Rona, Inc.

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Rona, Inc.
Formerly called
Les Merchands en Quincaillere (1939–1960)
Industry Home improvement
Founded 1939; 78 years ago (1939)
Founders Rolland Dansereau
Napoleon Piotte
Headquarters Boucherville, Quebec, Canada
Number of locations
Over 500
Key people
  • Robert Sawyer (Acting CEO)
  • Robert Cheerier (Chairman)
Revenue $4.2 billion CAD (2013)[1]
Decrease $332.9 million CAD (2009)[2]
Increase $43.2 million CAD (2010)[2]
Number of employees
approx. 51,584 (2010)
Parent Lowe's (2016-present)

Rona, Inc. is a Canadian retailer of home improvement and construction products and services. Founded in 1939, the company operates a mixture of company-owned and franchised retailers under multiple banners, including Rona, its big box formats Rona Home & Garden (Rona L’Entrepôt in Quebec) and Réno-Dépôt, as well as smaller brands such as Rona Cashway, Marcil Centre de Rénovation, and Dick's Lumber. On February 3, 2016, U.S. retailer Lowe's announced that it would acquire Rona for $3.2 billion pending government approval. Lowe's plans to maintain the Rona name in mid-sized stores post-merger.


  • 1939 - Rona is founded in September as "Les Marchands en Quincaillerie" (The Merchants of Hardware), an alliance of independent Montreal-area hardware retailers who sought the buying power to bypass wholesalers and deal directly with manufacturers.
  • 1960 - July 20, 1960[4] Ro-Na name adopted, after ROlland Dansereau and NApoleon Piotte, two of the founders of Les Marchands en Quincaillerie. Ro-Na member stores begin adding the Ro-Na logo to identify themselves as members of the buying co-operative.
  • 1982 - Rona purchased the assets of Botanix.
  • 1984 - Rona created a purchasing alliance with Ontario-based Home Hardware Stores Ltd. through Alliance Rona Home Inc.
  • 1988 - Rona merged with Dismat, another building materials company, to create Rona Dismat Group Inc.
  • 1990 - Rona formed an alliance with Hardware Wholesalers, Inc. of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • 1997 - ITM Entreprises S.A., a France-based group, invests $30 million in the Rona Dismat Group Inc. ITM becomes a shareholder and forms a purchasing alliance with Rona.
  • 1998 - Rona eliminates Le Quincailleur and Dismat names and introduces Rona L'express, Rona L'express Matériaux and Rona Le Rénovateur Régional. It also changes its name from Rona Dismat Group Inc. to Rona Inc.
  • 1999 - Rona opens a new warehouse adjacent to its headquarters, measuring 654,000 square feet (61,000 m²), doubling its warehousing capacity and achieving considerable cost savings.
  • 2000 - Rona acquires Ontario-based Cashway Building Centres, with 66 stores. It opens its online store on the website.
  • 2001 - Rona acquires 51 Revy Home and Garden, Revelstoke Home Centres (located in Western Canada) and Lansing (Ontario) stores, thus owning many more stores in the Greater Toronto Area. Revy was a BC-based company.
  • 2002 - Rona closes a public offering consisting of a total offering of $150.1 million of Common Shares. Rona's Common Shares are then traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "RON".
  • 2003 - Rona acquires Réno-Dépôt Inc. from British Kingfisher plc, including The Building Box stores. Rona also opens its third large distribution centre in Calgary, Alberta.
  • 2004 - Rona acquires Totem Building Supplies Limited, an Alberta company. Rona Dream Home airs on Global. Rona also joins the Air Miles Reward Program.
Rona in Quebec City
  • 2005 - Rona Dream Home 2 airs on Global.
  • 2006 - Rona acquires Stephens Home Centre/Castle Inc., of Sydney N.S
  • 2006 - Rona acquires a majority (51%) stake in Matériaux Coupal Inc.
  • 2006 - Rona acquires Curtis Lumber Building Supplies
  • 2006 - Rona acquires Chester Dawe Limited of St. John's, Newfoundland
  • 2007 - Rona acquires Dick's Lumber of Burnaby, BC
  • 2007 - Rona acquires Noble Trade of Concord, Ontario
  • 2010 - Rona acquires Pierceys, based in Nova Scotia and, through Noble Trade, Plomberie Payette & Perreault based at Boucherville, Quebec, Don Park Canada and TruServ

In 2012, the U.S. hardware store chain Lowe's attempted to buy Rona; however, the deal was met with objections from Rona shareholders (particularly the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec) and franchisees, and was eventually called off. On February 3, 2016, Rona announced that it had accepted an offer to be acquired by Lowe's for CDN$3.2 billion, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.[5] Post-merger, Lowe's plans to maintain Rona's retail banners, and "continue to employ the vast majority of its current employees and maintain key executives from Rona's strong leadership team". Lowe's Canada will be operated from Rona's headquarters in Boucherville, but remain under the leadership of its current CEO Sylvain Prud'homme.[6]

Rona "big box" stores[edit]

In the 1990s, under competitive pressure from the Home Depot and other big box retailers, Rona established the Rona Home & Garden stores.

Rona Home & Garden stores are large, ranging from 85,000 to 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2), with a warehouse-style similar to the Home Depot and Lowe's. Faced with chronic under-performance in some markets outside of Quebec, Rona closed six big boxes in 2012, five in Ontario and one in British Columbia.[7]

While the Home Depot and Lowe's stores are all company owned, Rona Home & Garden stores are a combination of corporately owned and franchised, despite the massive investment required to build such a store. As big box home improvement stores entered the market, Rona countered by bringing together successful owners of small Rona affiliate stores in Quebec to invest in one or more big box format stores. Many Rona Home & Garden locations in that province thus have local ownership, a tradition of the family hardware store, and a great deal of flexibility to adapt to the market at store level. Most of Rona's big-box format stores in the rest of Canada are entirely corporate-owned.

In December 2016, Lowe's Canada announced that 40 large format Rona stores outside of Quebec would be rebranded under the Lowe's name.[8]

Réno Dépôt in Sainte-Foy, Quebec
Cashway in Milton, Ontario


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "RONA 2009 Annual report" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  3. ^ "Company Profile for Rona Inc (CA;RON)". Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  4. ^ "Rona from 1939 to Today" ISBN 978-2-922068-17-7
  5. ^ Saint-Pierre, Dr. Jacques (2016-02-06). "To RONA's Shareholders: Take The Money And Run". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  6. ^ "Lowe's offers $3.2B to take over Canadian rival Rona". CBC News. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  7. ^ newsletter for the retail home improvement industry ["RONA announces latest round of closures"]
  8. ^ "40 Rona stores to take Lowe's name as part of shakeup in DIY retail". CBC News. 12 December 2016. 

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