépôt big box with a brand-new concept, plus one of the region’s largest outdoor lumberyards,” said RONA president and CEO Robert Dutton at the grand opening.

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