"Almost everything that is great has been done by youth."— Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

McLarney named NRHA Managing Director

The North American Retail Hardware Association Canada (NRHA Canada) has named Michael McLarney as its new managing director. McLarney has been a fixture on the Canadian retail hardware scene for more than 20 years. He is best known for his current role as editor and publisher of Hardlines, the weekly electronic newsletter for the retail home improvement industry, and through his leadership in running the annual Canadian Hardlines Conference. Both these ventures are operated by McLarney and his business partner, Beverly Allen, through their Toronto-based company, Hardlines Inc. While serving as managing director of NRHA Canada, McLarney will continue his involvement with Hardlines Inc. and manage NRHA Canada out of the Hardlines’ World Headquarters. “We felt that this opportunity to manage and represent NRHA Canada was a very good fit for us,” McLarney says. “It provides us with one more way to deliver information and services to Canada’s home improvement industry, and that is what Hardlines has always been about.” In his dual role with NRHA Canada and Hardlines, McLarney says that there are many synergies that can be utilized to the benefit of Canadian hardware retailers, but he is quick to point out that both entities will operate separately. “I think it is very important for the industry to understand that, while representing NRHA Canada, Hardlines will remain as the independent voice and source for breaking news within the industry that it has always been,” McLarney says. To reinforce the distinction, McLarney will step away from his day-to-day duties as editor of Hardlines. He will be replaced by Vicky Sanderson, who has extensive experience covering the home enhancement industry from both a business and consumer perspective. (see Appointments) Under McLarney’s leadership, NRHA Canada will seek to heighten its profile throughout Canada and make more Canadian home improvement retailers aware of the information and training services the association provides to its members. “We will look to maintain a very high profile by attending industry shows, visiting retailers around the country and ensure that NRHA Canada takes a more prominent role in our Hardlines Conference and the National Hardware Show – Canada.”

↑ top

Lowe’s foresees profitable Canadian startup

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Lowe’s first international expansion will be in Southern Ontario later this year, and the company expects those stores to be profitable quickly. While the world’s second-largest home improvement retailer hopes to have as many as 100 stores here over time, its initial foray will land fewer than 10 before the end of this year. Even though those stores will be clustered in the Greater Toronto Area of Southern Ontario, their limited number will pose some challenges from a distribution standpoint. “Our focus is on the GTA now,” Gary Bridgeford, executive vice-president business development for Lowe’s Cos., told a meeting of business analysts late last year. “But over the next couple of years, our goal is to get a significant store count and be able to scale from a logistics standpoint.” Robert Niblock, chairman and CEO of Lowe’s, pointed out that a number of parallels exist between Toronto and many larger U.S. cities, which experience higher sales than some stores in secondary markets. He said he expects greater volume from these Toronto-area stores, as well. In fact, he added, “We expect just about all our Canadian stores to make money in year one.”

↑ top

New home construction gets slow start, picks up in March

OTTAWA — Bad weather adversely affected Canada’s housing market in the first quarter of this year, as seasonally adjusted starts were down more than 10% for the period, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. However, despite the quarterly drop, by March starts were on the rebound, with the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts climbing 9.1% from February to 177,900 units. Urban multiple starts rose 12% to 92,700 units in March, while single starts increased 6.2% to 85,200 units. Increases occurred in all regions except the Atlantic. The Prairies led the way with a 26.2% increase, followed by British Columbia at 11.3%, and Quebec with 10.5%.  In Ontario, urban starts remained relatively flat. Urban multiple starts increased in all regions except in the Atlantic and Ontario, while urban single starts were up in all regions. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 33,000 units in March. Actual starts in rural and urban areas combined, were down an estimated 8.8% in the first quarter of 2007 compared to the same period in 2006. Actual starts in urban areas alone were down an estimated 10.3%. Actual single starts in urban areas were 16.3% lower than they were a year earlier, while actual urban multiple starts were down 5.3%. And while March showed a definite upturn, building intentions of contractors for the next few months are not as positive. Canada's record-setting pace of construction intentions came to an abrupt halt in February, as the value of building permits plunged to its lowest level in a year, down 22.4% from February 2006. Rising costs of both home construction and financing could further dampen the housing market through the remainder of the year. In fact, CMHC forecasts that starts will be down to 209,500 from 227,395 in 2006. The cost of new housing was up 0.5% in February from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, contractors’ selling prices for homes were up 10%, just below the 10.1% registered in January.

