"Hello, I must be going." - Groucho Marx
vol. viii, #13 April 1, 2002  
* Sodisco consolidates Montréal buying team * Sears lets buyers go * Feds crack down on rogue building supply yards * Home Depot's stockyard store cuts back hours

WHAT: Hardlines Meet the Buyers Seminar WHEN: May 15, 2002 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. WHERE: Four Points Sheraton Hotel, Dixie Road and Highway 401, near the Toronto International Airport

We are delighted to bring together key buyers from some of Canada's leading companies to tell us how to approach their buying teams with your new products and programs. Ideal for any company attempting to make inroads with Canada's top retailers - and for anyone already supplying them who wishes to sharpen their focus. So far we've confirmed buyers from Home Hardware, Home Depot, Sodisco-Howden Group and Ace Hardware Canada. More details to come! Cost for subscribers is only $149, for non-subscribers it's $249. To register, call Nancy Wright at 416.489.3396, email her at: nancy@hardlines.ca. Want to sponsor this exciting event? Call Beverly Allen, Marketing Manager: bev@hardlines.ca.
Toronto, ON - A surprise shuffle of buyers at Sears Canada has shocked many suppliers and left some veteran merchandisers without jobs, some for the first time in almost three decades. Gone are Keith Knight, who had handled garage door openers and miscellaneous hardware; Gary Curtis, an assistant buyer; Graham Teasdale, Lew McGinnis, in charge of air tools; Phyllis Johnson, in logistics and re-buying; Larry Walter, in traffic and logistics, and Susan Banting, another buyer. In addition, two clerical positions were terminated. Eric Scrafield, who had been national business manager for hardware, has been named national business manager for bed and bath. Replacing him as new national business manager for hardware is Rob McKenzie, formerly with the major appliances group, and before that a power tool buyer for several years. Reporting to him are: Daryl Villeneuve, who has moved over from housewares to handle hand tools, including garage door openers and air tools, merging roles of Keith Knight and Lew McGinnis; Bill McQueen, who is handling mechanics' tools; Bob Masich, who stays with power tools; Jill Brown, in charge of outdoor power equipment; Greig Carson, who expands his portfolio to include water products, in addition to AC; and Cindy Jardin, adding in bath accessories to her existing paint, wallpaper and décor portfolio. Other changes within the hardware department include the naming of Kent Pelletier as retail ad marketing manager, Roy Schuette as category business manager for hardware and Nezam Rampersad as category marketing manager for hardware.
Montréal, QC - Sodisco-Howden Group has put the finishing touches on its buying team after rolling up buying functions in both London, ON and Victoriaville, QC. Al Lynn, national director of merchandising, moved from the London office to Montréal last Monday, and will buy a house there later in the summer. Reporting to Luc Lemonde, the new vice-president of merchandising, Lynn is in charge of all SHG's buying and re-buying, as well as vendor negotiations. He has six category teams reporting to him. Anticipating a good year ahead, SHG president and CEO Jos Wintermans says the new structure will make the company better able to deal with vendors, "and will help us be more competitive." Sodisco-Howden recently completed the acquisition of the supply business of Marchands Unis's hardware and building supply dealers. "We're busy integrating customers and shipments from our Victoriaville distribution centre," Wintermans says. The hardware stores taken over from Marchands Unis comprise 30 Eureka dealers, 37 Bâtitout, and 41 Ferplus Quincaillerie dealers. Marchands Unis's building supply dealers under the Chalifour banner will be combined with SHG's Servimat building supply business. The combined sales of the two banners is expected to drive SHG's wholesale shipments of building supplies in Québec to more than $200 million this year.
Washington, DC - In a surprise turnaround, U.S. president George W. Bush has agreed to lift punitive tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber in exchange for RCMP assistance in turning over hydroponic drug dealing terrorist blocs in Western Canada. The suspects, former forest management supervisors who lost their jobs in the wake of the recent countervailing duties, have been shipping contraband to the U.S., primarily Oregon and Rhode Island. The drug that has captured the special attention of the DEA in Washington, DC is tetrabozocyllum (TBSC), known on the street as "bozo" or "clown candy," a high grade form of marijuana grown hydroponically in abandoned Chimo Charlie lumber yards throughout Vancouver's west end. The profits from the illicit drug racket are reputedly being sent overseas to Al-Qaida cells in mountain regions of Ruritania and Pottsylvania. Bush has put the FBI on the alert from a couch in his living room.
