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March 18, 2019 | Volume xxv, #11
IN THIS ISSUE: Good weather helps to boost numbers at ABSDA buying show FCL achieves milestones in 2018 in conjunction with strong financials Industry Gala unites Quebec’s retailers and suppliers to celebrate award winners Canadian Tire’s Triangle program helps it build customer profiles with data PLUS: Home Hardware wins recognition, Reno-Depot adds Air Miles, Amazon earns big profits, ABSDA awards lifetime achievements, BSIABC gets new logo, National Hardware Show adds lines, housing starts drop and more!
Good weather helps to boost numbers at ABSDA buying show

HALIFAX ― Members of the retail home improvement industry from across Atlantic Canada headed to Halifax last week for the ABSDA Building Supply Expo, the annual buying show hosted by the Atlantic Building Supply Dealers Association. The event kicked off on March 12 with a meet-and-greet reception that hosted dealers and vendors alike.

The show was held in the Halifax Convention Centre, right downtown, with show hotels conveniently located just minutes away, reducing time and costs to get to and from the venue. It featured 76 exhibitors representing about 100 companies. From the retail side, it attracted dealers of all stripes, including a strong showing of Castle dealers and Home Hardware members, and, to a lesser degree, TIMBER MART dealers. Sexton Group, which is now growing its membership more aggressively in the Atlantic region, also reported a healthy turnout by its members there.

Exhibitors overall gave positive feedback on the show, saying they met with enough customers during the two days to make their involvement worthwhile. Individuals at the Sexton Group reported that they were experiencing “a good vibe” among the dealers, while TIMBER MART managed to develop some strong leads on the show floor.

KM Agencies was one of the companies that occupied a room of their own adjacent to the show floor. Representing six companies there, the Atlantic agency enjoyed good response from dealers, says KM President Peter Merrill. “Overall, we wrote a lot of business—and that’s the name of the game.”

FCL achieves milestones in 2018 in conjunction with strong financials

SASKATOON ― For Federated Co-operatives Ltd., its latest fiscal year didn’t just turn out a healthy balance sheet. The company racked up a series of accomplishments in other areas, as well, not the least of which was the celebration of 90 years in existence.

The co-op, which reported $10.7 billion in overall sales and profits of $1.2 billion for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2018, undertook or completed a number of initiatives directed at improving its retail business and supporting local communities.

Cody Smith, director of home and building solutions at FCL, which oversees the company’s home centre business, is enthusiastic about the milestones. “We really connected last year with the farm and ag customer more than we had in the past,” he says.

In support of those affected by the Humboldt Broncos tragedy, the SJHL Assistance Program was established to raise funds for mental health assistance, counselling and grieving. Together with Co-op members and customers, FCL donated more than $768,000 to the program. And the Retail Council of Canada recognized those achievements with its Excellence in Retailing Award: Philanthropic Leadership (Co-op Community Spaces).

A new website, “Ask Co-op”, was launched with a library of videos featuring expert advice from the Co-op team.

In addition, Cody says, FCL continued to grow its range of house brands, which now number 380 products for the hardware and building materials side of the business. The “Made by Us” campaign, a program launched in 2017 to promote Canadian-made products, featured the company’s Imagine brand of paint and was expanded to showcase six more premium products last year. These included paint applicators under the Imagine brand and made by Bennett Tools, a family business in Concord, Ont. Other lines included long-handled tools, bird seed and some automotive products.

“It was a huge win for our house brands and a lot of big categories were launched,” says Cody.

Industry Gala unites Quebec’s retailers and suppliers to celebrate award winners

MONTREAL ― The seventh annual AQMAT Recognition Gala gathered industry players at Montreal’s Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel for an evening of hospitality recently. There, outstanding companies and individuals were recognized in categories ranging from loyalty to social involvement.

This was the first edition of the gala to take place in Montreal, after its numbers exceeded 500, outgrowing the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City.

After a cocktail reception, journalist and documentarian Karima Brikh took the stage as MC. Attendees enjoyed live music over a four-course dinner as their tweets of the event streamed on-screen, and the dance floor stayed open until 1 a.m.

