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Press release from Marketwire

RONA Gets Closer to the Customers With the Launch of its First Proximity Format Store in West Edmonton

Store Brings a New Level of Personalized Service and Expertise to the Market

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

RONA Gets Closer to the Customers With the Launch of its First Proximity Format Store in West Edmonton11:53 EDT Tuesday, August 07, 2012BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 7, 2012) -Editors' Note: There are photos associated with this press release.RONA inc. (TSX:RON)(TSX:RON.PR.A), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, today unveiled the first of its new generation of proximity stores, located at 18445 Stony Plain Rd, Edmonton, Alberta. The store is the first of fifteen proximity stores announced to open by 2014. The Edmonton West location offers 35,000 square feet retail space and a product assortment of, over 17,000 different products in stock, plus access to over 30,000 sku available on rona.ca. The proximity format of stores is based on the highly successful format that Alberta customers recognize from TOTEM, combined with the best from RONA, to provide a unique, superior customer experience. Proximity locations, which will be an average of 35,000 to 50,000 square feet each, will be rolled out across Canada in 2013 and beyond, with new locations planned in major markets such as Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia. "With the introduction of the proximity model, RONA is working to get closer to the customer, providing an enhanced level of personalized service in Alberta and across Canada" said Mr. Luc Rodier, Executive Vice President - Retail for RONA. "You could say the best of the west is moving east. TOTEM and RONA dealer-owners have been true pioneers in the development of the proximity model, effectively bringing the hardware, renovation and gardening shopping experience closer to the consumer for years. We're now merging these successful concepts and extending it right across the country, to better serve our customers in every region - under the RONA brand." Located closer to major urban centres than the traditional big box location, the new proximity format offers a product assortment to undertake core DIY projects and features a centralized service desk that is designed to give a direct access to experts. Every proximity store offers a hand picked selection of products to build a deck, renovate a washroom, change flooring and more.Customers in Alberta will also notice some changes at their local TOTEM banner. Throughout the summer and into early 2013, 19 locations will undergo more changes as it transitions from a TOTEM banner to a RONA proximity store. The stores will start bearing the RONA blue accents on their exteriors, while maintaining many of the features that have made it a purchasing destination for Alberta customers for years. Rodier explained that the integration of TOTEM in early 2013 is part of RONA's plan to roll out the new store model across the country."Proximity is the number one quality in picking a hardware store for Canadians", said Dave Carr, Vice President, Retail for Western Canada, RONA. "Starting with our Edmonton West store, we will be combining the best elements of the TOTEM shopping experience - right down to the beloved popcorn machine in every location - with the best of the RONA shopping experience, to bring a new level of convenience and service to our customers across Canada." To better serve the customer, the proximity format offers separate departments for paint, hardware, electrical and tools, as well as specialized departments for plumbing and flooring. Products such as doors and windows, as well as building materials, will be available on special order. Additionally, the Edmonton West location will offer delivery and provides specialized services such as at home designer services, installation, project design, special orders and financing. While the more specialized format of the proximity model means fewer products in store than traditional big box locations, the store will order products not in stock through rona.ca or other stores of the RONA network for customer pick-up or delivery. RONA Foundation Donation As a part a part of the opening ceremonies for the new Edmonton West location, RONA Vice President, Western Region, Dave Carr and General Manager Kelly Giesbrecht, on behalf of the RONA Foundation, presented a check of $2 500 to Mr. Lewis Nakatsui, co-chair of the ManCap Foundation. The ManCap Foundation mission is to "Foster Leadership and Entrepreneurial Skills in Alberta Youth. Since 1996 they have assisted many qualified Alberta high school grads to commence post-secondary education and pursue their dream career. The contribution reflects the RONA Foundation's efforts to help build better communities. The RONA Foundation was created in 1998 to help young people from the age of 12 to 30, by supporting local organizations and projects that fight school drop-out and illiteracy or offer training to prepare youth for a trade or occupation. About RONA RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. The Corporation operates a network of more than 800 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats under several banners, and a network of 14 hardware and construction-materials distribution centres which are flexible and perfectly adapted to the diverse needs of its clientele. RONA is also a leader in the specialized plumbing and HVAC market, primarily serving commercial and professional customers with a network of close to 60 outlets across the country.In total, RONA supplies nearly 1,500 outlets, of which more than 830 are under one of its banners, as well as close to 600 clients, independent dealers, in its distribution network. With close to 30,000 employees working under its family of banners in every region of Canada, the RONA store network generates consolidated sales of $4.8 billion and over $6 billion taking into account the total impact of the retail sales of franchise dealers, affiliates and other independent dealers who buy their supplies at RONA. For more information, visit www.rona.caTo view the photos associated with this press release, please visit the following links: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120807-edit33_800.jpg http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120807-273_800.jpg http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120807-09_800.jpg FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Senior AdvisorMedia: Nadia GoyerCommunications and Public AffairsRONA inc.514-599-5900, ext. 5271nadia.goyer@rona.caORSenior DirectorFinancial Community: Stephane MilotInvestor RelationsRONA inc.514-599-5951stephane.milot@rona.ca