Boucherville (Québec), 2015-10-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — RONA is proud to celebrate the achievements of four of its stores in this year’s Outstanding Retailer Awards (ORAs) in the following categories: Best Building Centre over 15,000 sq.ft. (W. Filsinger & Sons RONA, Guelph, Ont.); Best Contractor Specialist Retailer (Contractor First by RONA, Calgary, Alta.); Best Large Surface Retailer (RONA Golden Mile, Scarborough, Ont.) and Young Retailer of the Year (Josh Beusekom, Manager, Fort Macleod TRU Hardware, Fort Macleod, Alta.).
“We have set a record this year garnering no less than four Outstanding Retailer Awards, said Luc Rodier, Executive Vice President, Retail at RONA. These stores all have tremendous success in their respective markets for a variety of reasons but they all have the following in common: they are dedicated, true leaders in their local communities and embody the seal of excellence that is associated with the RONA brand. We are proud of the recognition they have received through these awards.”
Launched in 1992, the ORAs are the industry’s only independent awards program dedicated to celebrating the achievements of hardware, home improvement and building supply dealers in Canada. In its 23-year history, the program has honoured more than 140 retailers. The 2015 awards were presented at a special ORA Gala Dinner organized as part of the Hardlines Annual Conference, held October 21nd, at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre.
Outstanding Retailer Award – Best Building Centre over 15,000 sq.ft.
W. Filsinger & Sons RONA was established in 1995 on an eight-acre site in Guelph, Ontario. For a long time, the store focused mostly on renovators and home builders, leaving little space for proper product display. Then, in 2011, the store underwent an ambitious expansion, more than tripling the retail space. That renovation included a Building Project Centre, which displays exterior siding, windows, doors, and decking. It also houses the largest bath showroom in the store’s market. This comprehensive, one-stop-shop is at the heart of the store’s appeal to retail customers and contractors alike. Since the completion of the Building Project Centre, the store has doubled its cash sale percentage and seen a marked increase in female shoppers. Despite the proximity of four other hardware and building supply stores within a two-kilometre range, the store has maintained steady sales increases over the years.
Outstanding Retailer Award – Best Contractor Specialist Retailer
Contractor First is a RONA store located in Calgary, Alberta, that expanded in 2012 when it joined forces with a contractor yard in Calgary and welcomed 22 new employees. The infusion of experienced staff, as well as additional equipment, allowed the store to combine the best practices of both businesses. One year later, the store’s name was changed to Contractor First by RONA. As a leader in the building materials sector in Calgary, Contractor First takes pride in serving its customers consistently and professionally—day in and day out. And those customers range from “walk-in” DIYers to small contractors, and even some of Calgary’s largest home builders. Key to the store’s success has been the sales team’s ability to build strong relationships with contractors, thanks to the very knowledgeable employees that are dedicated to getting them the information and products they need on time to avoid delays.
Outstanding Retailer Award – Best Large Surface Retailer
RONA Golden Mile is the top-performing RONA big box store in Ontario. Located in Scarborough, it also holds the largest volume of products, while remaining the most profitable. Padam Dugal, the store manager, joined the team in 2008 while the country was facing a recession. Since then, RONA Golden Mile has achieved great sales growth with increases that are rare in this type of economy. Padam attributes much of that growth to the store’s loyal and committed team. Employees are empowered to think outside of the box and deal with customers’ concerns on the spot in a timely and effective manner. Although competition is steep, with five Home Depots nearby and a Lowe’s right in its backyard, sales have actually gone up since the Lowe’s opened. Part of that sales jump is due to the Contractor Desk, which not only provides prompt customer service but treats all account holders like family. In 2012, Golden Mile RONA added a centralized service desk in the centre of the store to sell project packages. The desk also offers installed and special-order services. Since it opened, installed sales have more than doubled.
Outstanding Retailer Award – Young Retailer of the Year
At just 21 years old, Josh Beusekom and his two business partners decided to open a hardware store. When the Fort Macleod TRU Hardware store opened two years ago, it received great support from the community in Fort Macleod, Alberta. And the support is mutual—staff value what each customer says and they sincerely care about whether customers’ projects turn out the way they’d hoped or if they simply have an enjoyable shopping experience. Josh trains all the staff himself, with support from vendors on specific product training. Having the right products and great customer service are key to Josh’s business. He always goes the extra mile when it comes to customer service. He has previously dropped off products and instructed customers on how to use them, and once not only delivered a Christmas tree to an elderly customer, he even put it up for her. Josh’s involvement with the Chamber of Commerce keeps the store visible and helps promote shoppers from traveling to nearby Lethbridge, only 30 minutes away, where there are many retail outlets, including big box stores.
RONA inc. is a major distributor and retailer of hardware, building materials and home renovation products in Canada. The Corporation operates a network of over 500 corporate and independent dealer affiliate stores under several different banners, and in a number of complementary formats. With its nine distribution centres, RONA serves its store network as well as many independent dealers operating under other banners, including the Ace banner which RONA is licenced to use and for which it is the exclusive distributor in Canada. With some 24,000 employees, the Corporation generates annual consolidated sales of $4.1 billion. For more information, visit rona.ca.