Rona putting brand on Totem
The name will soon disappear but the popcorn will remain.
Red Deer’s Totem Building Supplies is scheduled to be rebranded as a Rona store early next year, with the 16 other Totems in Alberta also slated to change.
“Probably within the first couple of weeks in the new year we want to convert the sign out front,” said Dave Carr, Rona Inc.’s vice-president retail for Western Canada, of his company’s plans for the 7730 Gaetz Ave. store.
Quebec-based Rona bought Totem Building Supplies Ltd., an Alberta company, in 2004. But the two building centre chains have been operating independent of each other.
In February, Rona announced that it would open 15 “proximity stores” by 2014, and remodel others to a similar format. The proximity stores will be closer to urban areas than traditional big box outlets, average 35,000 to 50,000 square feet in size, focus on the products needed for popular do-it-yourself projects, and emphasize customer service and support, with a central service counter.
The company said the format is based on the Totem model, with some of its Rona stores’ best features also incorporated.
Carr said the Red Deer Totem, which he managed for two years a decade ago, is already very close to the design Rona wants.
“The Red Deer store is almost picture-perfect as far as the layout goes,” he said.
In addition to a name change, its rebranding will include such things as the addition of Rona’s paint line, adjustments to the store’s finished plumbing section, and improvements to its flooring and tile selection. Totem’s popular popcorn machine will remain, with this tasty customer perk expected to be added to all Rona stores, said Carr.
Meanwhile, Rona’s branded store at 2610 Gaetz Ave. is scheduled to undergo more extensive changes. These will include a modified layout, a more prominent service counter and “a complete remerchandising,” said Carr.
The objective is to convert the 14,000-square-foot store into a “proximity light” format, he said, with the work expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013.
Carr said Rona’s two Red Deer stores will work more closely together in the future, with deliveries to be made from the north location.
Rona is enjoying improved sales numbers in Alberta this year, said Carr. This reflects the increased housing starts in the province this year.
“We are seeing an increase in the amount of products that we’re selling to homebuilders and contractors.”