"It is impossible to beat an ignorant man in an argument." - William Gibbs McAdoo (1863-1941, U.S. senator and railroad executive)
vol. viii, #14 April 8, 2002  
* Home Depot opens smaller, "urban" store in U.S. * Building Box revamps Ontario office, buying team * Atlantic Show a builds business in Moncton * Ace launches new dealer website

An incredible morning meeting with buyers from Canada's top home improvement retailers!

Key buyers from some of Canada's leading companies will gather on May 15 to explain how to approach their buying teams with new products and programs. This half-day seminar is 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: * Luc Lemonde, Vice-President Merchandising, Sodisco-Howden Group * Peter Vernon, Merchant for the Hardware Department (Tools and Hardware) at Home Depot * Bernie Schneider and Dan McMurdy from Ace Hardware Canada * James Jones, General Merchandising Manager for Réno-Dépôt and Building Box * Buyer from Home Hardware Stores (tba) Space is very limited for this incredible event - so book today! Only $149 for subscribers, $249 for non-subscribers (+ appropriate taxes). To register, call Nancy Wright at 416.489.3396, or email her at: nancy@hardlines.ca Want to sponsor this exciting event? Call Beverly Allen, Marketing Manager at (416)489-3396 or email: bev@hardlines.ca.
Brooklyn, NY - Last week Home Depot opened a 61,000-sq.ft. warehouse-style home centre in a strip mall here. Depot is calling this its "urban neighbourhood" store, and plans to open another, a 77,000 sq.ft. outlet on Staten Island, NY in September, and a two-story, 80,000-sq.ft. unit in the Lincoln Park section of Chicago in January 2003. There are no plans in to bring the concept to Canada until it has been tested for one or two years in the U.S. Its new mini warehouse is L-shaped and has a 3,500-sq.ft. mezzanine for its DesignPlace home décor department. It stocks about 70% of the 45,000 to 50,000 items a typical Home Depot carries. Company officials said its mix gives more space to better-selling items. For example, a typical Depot has 11 bins of light bulbs; the mini warehouse has seven, but doubles the facings of fast-turning bulbs. With shorter racking and narrower aisles, the 32-section store includes a scaled down selection of small and large appliances, and does not have an outside selling area for lawn and garden. It doesn't carry pressure-treated lumber, stationary tools or exterior paint, all of which can be ordered from nearby larger Home Depots. On the other hand, laundry and cleaning products have been greatly expanded and are displayed on white racking. Several categories - such as flooring and faucets - are sold mostly on special-order. This store is the first in the chain to offer customers an online kiosk that can link them to the database of Home Depot's Maintenance Warehouse commercial division.
Moncton, NB - The Atlantic Building Materials Show, held at the Moncton Coliseum is outgrowing its venue. Despite the malaise that seems to plague trade shows everywhere, the Atlantic show continues to provide a healthy forum for meeting customers and making sales. And even as exhibitor numbers shrink (from 1,398 in 2001 to 1,314 at this year's show), it continues to attract more dealers and industry representatives than ever. The show, mounted by the Atlantic Building Supply Dealers Association, saw attendance grow by 100 from last year to 1,411. Overall retailer attendance was up 7.6%, with 83.5% of ABSDA members represented. Another 160 "other" delegates, boosted the delegate ranks even further. These included about 80 representatives from the Wood Products Group, an organization dedicated to promoting wood use that held its annual general meeting in conjunction with the show. The value of the show has just been assessed by the city of Moncton itself to help it evaluate the Coliseum's proposal for a $3 million addition. An impact study has revealed that the show accounts for an infusion of upwards of $2.3 million into the local economy. About 90% of attendees at the show are from out of town, resulting in more than 1,200 booked hotel rooms.
Brampton, ON - Réno-Dépôt's Building Box division has been scaled back, with the head office moving from Markham, ON to space inside the Building Box store on Highway 403 in Brampton, ON. The Ontario merchandising team has been eliminated, with all buying duties now being directed from Montréal. Real estate, human resources and some marketing remain, however, and the division is headed up by James Jones, who has taken on expanded duties as general merchandising manager for both Building Box and Réno-Dépôt (see People on the Move for complete run-down of the new buying structure). Jones now divides his time between Montréal and Brampton, with a lot of travel to Windsor, ON in preparation for the next Building Box opening, which will take place in that city around June 1. The restructuring is part of a larger initiative by Réno-Dépôt's new CEO, Sylvain Toutant, who took the helm back in November, 2001. Toutant cleared out almost 70 managers and channel last month in an effort to streamline the chain of command in the firm and to get management closer to the customer.
