Chad Mielke, manager of the Penticton RONA franchise, with staff at the store which has been named the top RONA outlet in the country. Mark Brett/Western News Staff

Penticton RONA earns major award

A strong Okanagan economy helped a local retailer earn best in Canada.

A strong economy in the South Okanagan helped a local retailer take a top award.

Chad Mielke, manager of the Penticton RONA franchise, said the store has been named the top RONA outlet in the country, thanks to a combination of sales growth, customer service satisfaction and overall staff retention.

“Those are the three biggies, overall customer experience,” said Mielke. “It is for all the Lowe’s and RONA stores across the country, so it is quite an honour.”

Mielke said the growth in the Okanagan is exciting, giving credit to his staff for helping generate double digit growth for the store four years in a row.

“Our staff are the backbone of our business. We are a family business, we are entrenched in the community and my staff are my family,” said Mielke. “I appreciate the work they do, the effort they made this past year.”

Mielke said it is an encouraging sign for the market in Penticton after watching areas like Alberta, Ontario and Quebec struggle.

“There is this wonderful little pocket of B.C., and especially in the Okanagan Valley, that is thriving,” said Mielke. “There are jobs around, there is money to be spent, there is home improvement projects happening everywhere. We’re glad to be part of it, we’re glad to help people invest in their homes.”

“Helping people love where they live,” said Mielke, quoting the Lowe’s slogan. “That’s our job, that’s what we did last year and we did it well.”

Lowe’s Canada acquired RONA last May. Mielke said only the big box stores are going to be converted to the Lowe’s brand.

“We stay a RONA and the new focus is more of a contractor and home improvement base,” said Mielke. “We become the biggest of the new RONAs across the country.”

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