BOUCHERVILLE, Que. – Home improvement retailer Rona Inc. plans to cut 200 full-time administrative jobs across Canada — about 15 per cent of the total — as it looks for ways to become more efficient and improve the customer experience.
The downsizing is part of the company’s plans to focus on its core businesses and reduce other holdings.
Rona (TSX:RON) also says it’s taking a hard look at its network of big-box retail stores outside Quebec and at its commercial and professional division.
The company is currently Canada’s largest home improvement retailer, with more locations across the country than Home Depot or Lowe’s.
Investors have been unhappy with Rona’s financial performance, especially since it turned down a takeover offer from U.S.-based rival Lowe’s last year.
“This is a very important day in the history of Rona,” said Dominique Boies, Rona’s acting chief executive officer.
“We are facing short-term headwinds in our industry with key indicators trending downward but the fundamentals of the renovation and construction industry remain robust,” Boies said.
“I strongly believe the strategy we are announcing today will allow Rona to achieve profitable growth and become one of the best performers in the identified core businesses.”
The administrative job cuts are part of an attempt to become “leaner and more efficient.”
In addition, Rona says it plans to quickly adjust its merchandising, service and pricing strategies to improve customer experience.
It’s also planning to optimize or rationalize its none-core and underperforming assets.
However, few details were disclosed apart from specifically mentioning the big-box network outside Quebec and the commercial and professional division.
It said that outside advisers have evaluated strategic options “including sale of some assets, partnership with strategic player, rationalization/closing or optimization of some stores/facilities.”
Thursday, February 21, 2013