Chad Mielke, general manager of RONA Penticton poses with Rich Russo of the National Hardware Show, after accepting the store’s award for best Contractor Specialist in the country. Submitted photo

Penticton RONA snags national award

The local RONA outlet has been named the top Contractor Specialist in the country

After being named the top RONA outlet in the country earlier this year, the Penticton store has snagged another major award.

“We consider it extremely satisfying and extremely humbling at the same time, to be recognized from within our own company and then to be recognized on a national basis as well.”

The first award, in March, was an internal one, including all RONA and Lowe’s stores, which bought the RONA chain in 2016.

Related: Penticton RONA earns major award

But at the national Outstanding Retailer Awards on Nov. 14, the Penticton RONA was pitted against hardware stores of all varieties across the country, coming out on top as the best Contractor Specialist in the country.

“We are all about our customers and the speed and efficiency we can move with our contractors to keep them happy, to get their products on their sites, and keep this booming market rolling,” said Chad Mielke, manager of the local franchise, which his family opened in 2005.

Mielke said the strength of the market is exciting but puts a huge demand on the store and staff.

“It’s great for business, it does keep us humming along but, boy, things move quickly right now,” said Mielke. “We haven’t seen this kind of market in the Okanagan for years.”

Mielke gives full credit to his staff for their loyalty, excitement and passion.

“They love what we do. They are the ones that go above and beyond for our customers,” said Mielke adding that while accepting the award, he joked that “They have a full-time job of making me look good.”

“They’re an awesome bunch. I have over 40 people that have been with me for 10 years, by my side in the business,” he continued. “You don’t find that in retail.”

One factor that helped secure the award was the satellite Contractor First location in Osoyoos, expanding RONA Penticton’s range and allowing the Penticton store to focus on sales closer to home.

“As a result, both locations are thriving and in ratio to the size of its operation, Osoyoos is one of the highest performers nationwide within RONA,” reads the award announcement.

“It’s blown the expectations out of the water. They’ve crushed whatever numbers and figures I have for them,” said Mielke, adding that the new store also created seven new jobs. “We deliver all the way over to Grand Forks. When an opportunity arose to grab a little piece of property and a tiny 2,000 square-foot building, it made sense to create a little contractor convenience store.

“It’s a really simple operation to run. We turned it from an auto body shop to a Contractor First by RONA in 60 days.”

Launched in 1992, the Hardlines Outstanding Retailer Awards are the industry’s only national awards program dedicated to celebrating the achievements of hardware and building supply dealers in Canada.

Related: Lowe’s and RONA come to sale agreement

Just Posted

Gold for Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa

Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

Summerland Museum sorts through acquisitions

Staff working to examine many items in museum’s collection

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Fire department supports students

Money raised through annual holiday tree chipping project

Construction to begin at school site

New private school in Summerland to open this fall

VIDEO: B.C. superfans soak in 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Trio, including two from the Okanagan, have been cheering on Summerland Olympian Kripps among others in Korea

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

More snow expected on the Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says five to 10 centimetres will come down between Friday and Saturday mornings

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Barnful of ducks die in early morning blaze

The cause of the fire is unknown

Most Read