Canadian Tire 31.65 18.50 30.30
Canfor 12.60 8.08 10.16
Emco 9.55 3.35 9.40
Goodfellow 11.40 8.00 11.10
Home Depot 53.73 30.30 48.77
Hudson's Bay 20.10 12.50 14.84
Lowe's Cos. 48.88 24.99 43.59
Sears Canada 25.00 12.50 21.15
Sodisco-Howden 2.63 0.75 1.92
Taiga Forest 12.75 7.00 11.80
West Fraser 44.42 26.13 41.00
Ace Hardware Canada is currently testing a website for its dealers. It features an online catalogue searchable by product or SKU number and will include Ace flyers, enabling dealers to place orders against them simply by clicking on featured products. The site will eventually handle account information for dealers, as well. TruServ Canada Cooperative Inc. will hold its national merchandise market April 22-23 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. More than 500 vendors will showcase their wares to 600-plus member dealers from across Canada. GSW Inc. has bought American Water Heater Co. in Johnson City, TN from Southcorp Ltd. According to GSW, this acquisition makes it the third-largest water heater manufacturer in North America. The move is part of the company's strategy to grow its core businesses. AWHC and GSW Water Heating, based in Fergus, ON, will operate as separate companies. 84 Lumber's ambition to be the U.S.'s largest contractor-oriented building centre company came closer to reality last week when it opened another 20 stores, bringing its total to 434. Most of the stores are former Payless Cashway outlets. Johns Manville is converting its production of fibreglass insulation to an entirely formaldehyde-free formulation. The company began using a resin-based binder in all its insulation in the U.S. beginning in March, and will start making the switch in Canada by August. MFG2D Marketing Ltd. will merge with Thericon Inc., a company founded by industry veteran David Mackenzie, whose background includes CanWel, Homecare Building Centres and, most recently, Tim-BR-Marts. MFG2D is an electronic ordering system that allows independent home improvement retailers to buy directly from participating manufacturers without having to rely on a distributor. CORRECTION: When we reported how strong Sico's results were a couple of weeks ago (so before the glasses were fixed, right? - Editor), you might have wondered what we were talking about. Seems we missed a decimal place when stating 2001 sales. They were actually $244 million. - Michael
Luc Nantel, formerly general merchandising manager, is now vice-president of merchandising at Réno-Dépôt in Montréal. A reorganized buying team answers to him, headed by Joseph Piro, general merchandising manager for electrical, lighting, plumbing, flooring décor and paint … The other general merchandising manager is James Jones, who went from being general merchandising manager for Building Box in Ontario to general merchandising manager for both Réno-Dépôt and Building Box for lumber, building materials, millwork, hardware, seasonal and nursery … Hubert Robitaille is national merchandising manager for lumber, building materials and millwork … Jean Lamarche is national merchandising manager for hardware and tools … Michel Pilote is electrical buyer … Florian Dupuis handles plumbing and kitchen … Fillipo Tomasino handles paint and décor … Jean-Claude Fortier is buyer for flooring … Donato Cerone has had seasonal added to his nursery portfolio. (514-270-8111) Chris Taylor has joined Cameron Ashley Building Products as marketing and communications manager, based in their Mississauga, ON office. He was formerly with a small marketing agency. (905-677-9471)
A new study by the Royal Bank of Canada indicates that the fuel for the new housing market will come from renters who decide to buy. More than one-third of renters in Canada intend to buy their own home within the next two years, up from 32% a year ago. By comparison, the number of Canadian homeowners who plan to buy a new home during the same period fell from 21% to 18%.
"I'm sure that other companies have developed this for anywhere from $2,000 to $200,000. But we've done it on an investment of $200 - by purchasing the manual." - Stan Sauer, vice-president operations and administration for Ace Hardware Canada, on the development of Ace's new dealer website, which was constructed in-house.
What do Women Want? Peer to Peer Evening Social Join the Women's Consumer Products Network for an evening social at the Tower Garden Cafe in the Mississauga City Hall, 5:30-8:00 p.m. Featuring Jill Dunn, a trainer/facilitator with Peak Performance, a training organization that is dedicated to helping their clients reach their full potential by focusing on continuous development of personal and professional management skills. For members only, but call for more information: 416-208-0688; Fax: 905-274-7646; e-mail: wcpn99@yahoo.com (Hardlines is proud to be a sponsor of the WCPN)
****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. TIME IS MONEY You're a successful Hardlines industry professional. In today's competitive marketplace, that means that you're likely starved for time, busily pursuing your employer's financial goals and leaving little time for family, friends and hobbies. So, who is helping you with your hard-earned savings to ensure you reach your own investment goals? Having been a member of the Hardlines industry community for over 25 years, I understand your needs and wish to serve a select number of Hardlines executives as your family's wealth manager. Call or e-mail me today to arrange for a confidential discussion. Don't delay, because as you yourself have said before - "time is money". Mark Flor, MBA - Investment Advisor, BMO Nesbitt Burns, Private Client Division. Tel. 416-359-7649, E-mail address : mark.flor@nbpcd.com *********************************************************************************** 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) *********************************************************************************** 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
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.