Richard Darveau, the organization’s president, gave an impassioned address to the gathered crowd rallying support for Quebec manufacturers. In that vein, he presented a preview of the marketing campaign for AQMAT’s “Well Made Here” initiative. The short video clip will go live in mid-April, and the campaign will also be highlighted at Hardlines’ own Meet the Buyers Breakfast event in Boucherville, Que., on March 26.

Awards were presented for outstanding individuals and companies, with most categories sub-divided into merchant and supplier laureates. Lowe’s Canada’s banners and Home Hardware were both well represented, while BMR’s inaugural La Shop urban concept store took the Perspective prize in the merchant category. Genevieve Gagnon, of Groupe Yves Gagnon, took to the stage to accept the Community award, which recognizes business leadership in the social, ecological or humanitarian sectors.

The Innovation of the Year was the CoolDeck, a heat-deflecting technology optionally available in MoistureShield’s Vision composite decking, distributed by CanWel Building Materials.

The gala was the first of at least three that will be held at the Queen Elizabeth, with the current contract extending to 2021. (To see the full list of winners, click here.)

Canadian Tire’s Triangle program helps it build customer profiles with data

TORONTO ― A big part of Canadian Tire’s push in 2018 was the launch of the Triangle rewards program. The program aims to complement the famous Canadian Tire money that has been part of the retailer’s heritage since its early days.

The digital rewards, however, go well beyond the sense of customer loyalty the paper money has always engendered. The data being provided about customers is proving invaluable for tracking and predicting shopping behaviours.

Getting a handle on how to use that data has been Canadian Tire’s challenge. It has worked to combine the initiatives from head office with the needs of its associate dealers, who operate 501 Canadian Tire stores across Canada.

The company says it has made great progress on this front, managing data being created from the Triangle Rewards program to better understand its customers. One result has been the ability to tailor email offers weekly to the retailer’s most valuable customers.

In a call to analysts following the release of its 2018 year-end results, Canadian Tire executives offered some insights into the company’s digital progress.

Explaining how data generated by the Triangle Rewards initiative is used, Greg Hicks, president of Canadian Tire Retail, said, “we actually get it at the SKU level, so we know exactly what customers are purchasing. So that wealth of information allows us to be pretty responsive to any changes in behaviour we potentially are seeing for new accounts.”

“The classic example is a customer who had [purchased] winter tires. We now send a promo for a spring and summer tire changeover. Those types of things are pretty simple and that's the starting point. It gets incredibly sophisticated from there.”

According to Allan MacDonald, Canadian Tire’s EVP – Retail, advances are being made across the company’s digital presence. “In 2018, we made major improvements to both and our fulfillment capabilities. We’ve dramatically improved our site speed, search and navigation.”

MacDonald said the improvements have been “incredibly important” in terms of the customer experience on the Canadian Tire site. “We’ve driven increased site visits, page views and conversion, critical performance metrics in an omnichannel retail world.”

People on the Move

The Atlantic Building Supply Dealers Association gave out industry awards during the gala dinner at its Buying Expo last week. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Duncan Wilson. Currently director of business development for Home Hardware Stores Ltd., Wilson’s career spans 46 years and a range of retail companies in the industry. Lifetime Member Awards were given to Brian Warr, a former Castle dealer in Springdale, Nfld., and former chair of the ABSDA; and to Greg Sutherland, who worked at CanWel from 1975 until his retirement two years ago.

Moen has appointed Nina Kshetry as its first water director. A licensed professional engineer in Illinois and Florida, Kshetry will be a conduit in connecting Moen to her network of individuals and organizations that are focused on broader-scope water situations across the country.


“Our CTC e-commerce growth rate is outpacing the growth of e-commerce in Canada, and that's making us one of the largest online retailers in the country.” Allan MacDonald, Canadian Tire’s executive vice president – Retail, on the retailer’s improvement to its digital experience. He spoke to analysts after the release of the company’s 2018 financials.


