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April 25, 2011, Volume xvii, #17

“The strongest man in the world is the man who stands alone.”
—Henrik Ibsen (Norwegian playwright and poet, 1828-1906)

TruServ’s new banner focuses on community 

WINNIPEG — At the TruServ Spring Market last week, company president Bill Morrison announced a new banner for independent dealers. The group, now owned by RONA, will encourage its True Value hardware and building centre dealers to replace that banner with the “TRU” name, which will be used in three formats: TRU Hardware, TRU Building Centre, and TRU Farm & Garden. The conversion is expected to be completed by late fall and the bulk of the costs related to the conversion will be assumed by TruServ, not the dealers.

The name change dovetails with two situations. The Canadian rights to the True Value name, licensed at a hefty price tag from The True Value Company in Chicago, come up for renewal in October. Rather than renew, TruServ Canada and RONA are reinforcing the mandate to build an all-Canadian company by creating a banner that is itself distinctly Canadian.

Morrison says the takeover by RONA was the springboard for re-evaluating every part of the TruServ business. “We looked at all the things we did as a company — location, strategies, marketing — and our brands.” Through focus groups with both customers and dealers, the marketing teams at RONA and TruServ identified changes at the dealer level, including a new generation of younger dealer-owners who are more connected both through the internet and to their own communities.

Licensing the True Value name has been costly, as well. With the latest five-year licensing agreement about to expire in October 2011, “We thought the time was right to be a real Canadian brand,” Morrison says.

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TIM-BR MARTS adds new dealers, increases services

CALGARY — TIM-BR MARTS Ltd. has added three new dealers representing 11 new locations to their Canada-wide network. They are: Burnco Rock Products Ltd., a family-owned construction aggregates business with five outlets in British Columbia and Alberta; Morrow’s of Drumbo, Drumbo, ON; and St. Alban’s Building Supplies of St. Alban’s, NL, owned by Mike Strickland, which carries a wide selection of lumber, building materials, and hardware.

Expansion efforts by TIM-BR MARTS tie in with other initiatives from the group, most notably its recent trade show held earlier this month in Toronto. That event, in turn, was a showcase for more than just products by 240 preferred vendors. It offered a way for the giant buying group to promote its growing range of services to its 700-plus dealers across the country.

TIM-BR MARTS must not just help the dealer to buy better, but to sell better, as well, says Steve Stremecki, who was recently appointed vp corporate development, moving from a role in retail services. The role, heading up a new division at the group that includes recruitment, reflects TIM-BR MARTS’ emphasis on growing its dealer ranks.

According to Stremecki, the addition of new members develops “critical mass and gives us the opportunity to be better at the science of retail and to understand space in the store. We are increasing the variety and velocity of those products.”

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RONA’s Dutton expresses concern over foreign ownership

TORONTO — Robert Dutton, CEO of RONA inc., appeared before the Economic Club of Canada last week to present his vision of the Canadian economy amidst the global scene. He shared his concern that already half of Canadian retail is foreign-owned, with that poised to rise to 70% in a few short years.

The growth of RONA, which includes the recent acquisition of TruServ Canada, reflects Dutton’s vision to build a strong Canadian company that creates jobs and wealth for Canadians.

He acknowledged the success of homegrown companies such as Loblaw — and RONA — but asked the question, could they remain competitive against international competitors? Pointing again to his own company, he said, “In 2010, our share of the Canadian market was higher than Lowe’s and Home Depot’s combined. And nearly 55% of our sales are in Ontario and Western Canada. When I tell this story, it is often received with typical Canadian disbelief. The truth is, despite the enormous visibility of Home Depot and Lowe’s, our sector — hardware and renovation — is still largely dominated by Canadian companies, which account for over 80% of the market.

“What I want to say is that the arrival of multinational giants does not signal the death of national players — in either the short term or the long term.”

In an interview with HARDLINES, Dutton (shown immediate right with our Editor) said RONA’s own plans for international expansion are being carefully considered. The first step would be the U.S., but focus right now is on expansion of the company’s commercial division, Noble, which is looking south of the border for new commercial-industrial wholesalers to acquire.

On the home improvement side, Dutton says any acquisition will be of a hardware distribution business. He adds that there’s still lots of room for further consolidation of the Canadian market, however, before RONA looks to grow the home improvement business internationally.

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Lumber Liquidators opens doors for Canadian suppliers

TOANO, VA — Jeff Griffiths, president and CEO of Lumber Liquidators, says his company’s entry into Canada is an important part of the hardwood flooring etailer’s expansion plans for the next five years. With three stores already in place in the Greater Toronto Area, and another that just opened in Barrie, ON, the company plans a total of eight for this year, with up to 40 over the next four to five years.

Griffiths says Canadian tastes are largely similar to those of U.S. consumers. However, products such as the chain’s own brand, Bellawood, are currently being finished and shipped from mainly out of its Toano distribution center. Imported product from China is usually shipped direct to Canada from the Orient.

However, Griffiths likes to buy a lot of product locally, and says he is talking to mills here in Canada already. He adds that the market for hardwood flooring in Canada is actually stronger than in the U.S. South of the border, hardwood accounts for only 14% of the market, while it’s closer to 23% here.

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 Lawn & garden a focal point of National Hardware Show

NORWALK, CT — The Lawn & Garden/Outdoor Living area at the National Hardware Show has added more exhibiting companies this year, reflecting the growing trends of outdoor rooms, “staycations,” and organic and “grow-your-own” gardening.

The show, which will be held May 10-12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will feature more than 600 exhibitors of barbecue grills and accessories, fencing, fertilizers, flower plants, gardening tools, apparel and accessories, garden ponds and fountains, seasonal décor and supplies, irrigation equipment, outdoor lighting, patio furniture, etc.