Toronto, ON - When Home Depot in Atlanta announced sales of US$53.6 billion for fiscal 2001, the increase company wide was 17%. But sales by the Canadian division grew much faster, says a new study for Hardlines Quarterly Report. The Canadian operation, under president Annette Verschuren, added 15 new stores last year for a total of 78 by the end of 2001. Sales grew by an estimated {>%, from $2.78 billion in 2000 to an estimated $%# billion in 2001. (damn typos! What happened to my glasses? - Editor)
Canadian Tire 30.45 18.50 31.34
Canfor 12.60 8.08 10.25
Emco 9.55 3.35 8.30
Goodfellow 11.00 8.00 11.00
Home Depot 53.73 30.30 48.61
Hudson's Bay 20.10 12.50 15.20
Lowe's Cos. 48.88 24.99 43.49
Sears Canada 25.00 12.50 21.00
Sodisco-Howden 2.63 0.75 1.87
Taiga Forest 12.75 6.80 12.00
West Fraser 44.42 26.13 43.50
Effective today, Home Depot Canada's Stockyards store in Toronto is no longer open 24 hours. It's now open from 5 a.m. to midnight. Home Depot in the U.S. is trying out stand-alone garden centres aimed at wholesale and DIY users. The project, which is being launched with little fanfare, has been called "Project Greenback." Home Depot has picked three sites so far in the Atlanta area, two of them near existing Home Depot outlets. Construction of the 12,000-sq.ft. stores is expected to begin soon. Rona Inc. announced its support last week of a fundraising effort on behalf of Accueil Bonneau. The campaign hopes to raise more than $400,000 to assist the hundreds of homeless people fed, clothed and sheltered each year by the 125-year old centre. Benjamin Moore has expanded the rollout of its branded stores across Canada and will count 300 stores within the next few months, says Alistair Linton, now director of retail development for all of North America. The affiliation program for independent paint dealers began in 1999. BS Building Supplies in Deuxpieds à Gauche, AB has purchased three former Lumber Dudes stores in the Vancouver area after owner Bill Shitely won at bingo on Saturday night. BSBS reportedly paid $143.62 for the sites. Shitely will open the stores with a clearance sale on the excess inventory of used fluorescent lights and hydroponic plant food found in the stores.
Sears Canada Inc. has appointed Brent Hollister president and CEO, responsible for all Sears sales and service channels, and sales support activities of logistics, transportation, real estate, store planning and resource protection. A Sears veteran, Hollister was most recently president, sales, service and in-store planning He will continue to report to Mark A. Cohen, the company's chairman. (416-362-1711) Carlo Rossi has been appointed director of marketing at New Market Group in their Associated Food Distributors division. AFD is a food service buying group for the hospitality channel in Canada. Its 35 shareholder members represent more than 120 warehouses across Canada, with sales of more than $4 billion. (905-898-5383) Exchange-A-Blade has made the following key appointments: Don Haliburton has been appointed general manager, reporting directly to Rob Forbes, president of Exchange-A-Blade. Haliburton brings many years of experience in both public accounting and private industry. He replaces Bob Nelles, who is retiring … Sushila Goundar will assume the responsibilities of controller … Amir Fallah has been named inventory controller and assistant plant manager … Gerry Lees, formerly Ontario and Atlantic sales manager, has retired to pursue other interests. (604-526-4595) Shell Busey was awarded the BSDA of B.C. Industry Merit Award, given by the association at its Gala awards night on March 3, 2002. A past chairman of the association, Busey is best known as a television and radio personality whose programs are broadcast across the country. (604-513-2205)
Sales by wholesalers in February continued the record pace set in January, being up 5%, according to CIPH. Plumbing products showed the strongest growth, increasing by 11% over last year. Plumbing and HVAC/R were the big winners, with increases in each of the five regions surveyed. After dropping 15.8% in January, U.S. home sales surged ahead by 5.3% in February. Single-family starts reached 875,000 units seasonally adjusted, up from 831,000 in the previous month.
"We're not that worried. Hey, we own Home Depot stock. So we wish 'em luck." - Randy Pike, executive vice-president of Pike Family Nurseries, quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was commenting on the big box retailer's plans to open three stand-alone garden centres in his marketplace. Pike has 21 stores in the Atlanta area.
Your trusty Editor was kindly invited by the International Trade Club of Toronto to give a brief overview of home improvement retailing in Canada last Thursday. The group is devoted to encouraging import/export in a number of sectors. For more info, call: 416-928-9348 or email: tradeclub@rogers.com.
