Posted December 14, 2016

Lowe's to rename 40 Rona stores in Canada

Store openings and more changes are on the way.

Six months after acquiring do-it-yourself retailer Rona, Lowe's says it plans to convert 40 Rona stores outside Quebec to the Lowe's name.

It's part of a plan to differentiate the offering in big box stores, which will bear the Lowe's name, from mid-sized stores, which will continue to be called Rona, Lowe's Canada president and CEO Sylvain Prud'homme said in a presentation Monday.

The chain will have four store types — Lowe's big box locations, large Réno-Dépôt stores mainly in Quebec, medium-sized Rona stores and small Ace hardware stores.

Another 17 big box stores in Quebec may take the Lowe's brand name in future. Prud'Homme said Lowe's anticipates growth from the Rona brand-name as it moves it into a slightly different niche.

"The Rona banner has clearly been identified as a strategic driver of growth for Lowe's," he said. "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 per cent of the home improvement market in Canada."

The U.S. parent has plans to overhaul the Rona brand stores, including reviewing its product selection and moving more aggressively into mobile and online sales.

In 2017, it plans to open four new stores, overhaul nine stores and introduce large appliances at 47 stores.

Lowe's Canada said it will work with Rona's policy of favouring Canadian suppliers and manufacturers "that meet specific criteria: consumer preferences and trends, quality, price and production capacity."

Based in Boucherville, Que., Lowe's Canada operates more than 535 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores under the Rona, Réno-Dépôt, Ace and Lowe's brand names.

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