Derril Linseman, product manager – lawn and garden for Home Hardware Stores Ltd., says lawn and garden is an important category to view at the National Hardware Show. “I always find not just new products, but also the latest trends in colours, styles, what's hot and what's not,” he says. “The number of quality vendors and products continues to grow. It is an important starting point for our selection of product for the next season.”

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OLFA – North America

Location: Greater Toronto Area
Position: Key Account Manager (KAM)

Responsible for the sales relationship to assigned key regional or national account(s) for OLFA - North America. Develops, implements, and executes sales programs to maintain and profitably grow product distribution. This position is accountable for servicing existing customers programs, as well as identifying new initiatives to increase the product offerings with our customers.


  • Manage account base within assigned channel
  • Execute sales strategies linked to the company and sales division goals
  • Develop campaigns, promotions across product categories
  • Analyze assortments and make recommendations to customers
  • Research and evaluate customer and vendor competition through competitive positioning analysis and bench-marking
  • Resolve customer concerns and provide solutions that meet the needs of the customer and OLFA - North America
  • Track, enter and report customer needs and orders and update system as needed


  • BA /BS in Business, marketing or related field, or equivalent experience
  • 2-4 years of experience in sales environment (hardware industry preferred)
  • Strong presentation, verbal and written communication skills
  • High attention to customer service
  • Ability to travel (30% travel required)
  • Must be bilingual

OLFA – North America

No agencies, please.

We appreciate your response; however, only candidates under consideration will be contacted.



Henkel Canada Corporation has an exciting role as a National Team Leader that can based in Mississauga, Ontario, Calgary, Alberta, or Vancouver, British Columbia.  This position is responsible for building business for Henkel Adhesives in the Window/Door/Siding/Lumber channels in Canada. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Develop annual sales plan to support company and customer goals.
  •  Develop focused quarterly goals to support the marketing of each product line as it relates to customer.
  • Generate additional revenue and maintain/grow profits utilizing available company and customer tools
  • Create new product and programs with existing buyers & departments.
  • Review and evaluate customer needs relative to logistics, pricing, and other corporate (customer) goals.
  • Set promotions as required to meet objectives with customers.
  • Responsible for forecasting


  • Post -Secondary education, preferably in a business discipline.
  • 5+ years of sales experience in the siding, window, or lumber industries.
  • Must have previous account responsibility relevant to the Canadian professional market.
  • Strong PC/Software knowledge.
  • Strong analytical, management and decision-making skills.
  • Excellent communication and relationship building skills.



Key Account Manager – Gardening & Water Division


  • Work with assigned key national accounts to grow existing business and drive new listings
  • Manage and implement corporate strategies, promotions, programmes and objectives
  • Accurately manage sales forecasts for assigned customers
  • Manage account events (shows, store walks etc) to ensure timely and effective outcomes
  • Research and analyze the Canadian retail landscape and GW’s competitors
  • Analyze and adapt new strategies to react to changing business trends.


  • Previous experience as a National/Key Account Manager
  • A degree or diploma in Business Administration
  • Experience with seasonal/lawn & garden products
  • Ability to multi-task and perform under tight deadlines
  • SAP experience a strong asset
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Must have excellent presentation skills, as well as effective verbal and written communication skills.

BOSCH is recognized worldwide for high-quality products, technical innovation and outstanding service. If you are a team player looking to demonstrate your drive and initiative, please send your resume, in confidence, to:

Robert Bosch Inc., Attn: Human Resources
6955 Creditview Road, Mississauga, Ontario, L5N 1R1

No agencies, please.

We appreciate your response; however, only candidates under consideration will be contacted.


Premier Ceramics, a leading ceramic tile distributor in Ontario is seeking a territory sales representative to service customers in the GTA and southern Ontario market.

Competitive salary and incentive program.

Reporting to the Director of Sales & Marketing, responsibilities will include direct account management, achieving sales targets and contributing to development of sales and marketing programs.

Key competencies include proven ability to generate new revenue streams and effectively maintain customer relationships, strong communication skills, good analytical skills, ability to work independently and detail oriented.

Minimum 3 years field sales experience preferable in the flooring /ceramic tile industry.

Respond by email to: info@premierceramics.com


A well established North American  based consumer products  company is looking to acquire a small to medium size  importer, distributor, dot com provider or manufacturer currently doing business in the DIY or Mass Merchant category, relevant product profile could include seasonal, furniture, décor, building materials or  millwork products to leading retailers or distributors in Canada and/ or USA.

Interested parties please fax or email their contacts and brief company overview to Mr. Alan Silverman CA Kraft Berger LLP Chartered Accountants

3160 Steeles Avenue East, Suite 300, Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 3Y2 Fax: 905 475 9360 Email: asilverman@kbllp.ca.  

All responses will be treated in complete confidentiality.



  • A conscientious, highly motivated manager with a results-oriented track record in developing new business. view this resumé Back to top
  • A goal oriented sales director that has superior management skills, customer oriented, with in depth knowledge of the industry and the ability to achieve results. view this resumé Back to top
  • An experienced merchandising executive possessing passion, vision, and a strategic approach to delivering bottom-line. view this resumé Back to top
  • Senior sales/marketing leader with experience in all classes of trade wishing new HARDLINES career. view this resumé Back to top
  • Very Experienced Business Unit Manager, great passion for generating sales and building relastionships.view this resumé Back to top
  • Worked through my career within the manfucaturer, wholesale and consumer goods industries. view this resumé Back to top
  • Senior Sales Manager with vast experience in retail and wholesale sales growth in Canada. view this resumé Back to top

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