Hardlines Conference concludes first day in Whistler

The 27th Hardlines Conference got underway yesterday with a full complement of speakers at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, B.C. Jim Inglis, consultant and former Home Depot executive, got the ball rolling with his insights and experience, which include the banner’s Canadian launch. Geneviève Gagnon, who runs three companies including Évolution Distribution, spoke of her experience growing up in her family store and how she brings an unapologetically feminine touch to the customer experience.

In the afternoon, Hardlines president Michael McLarney gave a state-of-the-industry update that included a discussion of how climate change is impacting home improvement. Dan Tratensek provided a perspective from the North American Hardware and Paint Association. Cody Smith capped off the afternoon with an update on exciting new developments at Federated Co-op.

The afternoon closed with a reception hosted by Home Hardware Stores Ltd., leading into the 31st Outstanding Retailer Awards gala dinner.