Home Hardware’s new CEO wants to tap the strength of the independent

ST. JACOBS, Ont. ― Kevin Macnab is Home Hardware’s new president and CEO. He brings with him a strong background in retail that includes senior roles at the iconic British retailer Marks & Spencer before he moved to Toys “R” Us as head of that retailer’s international operations—including the title of president of Canada.

Now, having been in place for exactly six months, he feels confident that he is getting a firm grip on the challenges and opportunities facing the company. In his first interview with the media, Macnab sat down yesterday with Hardlines to talk about the strength he sees in the dealer-owned organization, the potential for growing areas such as online sales—and his overall vision for the company.

Macnab comes from a traditionally corporate environment. However, he feels confident that his experience handling a range of businesses for Toys “R” Us—he was in charge of everything outside of the U.S.—has prepared him for his introduction to the co-op model. “I’m experienced at dealing with that sort of scale of difference.”

And how does the dealer-owned model compare with the corporate environments of his previous career? “At Home Hardware, it’s the real strength of the business,” he says, adding that he’s really been educated to the core strengths of the dealers in each of the local markets they serve. “It’s a positive difference.”

(Macnab shared his thoughts on the strategic direction of the company, the re-organization of Home’s buying team and initiatives to make Home Hardware a leader in e-retailing. Read the full interview in Monday’s amazing issue of our weekly Hardlines newsletter!)