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ST. JACOBS, Ont. ― Home Hardware was recognized with Platinum status for overall business performance and sustained growth in this year’s Canada’s Best Managed Companies program. The designation recognizes Canadian-owned and managed companies with revenues over $15 million that demonstrate strategy, capability and commitment to achieve sustainable growth. “We are honoured to be recognized with Platinum status as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies,” Home Hardware CEO and President Kevin Macnab said.

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — Reno-Depot, a banner of Lowe’s Canada, has launched the Air Miles reward program in all 21 of its stores. Customers who shop at Reno‑Depot will be able to earn Air Miles on eligible purchases made in-store and on Lowe’s, Ace and RONA stores in Canada already carry the Air Miles program. “People who visit any of our stores—regardless of the banner—can now take advantage of the program,” says Charles Valois, divisional VP, marketing at Lowe’s Canada. In addition to earning rewards on eligible purchases, Air Miles members will benefit from special offers throughout the year and get discounts on purchases.

SURREY, B.C. — The board of directors of the Building Supply Industry Association of B.C. (BSIABC) unveiled a new logo at their latest annual general meeting. The logo portrays the fundamentals of the association while giving it a fresh new look. It features a tree over a house that pays tribute to the original logo in a simple and clean contemporary version with text in a softer font than previously. According to the BSIA, it’s meant to be seen as a symbol of change, and a call to action for both association members and the wider building supply community.

SEATTLE ― Inc. generated $141.92 billion in product sales in 2018. That’s an increase of 19.7% from 2017. The Christmas holiday season in Q4 accounted for almost one-third (31.5%) of those sales. Sales from all its business units, which include services, were $232.89 billion in 2018, up a whopping 30.9% from the previous year. Amazon generated profits of $10.07 billion, up 232.3% from $3.03 billion in 2017.


NORWALK, Conn. ― The 2019 edition of the National Hardware Show will feature several new sections and categories. Among the new offerings awaiting participants in Las Vegas this May are the Impulse Aisle, featuring products designed to catch the customer’s eye on the way to the checkout. An Interactive Smart Home will showcase the hottest smart home products with dedicated visuals and demonstrations. The Backyard Marketplace celebrates favourite outdoor living brands in a relaxed setting with food and entertainment. This year, attendees will also be able to access exclusive deals and show specials through the NHS Mobile App, both pre-show and on site.


Housing starts fell 16.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 173,153 units in February, compared to 206,809 units in January. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 18% to 155,663 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 20.2% to 116,284 units, while single-detached urban starts decreased by 10.6% to 39,379 units. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,490 units. (CMHC)

After a steep drop in December, U.S. retail sales began to rebound in January, increasing by 0.2% in a month marked by a government shutdown and a volatile stock market. The figure reported by the U.S. Commerce Department follows on a 1.6% decline in December, the largest in nine years. Eight out of 13 categories saw improvement in January, including the largest increase in spending on building materials since late 2017. (U.S. Commerce Dept.)

Classified Ads

Director, Kool-Ray Aluminum Railing

Location: Based in Dieppe or Richibucto, NB

Kool-Ray, a division of Imperial Manufacturing Group, manufactures and distributes quality aluminum railing, column, and fencing products for the retail, wholesale, and contractor markets.  Our extensive product line is easy to assemble and offers solutions for any style and project.  For more information about Kool-Ray please visit our website:

We are currently looking for a self-motivated business professional who has the skills, abilities and passion to manage our Kool-Ray Aluminum Railing division as if they owned it.  You are our ideal candidate if you can lead a multidiscipline team to create and execute business strategies that will result in continued growth of our business throughout Canada and the United States. Key areas of responsibility Grow business profitability Ensure customer have the right product assortment to maximize Introduce new products & improve existing products Manage concise SKU offering

Knowledge and Skill Requirements

Self-starter, highly motivated, and able to work in a fast-paced environment Combination of analytical and customer relationship building skill set Proven experience leading multidisciplinary teams

Bachelor’s degree in management, marketing, accounting, finance or related field is required.   Preference will be given to those who have a master’s degree or professional designation in related field (e.g. MBA, CPA, SCMP).   Consideration will also be given to those who have the equivalent education based on experience.

