What is a proximity store?
Basically, a proximity store is a store format optimized to deliver a unique shopping experience to home renovation enthusiasts. Based on the open-air concept, the proximity model features an easily accessible, centralized service counter staffed by renovation experts who support customers throughout the buying process. Comprising on average 35,000 sq. ft., these stores are located near residential areas and include a streamlined product offering to meet the needs of major renovation projects while providing access to a complete assortment vial special orders.
What does proximity mean to RONA?
Proximity means giving our customers the flexibility to find what they want in just one click or within 10 minutes by car from their home. It also means getting closer to our customers by increasing opportunities to interact with them—website, social networks, etc.
Why is proximity so important?
According to recent surveys, proximity is quickly becoming the main criterion when choosing a hardware store. A few years back, variety was the primary quality to adopt a hardware store. Now, proximity ranks higher than service, price and product selection. Customers are looking to save time and find what they’re looking for faster, and closer to home.
Why does RONA want to implement a smaller store format?
RONA already operates a multi-store network in which Big Box stores represent less than 10 per cent. So it’s not just about establishing a smaller store; it’s about delivering a unique shopping experience closer to our customers’ needs. Replacing a large store by three smaller stores allows us to get closer to the customer. In doing so, we improve access to service and while providing a more selective product offering that is better suited to customers needs—be they amateur, experienced or professional home renovators.
Does RONA offer the same product selection found in other store formats?
RONA stores are mostly owned by affiliate dealers who provide a range of products tailored to their specific markets. Therefore, urban satellite stores will offer a very different selection of RONA products than proximity stores located in suburban neighbourhoods.
Nonetheless, both provide access to the rona.ca network where customers can order from among 30,000 available items that can be delivered to their home or neighbourhood store.
Will service be affected?
The level of service in proximity stores is much higher than in any given Big Box store for two reasons: First, employees are highly qualified experts in terms of serving customers. Second, stores are configured in such a way that employees can get around quickly. As such, wait times are significantly reduced.
Why have different store formats?
Each market is unique and has its own regional needs. Delivering a personalized, adapted offer is key to our corporate commitment to better serve our customers. A combination of our three store formats represents an optimal approach: our Big Box stores offer a maximized selection of products; our proximity stores offer all the right products needed to complete home renovation projects; and our satellite stores offer everything for home maintenance needs, just minutes from home.
Will this store format be implemented across Canada?
For 2013-14, our goal is to transform 20 existing stores into the new model. We also plan to integrate our TOTEM banner, which greatly inspired RONA’s new proximity store format. Finally, we anticipate opening a series of satellite and proximity stores, depending on real estate availability.
In 2012, we opened our first next generation proximity store in West Edmonton, along with three satellite stores in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.
Will customers still recognize RONA’s “look & feel” in the transformed TOTEM stores?
Absolutely! The new proximity store is modelled 80 per cent on the TOTEM store and combines the very best of TOTEM and RONA. Customers will still find the same experts, the same great service, and the same community involvement, as well as new brands and an improved service offer.
Does getting closer to customers also mean getting involved in the community?
RONA has been involved in the community since its founding in 1939 and is planning to pursue its support. To learn more about all of the programs in place, we invite you to visit
What will implementation of the new store format mean for investors?
According to our studies and pilot projects, our new proximity store concept is expected to generate a higher return on capital. Average basket and sales per square foot should also be higher. Plus, the cost structure has been optimized so that stores can quickly attain their breakeven point.
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