↑ top

Blake’s initiatives pay dividends for Home Depot stores

TORONTO — A move to tidy up its stores and return to more orderly, merchandising driven presentations is just one of Frank Blake’s initiatives that’s paying off. Blake, who was appointed chairman and CEO of Home Depot in February, has been pushing for the return to such basic tenets as empowering associates with the product knowledge to take care of customers, and improving the shopping environment. The latter initiative has special resonance for Home Depot’s Canadian stores, which are faced with the imminent arrival of Lowe’s. Other initiatives being urged by the head office in Atlanta include increasing product availability, avoiding out-of-stocks, and finding and developing exciting new products. Home Depot is also putting more focus than ever on the contractor customer. “The other great segment of our customer base is the pro,” Gino DiGioacchino, vice-president of merchandising for Home Depot Canada, recently told a group of manufacturers at a breakfast meeting held by the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturers Association. “Serving that customer is a big focus for Home Depot,” he said. But price alone cannot be successful in wooing the pro, he added. The retailer intends to keep building loyalty by developing support for its installer business.

↑ top

Hardlines Marketplace

Don't miss the products and services on the Hardlines web Marketplace ( https://hardlines.ca/html/marketplace.html ) And check out Hardlines Classifieds on the web ( https://hardlines.ca/html/classifieds.html )


Self-Motivated, Energetic Sales Representative ~ GTA

Safety – Integrity – Diversity – Quality - Customer Satisfaction – Efficiency – Innovation. These core values define our relationships with our customers and with each other. Delivering building solutions for 100 years, CGC Inc, is a highly successful manufacturer and marketer of gypsum, compound, grid and ceiling tile.  With a vision to be the leader in providing building solutions for our customers across Canada and an aggressive growth plan, there is a need to add a career-minded Sales Representative to our Ontario Sales Team.  Duties include promotion, sales and service of our products to dealers, distributors, architects, designers and contractors with a strong focus on ceiling tile and grid products. The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years building materials experience in sales and/or marketing, familiarity with both retail and commercial channels and post-secondary education in Business, Marketing or a related field. If you meet the necessary qualifications and possess a great desire to play on a team that recognizes performance with a highly competitive total compensation package and offers great opportunity for career growth, we want to hear from you. Please submit your resume and cover letter no later than Friday, May 4th, 2007 to: CGC Inc. Attn: Employment & Recruitment Manager Email: tmccarthy@cgcinc.com

Sales and Marketing Exec.

Highly accomplished Senior Executive with extensive experience and contacts in the US and Canadian retail/wholesale channels seeks new challenge. Expertise leading turnarounds, start-ups and refocusing underperforming sales and marketing organizations. Strategic thinker, analytical, creative problem solver, growth and profit driver.

Confidentiality assured: inquiry@gls-partners.com, 905-580-1769.

Category Manager

Work hard. Have fun. Make the Customer #1… It’s more than just a catch phrase at TSC Stores. It’s the essence of our corporate culture and the attitude we look for in the people we hire.   We believe our people are our number one asset.  It is why we invest heavily in developing their skills, empowering them to succeed and rewarding their contribution.  TSC Stores continues to grow with over 31 store locations currently located throughout Ontario. As we move forward we are looking at hiring a Category Manager – Clothing & Apparel. The Category Manager is responsible for all management initiatives of their assigned category including: category development and execution, product selection, vendor negotiations, pricing, communications and team development.  The Category Manager must ensure brand integrity and develop the framework and overall strategy to take a business to market. Successful candidates must have post secondary school education in Business, minimum 5 years experience as a Category Manger.  Detail oriented with the ability to "think outside the box" and demonstrated strength in business development.  We are looking for an energetic, self motivated individual who is a proven leader capable of developing and fostering a team environment.

If you are looking at pursuing a career in retail please submit your resume to: TSC Stores L.P Fax: 519-451-1235 Email: humanresources@tscstores.com

Building Products Sales Representative

Looking for the opportunity to work from home covering a territory west of Toronto to Windsor, north to Georgian Bay?  In the home improvement industry for decades, our Ontario Client seeks a building materials sales professional to call on an existing distributor and contractor customer base, in addition to developing new opportunities. You provide the enthusiasm, motivation and sales expertise…the company will in turn supply a great team to work with, in addition to a stellar reputation and all of the tools to make your job efficient including company vehicle, Blackberry, laptop and a home office… Installed sales product familiarity coupled with a comfort level using technology would be advantageous. Internal career growth is also a distinct possibility. To explore this opportunity in complete confidence, please contact Wolf Gugler (888-848-3006) or Lesley Fulton (905-985-3888) or email your resume to resumes@wolfgugler.com. Wolf Gugler & Associates Limited, www.wolfgugler.com. Offices in Canada and the U.S.  

