RONA opens new location
Canada’s largest home improvement retailer opened a new store in London, Ontario, Dec. 4. The new store brings RONA’s number of locations across the province to 169.
As part of the opening ceremony for the new store, the RONA Foundation donated $15,000 CAD (US$14,784.53) to the Children’s Aid Foundation of London and Middlesex after-school tutoring program. This program will assist youth facing education barriers.
Founded in 1939, RONA operates more than 670 locations throughout Canada.
RONA names head of new division
Canadian retailer RONA has named Michael Storfer, a veteran of plumbing specialist Noble Trade, to head the company’s new commercial and professional division. Storfer formerly served as president of plumbing specialist Noble Trade, which was acquired by RONA earlier this year.
In his new role, Storfer will have overall responsibility for the Noble Trade banner and building materials specialist chains Curtis Lumber, Materiaux Coupal and Dick’s Lumber, as well as RONA’s existing commercial and institutional sales team. Storfer also will be part of the company’s senior management committee.
RONA also announced two other appointments: Christian Proulx, a 20-year veteran of human resources management, was named senior vp-people and culture. Richard Brouillette, a longtime transportation, warehousing and distribution specialist, has been named vp-logistics.
Boucherville, Quebec-based RONA operates a network of more than 670 affiliate and corporate stores.
Kingfisher profit down slightly in third quarter
Kingfisher, parent of European and Asian DIY chains, including B&Q, Trade Depot and Castorama, reported stronger third-quarter sales, particularly in Eastern Europe and Asia.
Companywide, profit was off slightly, falling 1.9 percent to 171.7 million British pounds (US$354 million). Sales rose 6.4 percent to $4.97 billion.
While sales at the company’s United Kingdom-based B&Q stores rose 0.8 percent, profit declined 11.9 percent. B&Q stores are being renovated en masse, the company said, with larger format stores and more streamlined displays replacing an older retail format. Certain DIY categories, as well as “Do-it-for-me” products and services, have been popular.
“Recently updated decorative ranges performed well, and activity to update building, hardware, bedroom and flooring ranges accelerated in Q3,” the company said.
In France, sales at Castorama and Brico Depot stores rose 5.6 percent, while profit was up 15.5 percent year-over-year. In the rest of Europe, sales rose 18.6 percent — Poland in particular saw a large sales increase, the company said. Profit in the rest of Europe fell 2.1 percent compared with last year.
In Asia, sales rose 8.6 percent, but the company’s Asian division swung to a loss of $9.5 million compared with earnings of $7.4 million in the same period last year. The losses in Asia, “reflect the lower sales growth and the impact from new regulations covering trading terms between retailers and suppliers,” the company said.
In other company news, Kingfisher’s group chief executive Gerry Murphy announced earlier this month that he would leave the company; no specific reason was given for his departure. A search is underway for his successor, the company said.
Kingfisher operates 760 stores in 10 countries, under banners including B&Q, Castorama, Brico Depot and Screwfix.