Canadian retailer RONA issued a set of strategic priorities on Dec. 6 that the company hopes will quell shareholder unrest and drive more profits going forward. Dominique Boies, RONA’s acting CEO, underscored the company’s focus on growing key customer segments, simplifying the organization’s business model through streamlined operations and processes, and achieving the right scalability. The last goal may involve disposing of non-core assets.
“RONA’s nationwide growth did not come without a certain level of complexity,” Boies said. The Boucherville, Quebec-based organization operates a network of more than 800 corporate, franchise and affiliate retail stores of various sizes and formats under different banners, and a network of 14 hardware and construction materials distribution centers. It is the largest home improvement distributor and retailer in Canada.
Although the official statement did not address Lowe’s bid to purchase RONA, and the disagreements among board members that followed, Boies did answer questions in a press conference. He said that Lowe’s first approached RONA in 2011 with a proposed purchase agreement. In the meeting, CEO Robert Dutton turned the tables and offered to buy Lowe’s Canada.
Lowe’s second bid to buy RONA came in September 2012. Dutton and his board rejected the offer. Dutton abruptly left the company two months later.