****HARDLINES MARKETPLACE**** Check out Hardlines Classifieds on the web: https://hardlines.ca/html/classifieds_new.asp BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY WANTED: buyers, agents, distributors, wholesalers BuyUSA.com is an international electronic marketplace - a "one-stop" matchmaking portal that identifies U.S. suppliers of goods and services. Developed through a partnership between IBM and the U.S. Department of Commerce, this FREE online service provides instant access to thousands of qualified suppliers of U.S. goods and services. BuyUSA.com also provides automated trade lead matching, online catalogues of U.S. products and services, guidance on importing U.S. products and much more. Register on-line today at www.BuyUSA.com. Please contact Rita Patlan, U.S. Consulate General at (416) 595-5412, extension 223, for more information or for a demonstration of BuyUSA.com. MERGER OPPORTUNITY: Medium sized distribution co. with proprietary products and lots of dreams seeking merger with similar company to make a bigger impact in Canada and the US. We have vendor numbers for most of the biggies, and some products that are going to grow exponentially in the next two years. Together we may be better. Send us your thoughts in strictest confidence to Box 318, Hardlines, c/o bev@hardlines.ca (Put "Box 318" in subject line.) (010402) *********************************************************************************** HELP WANTED NATIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER: Due to increased growth, The MIBRO Group, a leading North American supplier of Power Tool Accessories, Chain, Chain Accessories, Hand Tools & Lawn and Garden products, is adding to its growing sales team. Working from our Scarborough, Ontario Head Office, the National Account Manager will be responsible for the sales and overall customer service of selected major accounts in both Canada and the United States. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of "big box" key accounts, a personable approach to selling, high self-motivation, a competitive nature, and the ability to work in a team environment. Computer skills including the use of Excel, ability to travel, strong business writing capabilities, and knowledge of hardware products and the marketplace are essential. We offer a competitive compensation and benefits package. If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, and working in a high energy fast growing company, please forward your resumé to esmith@mibro.com or via confidential fax to (416) 285-9623. (080402) *********************************************************************************** REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, WESTERN CANADA: RONA REVY INC. has an opening for the position of Regional Development Manager for Western Canada, reporting to the Vice President of Development and Operations. The successful candidate, based in our Surrey, B.C. office, will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the organization's strategic development plan for each banner. Responsibility includes recruitment and integration of new dealers in the west. This includes analyzing the territory, evaluating potential dealers, presenting the organization to prospective dealers, qualifying dealers according to membership criteria and mentoring new dealers for a period of six month after they join RONA. The candidate must have five to ten years experience in the retail trade, knowledge of the hardware and building materials market, have the ability to establish good relations with dealers and be autonomous. If you are interested, please forward your cover letter and resume to Terry Crofford, tcrofford@revy.ca or fax to 604-882-6382. *********************************************************************************** SALES PROFESSIONALS, BRAMPTON BASED: CanWel, one of Canada's leading distributors of building materials to the retail and industrial markets, is poised for growth. We are looking for motivated professionals to join our sales team at our Customer Service Centre. For the following opportunities, we are seeking results-driven and sales-orientated individuals with excellent communication, interpersonal and negotiation skills. Familiarity with the building materials industry would be beneficial. NATIONAL KEY ACCOUNTS MANAGER: Reporting to the General Manager and providing a focused approach to key accounts and buying groups you will be responsible for developing specific programs, budgeting and planning. We envision you as having 3-5 years' sales experience and outstanding customer service skills. ACCOUNT MANAGERS: You will apply your 3-5 years of sales experience and outstanding customer service skills towards managing a specified customer base in Ontario; maximizing profits; creating new sales opportunities. INSIDE SALES REPRESENTATIVES: As part of our inside sales team, you will work closely with the Outside Account Managers/support staff and deal directly with customers to provide full service/sales support. You have: 1-3 years' sales experience; strong organizational skills; excellent administrative duties. In return for your contribution, a competitive salary/benefits package is offered. Please forward your résumé, indicating the position title, by April 8, 2002 to: Human Resources, CanWel Distribution Ltd., 15 West Drive, Brampton, Ontario L6T 3T5; email: michele_white@canwel.com; fax 905-457-3668. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. (010402) *********************************************************************************** NORAL MARKETING: LOOKING FOR A REPUTABLE, FOCUSED REPRESENTATION? NORAL MARKETING - the manufacturers' rep agency that knows the Canadian retail customers! Visit http://www.noralmarketing.com or call Al Vanderveen at 519-439-6800 ext. 201 *************************************************************************** SELL YOUR COMPANY - OR BUY ONE - WITH HARDLINES CLASSIFIEDS! DO YOUR EXECUTIVE SEARCH, FIND NEW LINES OR GET NEW REPS IN THE HARDLINES MARKETPLACE. ONLY $16 PER LINE FOR THREE WEEKS! TO PLACE YOUR AD, CALL US AT 416-489-3396 OR EMAIL: bev@hardlines.ca ********************************************************************************** NEW: POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ON THE CANADIAN MARKET A point-by-point illustration of the Canadian market and the growth of its key players. Dazzle your bosses and impress your friends with this one! ($179 + taxes for subscribers, $449 + taxes for non-subscribers.) Call Nancy Wright at 416.489.3396, email her at: nancy@hardlines.ca, or go online: https://hardlines.ca/html/order.html to order any of the above publications.
Hardlines is published weekly (except monthly in December and August) by McLARNEYCOM 542 Mount Pleasant Rd., Suite 302, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4S 2M7 © 2002 by Michael McLarney. HARDLINES™ the electronic newsletter hardlines.ca Phone: 416.489.3396; Fax: 416.489.6154 Michael McLarney, Editor & Publisher: mike@hardlines.ca Beverly Allen, Marketing Manager: bev@hardlines.ca Nancy Wright, Circulation Manager: nancy@hardlines.ca ______________________________________________ THE HARDLINES "FAIR PLAY" POLICY: Reproduction in whole or in part is very uncool and strictly forbidden and really and truly against the law. So please, play fair! Call for information on multiple subscriptions or a site license for your company. We do want as many people as possible to read Hardlines each week – but let us handle your internal routing from this end! ______________________________________________ Subscription: $199+$13.93 GST = $212.93 per year (GST #13987 0398 RT). Secondary subscriptions at the same office are only $28 + $1.96 GST = $29.98. Ask about our reduced rate for branch offices. You can pay online by VISA at our secure website or send us money. Please make cheque payable to McLarneyCom.