Canada’s Rona details growth strategy
Toronto Rona, Canada’s biggest home-improvement chain, plans to boost earnings per share by 10% to 15% over the next two years and bulk up its national presence by adding new stores and bringing some of its other chains under one banner.
The company, which has about 700 stores across Canada, said during an investor presentation that it would also continue its aggressive growth strategy by looking for further acquisition opportunities.
The overall aim of Rona’s “New World Program” is to boost its share of the Canadian market to 20% from its present 17.5%. It also sees same-store sales growth of about 2.5%.
This follows a disappointing quarter in which the company’s results hit by weak consumer sentiment and a weak home-renovation market.
In November it reported that its quarterly earnings fell to C$49.1 million ($46 million), from C$52.5 million a year earlier.
Revenue fell 4.4% to C$1.32 billion as same-store sales dropped 5.3%.
The company aims to focus on growing in the Ontario market as well as in Western Canada, through renovating and expanding existing stores, as well as by acquiring other chains.
It plans to open 10 stores a year for the next two years, and will bring its Cashway and Lansing chains, which were bought a number of years ago, under the Rona banner.
Williams-Sonoma CEO retires, new leader named
SAN FRANCISCO Williams-Sonoma announced that Howard Lester will retire from his position as chairman and CEO and as a member of the board at the May 2010 annual shareholders’ meeting. He will continue, however, to assist the company in a consulting and advisory role through December 2012 and have the title of chairman emeritus.
Lester has led the company since 1978 when he purchased it from its founder, Chuck Williams. At that time, the company had four stores, a small catalog and $4 million in revenue.
Williams-Sonoma said that its board intends to appoint Laura Alber as the company’s CEO as well as a nominee to the board of directors. Alber joined the company in 1995 and was appointed to her current role as president in 2006.
Alber stated, “It is an exceptional honor to follow in the footsteps of one of the most highly esteemed executives in retail. Howard has been an outstanding mentor, and he is retiring at a time when the foundation of the company has never been stronger. We are confident in our direction and, together with the leadership team, ready to execute against those strategies that will grow and improve our businesses, deliver great products and services to our customers and enhance shareholder value.”
Costco honored for sustainability efforts
INDIANAPOLIS SustainableGrocer.com, an organization which manages sustainability practices within the food and grocery retail sector, has named Costco as the 2009 Sustainable Grocer of the Year.
Costco received the award for its sustainable efforts including energy reduction, offering a wide selection of organic food and its recycling programs. The company was also recognized for reducing packaging waste and working to reduce its carbon footprint through effective delivery systems which utilize the most efficient trucks available.