April 28, 2014 Volume
"Assumption is the mother of screwup.”
—Angela Donghia (American designer, 1935-85 )
Home Depot stores become showrooms for online shoppers
TORONTO — Home Depot Canada has upgraded the merchandising in 56 of its stores to showcase some upscale products that are not even available to purchase in-store. The most significant addition to its lines for the spring season is a new line of patio furniture by Brown & Jordan, which has begun making a private-label line for Home Depot under its Hampton Bay brand. While the products are being showcased in bricks-and-mortar environments, they can only be bought online.
According to Aaron Jarosz, Home Depot’s senior merchant for seasonal, this is the first time the retailer is showing online exclusives in stores. Other products that are being showcased include storage sheds and barbecues.
“That online space has been growing and growing,” Jarosz adds. “Customers are getting accustomed to buying products online.”
Home Depot is offering home delivery of the large-cube items for $39.
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Made in Canada: does it matter?
SPECIAL REPORT — Waves of imports that have penetrated virtually every product category, not just in home improvement, but in every facet of consumer spending, apparently haven’t undermined the iconic status of “Made in Canada” in the minds of many consumers.
However, far fewer shoppers are actually putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to paying more for a product simply because its packaging bears a maple leaf.
“People vote with their pocketbooks,” observes David Webb, president of Quest Brands, which makes barricade tape, garden fencing, and meshes at its plant in London, Ont., but also brings in imports to balance its product mix and price-point offerings.
With access to products from around the world, price trumps national pride as often as not. This is true even on the professional side, where quality usually dictates sales. Home-improvement retailers of hardlines and building products, while not abandoning domestic suppliers, have continued to shift their inventories toward imports their stores can sell at higher margins and still accommodate the public’s demand for quality and low prices.
Still, domestic manufacturers believe that a “Made in Canada” stamp can help to cement that trust with a certain number of customers, especially after recent well publicized callbacks of defective imports. Indeed, several suppliers are expanding their production and distribution capacities in anticipation of future demand both in Canada and the United States.
(Excerpted from the special “Made in Canada” report that appears in the latest issue of our quarterly magazine, Hardlines Home Improvement Quarterly. HHIQ is being mailed now to more than 11,000 dealers and managers across the country. —Michael)
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FedEx outlets to appear in Home Hardware stores
ST. JACOBS, Ont. — Home Hardware Stores has unveiled a new partnership with courier company FedEx. FedEx Canada has inked a deal with Home Hardware which will allow it to set up full-service shipping centres in participating dealer-operators’ stores.
The FedEx “Authorized ShipCentres” will be rolled out across Canada in a series of implementation waves throughout the year, giving FedEx a major expansion of its own retail footprint.
The partnership is expected to work on a number of levels. With the increasing number of home-based businesses in the country, the potential placement of Fedex stores in up to 1,000-plus locations provides a convenient solution. More importantly, FedEx Express Canada had forecasted that 60% of Canadians did some form of online shopping during the 2013 holiday season. In order to meet that growing demand for online fulfillment, transportation companies are required to offer more local “points-of-access” options for drop-off and pick-up.
Customers coming in for Fedex services will also be good candidates for shopping for their hardware needs.
The program was actually introduced at Home Hardware’s Fall Market in September 2013, where the trial program was said to have attracted a lot of interest from the dealers.
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Don Sherwood to retire from Atlantic Association
MONCTON, N.B. — Don Sherwood, long-time president of the Atlantic Building Supply Dealers Association, has announced his plans to retire. The news becomes official at the ABSDA’s annual general meeting on May 8. “Definitely, I will be retiring and the transition will take place right after the meeting,” Sherwood says.
He joined the association, which today has 625 active members, in January 1998. He came over from the wholesale side, having served before that for 24 years as general manager of Coates Distributors.
The ABSDA board will begin a search for Sherwood’s replacement by June or July at the latest, with the expectation that a new president will be named by October. He says he doesn’t expect to stay on too long after that. “It won’t be a long parallel. Basically, I’d be on call until the [Atlantic Building Materials] show in the second week of February. “And,” he adds, “my swan song will be at the show.”
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RONA presents opportunities for vendors
BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — RONA is attempting to clarify its position with suppliers and to offer new opportunities for them to do business together.
According to Alain Brisebois, RONA’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer, who spoke to a group of vendors here earlier in the spring, the company is attempting to simplify doing business with each of its retail formats.
First, he said, RONA’s specialty big box chain in Quebec, Réno-Dépôt, has been re-merchandised, and each store standardized to a more conventional warehouse-style format, suited to contractors and heavy DIYers. That standardization goes right through to its product assortments. The individual stores, said Brisebois, will not be allowed to make their own decisions regarding assortment and merchandising. That function has been centralized to a dedicated Réno-Dépôt buying team.
The advantage, he said, is in maintaining a strong in-stock position on all items, and in being able to execute on category dominant flyer opportunities.
RONA has also been going through category reviews for all its stores, with a priority placed on plumbing. He promised the launch of a new retail category, as well.
RONA’s proximity stores will also get a makeover. SKUs in stores such as its Lansing RONA and Totem outlets will be realigned, reflecting a more regional mix.
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Don't miss the Hardlines Meet The Buyers Seminar This Wednesday!
No meeting is more sought after—yet more dreaded—
than a face-to-face with a major buyer.
So who better to help you prepare for these meetings than the buyers themselves? At the Hardlines Meet the Buyer’s Breakfast, Canada’s leading hardware and home improvement buyers will explain to vendors what it takes to get listed in their stores.
Each buyer will represent their respective merchandising teams to tell vendors first-hand what preparations they need to make and what expectations they should have when they sit down with someone from their buying team.
“Meet the Buyers” brings both sides together in a casual information session, with lots of networking time available to talk one-on-one with the buyers themselves.
- Bob Sherwood, Former Vice President Merchandising, Lowe’s Canada
- Doug Keeling, Buyer for LBM, Carpet & Floor Coverings, and Paint, Castle Building Centres Group Ltd.
- Catherine Vaugh, Category Manager for Paint & Décor, Chalifour Canada
- Brett Hammers, Sr. Vice President Merchandising and Marketing, Orgill
2014 WHO’S WHO DIRECTORY LAUNCH
This event will coincide with the launch of our new 2014 edition of our annual Who’s Who directory. The Who’s Who lists over 75 of the top home improvement customers in Canada and features:
Pre-order your copy with your ticket to this event and you’ll save 50% off the regular price. And you can pick it up right at the event. For more information about the Who’s Who Directory click here.
- Key buyers and their categories
- Key executives and management teams
- Number of stores owned or served and buying group affiliations
- Annual sales and key categories served
- Breakdown of customers by type
- Address, phone and fax, emails and websites
Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre
801 Dixon Road, Toronto, ON.
April 30, 2014
Hot breakfast and registration: 8:00am
First speaker: 8:45am
Event end: 11:30am
eNewsletter Subscriber: $119
Non Subscribers: $169
EVENT + WHO’S WHO DIRECTORY
eNewsletter Subscriber: ($119 + $99) $218
Non Subscribers: ($169 + $199) $368
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW!