We present dealer-owners’ testimonials at 20 locations across Canada who have joined the RONA network in 2004 and 2005.
These men and women present a variety of entrepreneurial personalities and operate in different markets, with retail space varying from a few thousand square feet up to 100,000 square feet and beyond.
Starting from scratch with RONA was no hardship for owner Eric Fitzpatrick.
Wabush, Labrador: 12,000 retail; 8,000 warehouse
Fermont, Quebec: 5,000.
New store in 2004
RONA member since: March 2002
RONA is especially great behind the scenes. We’ve only been in the business three years, so sometimes people are looking for things that we’ve never heard of before. We call the special-orders desk and they take us right through and tell us where to find it.
I recognized that people needed better items and more choices. I approached a few companies about a franchise; RONA had the best merchandising expertise. They were much different than the other banner groups.
I think they’re the number one group for independents in Canada. They’re certainly the fastest growing in the industry. RONA’s marketing programs, especially its television advertising, are excellent and draw a lot of local attention our way because people know the banner.
With the expansion of the Wabush store, we want to grow 40 per cent in sales over the next three years. The Fermont store should grow about 20 per cent during that same period.
We have to find the right products that match the Fermont market. People from Fermont aren’t the same as customers in Labrador. For example, they use a lot of 3/4-inch copper pipe while we hardly sell any in Wabush. Fermont wasn’t built before the 70’s, so everything is done differently. But that’s no obstacle for RONA.
We have access to one of the largest warehouses in North America on a daily basis, so if a customer comes in and we don’t have what he wants, we can order it and have it delivered within a week. It’s great to be able to do that, especially in a rural area.