Better Living Products is a dynamic, successful organization that is growing rapidly and is looking to expand the sales & marketing team.  Located in Woodbridge, Ontario Better Living Products is an international manufacturer and distributor of bath & shower organizational products to the retail trade, and pioneers of the original award-winning shower organizer The Dispenser™.Â

Our range of new product introductions along with our aggressive plans to grow into new international markets and channels has opened up immediate positions in our sales & marketing department.  We are seeking key people to join our growing team and fill the following positions:

  • National Sales Manager – Canada
  • National Sales Manager – USA
  • Key Account Managers – Canada, USA and Export
  • Sales & Marketing Coordinator
  • Email, Marketing and Web Specialist
All positions will be based at our world-wide corporate headquarters in Woodbridge, Ontario.  Industry experience is required.  We offer competitive wages, benefits and a fun working environment.  Please submit your resume and salary expectations to Camillo Caperchione, Vice President Sales & Marketing at camillo@dispenser.com


Bon L is a leading manufacturer of aluminium and fiberglass ladders in Canada.  Our business strategy is to act like a small business with superior customer service and large capacity to deliver. We are currently seeking a sales representative who is dynamic, self driven and able to source new customers and well as maintaining existing cutomers. The Sales Representative is responsible for developing sales plans and strategies for their assigned territory, establishing sales goals, development goals and customer visit schedules; works closely with existing customers to maintain the accounts and to increase sales volume while identifying potential opportunities with new customers. This position will call on large retail stores, industrial distributors, wholesalers, companies belonging to buying groups, box stores and owners of small businesses to review product displays and explore new opportunities; completes all requested reports on sales, achievements vs objectives, customer visits, retail price surveys, customer development and expenses, as well as work assigned trade shows, and special customer functions such as sales meetings and product knowledge/training sessions. Reports directly to the Business Unit Manager - Ladders. Qualifications:
  • Four year college or University degree preferably in sales, marketing or equivalent
  • 5 to 10 years sales/marketing experience in the consumer and industrial market
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Well organized and good problem solver
  • High energy level and self motivated team player
  • Good working knowledge of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the internet
  • Valid driver’s license
Working conditions:
  • Located in the Greater Toronto Area, the incumbent will be required to travel to customer and company locations by automobile or air
  • Normal work schedule is Monday – Friday with occasional need for overtime and weekend work
  • Atomobile, expense account, extensive benefits and competitive salary.
All interested, qualified applicants must submit their resumes no later than Friday, April 20, 2007, no later than 4:00 p.m. to : Manager Human Resources 1850 Clements Road, Pickering, ON  L1W 3R8

or by:

Fax: 905-427-2239 or e-mail: bdesilets@bonlalum.com


LOCATION: Montreal/Quebec City THE COMPANY: Progressive, Service Oriented Lumber/ Building Materials Distributor is expanding into the Quebec Market SPECIFIC JOB REQUIREMENTS:
  • Proven success pioneering building products/services into the Quebec Market
  • Established contacts at both head office and retail store levels
  • Self Motivated, work independently, run local branch office
  • A strategic selling approach with the ability to both plan and execute
  • A passion for the business and looking for new challenges and opportunities
  • Must be fluent in both French and English (written and verbal)
  • Co ordinate the start-up of a new lumber/building materials branch in Quebec
  • Develop a plan to attain market share within the province and then execute
  • Introduce the company to the Quebec Market
  • Work with Quebec Head Offices to establish Quebec Specific programs
  • Sell existing products to Lumber and Building Centres in Quebec.
  • Competitive salary and bonus
  • Generous benefit package
  • Final compensation will be dependent on candidate’s experience and background.

Please forward all resumes to ncfpinfo@gmail.com


  • 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 $2.75 per word for three weeks in the classifieds.
  • To place your ad, call isabel bisong at 416-489-3396 or email: isabel@hardlines.ca