It was a banner day for Vernon’s Rona.
Hanging outside of the local home centre Tuesday was a giant banner declaring the outlet Rona’s national big box store of the year for 2014.
“It’s a great honour but I have a great team here,” said Clint Dickinson, general manager, as he also accepted a giant trophy during a special ceremony.
“I love Vernon and I am proud of the store.”
The award was based on the fact that the outlet experienced a 30 per cent increase in sales in 2014, while the opinion score for customer satisfaction climbed from 80 to 90 per cent.
Customer traffic through the door has also jumped 30 per cent.
“There’s an established team here,” said Dave Carr, vice-president of retail for Rona’s Western Canada division, who presented the trophy.
“We’re really proud of the store and the effort put into it.”
The 52,000-square-foot store opened in 2005, and Dickinson, who has been manager for two years, says the success is a result of strong community loyalty, whether it’s professional contractors or the home-based do-it-yourselfer.
“We’ve really worked hard on the customer experience,” said Dickinson, who particularly gives credit to his 42 employees.
“Without our staff buying into our goals, we won’t go anywhere,” he said.
“We also try to be involved as much as we can in the community and support as many events and organizations as we can.”
With the Vernon store’s name firmly engraved on the trophy, Dickinson and his staff are now looking for a repeat honour for 2015.
“We have to try for a back-to-back,” he said, adding that target may be achievable with year-to-date sales up 38 per cent so far.
It was Oct. 6, 1939, when a group of hardware stores in Quebec founded Les Marchands en Quincaillerie to get around a monopoly that was threatening their supply chain. Their mission was to combine their orders to get better prices. A few years later, Rolland Dansereau and Napoléon Piotte took control of the company, which became Groupe Rona.
Rona celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2014 and it is among the largest distributors and retailers of hardware, construction and home renovation products in Canada.