To know more about this opportunity or to apply, please visit our website:


About Home Hardware Stores Limited

Home Hardware Stores Limited is Canada’s largest Dealer-owned cooperative with close to 1,100 Stores and annual retail sales of over $6 billion.

Located near Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario, Home Hardware remains 100% Canadian owned and operated.  Home hardware has received designations as one of Canada’s Best Cultures and Best Managed Companies and is committed to providing local communities with superior service and quality advice.

Responsible to the Group Merchandise Manager for executing on the plan to buy and the plan to sell for the Plumbing portfolio. Develop and maintain a productive and profitable product assortment to drive retail sales. Negotiate with vendors to support corporate initiatives and meet sales and margin targets and manage ongoing vendor relationships. Develop and execute successful promotions and support marketing initiatives. Effectively lead and motivate the plumbing team to achieve objectives.


College/University Diploma/Degree in Business and/or Purchasing.

Previous experience as a Merchandise Manager and knowledge of the plumbing industry would be an asset. Excellent communication, planning, organizational and negotiating skills.  High energy with an entrepreneurial attitude. Willingness to travel and work extended hours.

Interested applicants, please submit your resume to Dayna Weber, Recruitment, Human Resources at

Full posting available at Phone: 519-664-4975 34 Henry St W, St. Jacobs, ON, N0B 2N0 Deadline: Friday, March 22, 2019

*While we appreciate all applications received, only those to be interviewed will be contacted.

We will accommodate the needs of qualified applicants under the Human Rights Code in all parts of the hiring process

National Account Manager: Maxtech Innovations

The Company Maxtech Innovations was founded on the guiding principles – Innovation, Quality, and Value – In order to maintain these principals Maxtech Innovations takes a strategic stance on defining, defending and marketing its IP around the World.

For over 40 years Maxtech has been an innovator in the tool industry having created and filed 100’s of patents in the DIY and Professional Hardware & Tool Industry.  Our product innovation has been sold and licensed to leading retailers like Lowes, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware as well as being licensed by industry leaders under private label and distributed all over the World.

Through years of research Maxtech has developed patented technologies enabling them to become industry leaders in Mosquito and Pest Control Products.;;

Job Description Reporting to the Senior Sales Executive (SSE) – the National Account Manager (NAM) is responsible for the day to day duties that support Maxtech’s strategic sales plans specific to the Canadian Mass Merchant, Industrial / Commercial channels.

This position executes tactical plans developed in collaboration with the SSE. The successful incumbent will ensure that required support documentation, including category analytical data, is produced accurately and timely.

Critical to this position is the support and interaction with cross functional teams, including marketing, sales, forecasting, planning, dealer services and customer contacts within each retail account. The NAM will direct and assist in the sale of all Maxtech, Green Strike and Beapco products to defined retailers.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Develop sales growth initiatives in collaboration with SSE to meet or exceed sales goals Responsible for nominated Retailers and Industrial / Commercial accounts. Conduct market research to determine viable product mixes within national planograms Identify opportunities and trends both within Maxtech and from competitive products that might make sense in assigned retailers

Travel as required by business conditions. Develop and maintain working relationship with Nominated retailers and Industrial/Commercial accounts key personnel. Work with account teams on online activities, price changes, content, available video and Brand Page opportunities Ability to self-start and move forward special projects and sales initiatives in a timely manner Provide regular updates on competitive issues and sales activity in the Canadian market

Education and/or Experience  5 years of retail National Account Management experience, preferably for consumer products at Mass Merchants and/or Hardware retailers Proven success directly managing and selling to national retailers

Strong interpersonal, writing, and presentation skills Fluent in English / French is an asset but not required To Apply for this position please send your resume to:

Looking to post a classified ad? Email Michelle for a free quote.

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