Rona Inc. and Ace Hardware International Holdings, Ltd. have announced a long-term agreement for master licensing of the Ace brand in Canada. Under the agreement, Rona has specific rights and privileges with respect to Ace Hardware brands, retail operating systems and web portals. Rona will offer full support and development of the Ace brand as well as improved distribution services to current and potential Ace dealers in Canada. Rona and Ace Hardware International have also signed a long-term distribution agreement giving Rona access to products available through Ace Hardware’s various channels of distribution including its China direct programs to support the growth of the Ace brand in Canada.
“Today’s announcement is a clear indication of our commitment to continue to develop and improve our network of affiliated dealer stores in Canada,” said Robert Sawyer, president and CEO of Rona. Sawyer continued, “The Ace Hardware brand is well recognized in the U.S., Canada and internationally. This agreement will enable us to improve our offering to small dealers across the country, to leverage our existing distribution infrastructure and to strengthen our portfolio of banners. Canadian customers will also benefit from this new relationship as Rona will put important efforts in collaboration with Ace Hardware International in the development of the brand, which will perfectly complement Rona’s existing brands, especially in some areas of the country where Rona has a limited presence.”
“Ace has been thoroughly impressed with Rona’s commitment to the independent Canadian retailer, their rigor in crafting an efficient country-wide supply chain and their intimate knowledge of and experience in Canada,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation. “I believe Ace’s combination of strengths with Rona will be an exceedingly compelling proposition for both independent hardware and lumber dealers and the Canadian consumer for a very long time to come.”
Rona operates a network of over 500 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores under several different banners and formats, along with eight distribution centers and its specialized TruServ Canada wholesaler. The Ace hardware cooperative has 4,850 hardware stores locally owned and operated worldwide, and operates 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and also has distribution capabilities in several other countries.