Rona Flyer was created in 1939 when several merchants united under the name Les Marchands en Quincaillerie Ltée. in order to group the orders of their products in order to obtain the best prices.
In 1960, the company Quincaillerie Ro-Na was incorporated in order to promote the business through collective advertising. The official site cites the popular legend that the name RONA comes from the union of the first syllables of the first names of the then president, Rolland Dansereau, and the foreign relations agent, Napoléon Piotte. In 1962, Quincaillerie Ro-Na acquired Les Marchands en Quincaillerie Ltée.
In 1982, she bought the assets of the Botanix Company, a horticultural retail business. In 1984, Ro-Na and Home Hardware, a company similar to Ro-Na in Ontario, united their purchasing power.
In 1988, it continued its expansion by merging with Dismat, a company that mainly works in building materials. The company becomes Ro-Na Dismat. In 1990, Ro-Na Dismat once again increased its purchasing power by forming an alliance with Hardware Wholesalers, an Indiana company which then had nearly 3,000 dealers in the United States. The alliance with Home Hardware still stands.
Appointment in 1992 of Robert Dutton as President and CEO of RONA. In 1994, the first Rona Flyers supermarkets appeared, in order to compete with Réno-Dépôt, the warehouses of the main competitor, Brico Center.
In 1998, Ro-Na Dismat, which used the Ro-Na Le Quincailleur and Dismat brands among others, terminated these two brands, which became RONA L’press and RONA L’press Matériaux. The name of the company, which was Le Groupe Ro-Na Dismat, then became RONA. The same year, the RONA le Rénovateur Régional stores appeared, their concept being between the warehouse and the traditional store.
The year 2000 marked the start of RONA’s expansion outside of Quebec, when it bought the Cashway Building Centers store chain, an Ontario company. The expansion continued in 2001, when RONA bought the Revy, Revelstoke and Lansing stores, and became the new leader in the hardware-renovation field in Canada.
In 2002, Rona Flyer was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) at the initiative of Robert Dutton, under the symbol RON. Also in 2003 under the aegis of Robert Dutton, RONA bought Réno-Dépôt, which also owned the Building Box stores in English Canada. The transaction gives RONA a serious helping hand in a trade war with Home Depot.
In 2005, all Building Box stores became RONA weekly flyer stores, but not Réno-Dépôt stores in Quebec.
In April 2012, Rona announced the closure of 10 big box stores outside Quebec to replace them with smaller format stores. In July 2012, Rona rejected the unsolicited offer from the American Lowe’s. Several groups have announced their support for RONA, including members of the Quebec government. In September 2012, Lowe’s withdrew its unsolicited offer.
2013 is a year of transition for RONA, which is focusing on its recovery plan in order to improve its profitability. The Company is now focusing on improving the customer experience in each of its four major store categories: RONA supermarkets, the Réno-Dépôt banner, RONA convenience stores and specialty stores for entrepreneurs.
On February 3, 2016, Lowe’s and RONA announced that they had entered into a definitive agreement under which Lowe’s proposes to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of RONA. The transaction, which has a total value of C $ 3.2 billion, was approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies. Quebec hardware giant RONA becomes the property of American interests, but Lowe’s will locate its Canadian head office in Boucherville, Quebec.
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