"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." James Thurber (American humourist, 1894 - 1961)

Innovation is the star of latest Home Hardware market

ST. JACOBS, Ont. — Home Hardware dealers who attended the company's spring market, which ran here April 15-17, were hungry for new products in new categories to expand their assortments and create excitement in their stores. A special focus on higher-end items was reflected across all categories. As an example, Bill Ferguson, dealer support manager for Home Hardware Stores Ltd., pointed to new lines of premium-end consumer products, such as Weber's Genesis barbecues. "Ten years ago, we sold a barbecue for $165 and we wondered if we could sell the tank as well," he explains. "Now that consumers are getting a bit older and have fought with the older grill, they're ready to step up to the next level." The trend is evident by the inclusion of several new items into the product mix, such as Weiser's next generation of keyless and self-keying locksets, and premium quality washers and dryers from manufacturers such as LG Electronics. Ferguson added that dealers are also responding enthusiastically to Home Hardware partnerships that add value to their relationship with customers, including the loyalty program Aeroplan, which the company launched in March, and an ongoing association with Mark Cullen to promote green gardening. About 5,600 dealers and staff, representing  about 80% of Home's 1,000 stores, walked the market, which saw record attendance this year. As for the word on the floor, Ferguson noted that dealers continue to enjoy healthy growth, despite the widely-reported slowdown in the construction and real-estate markets. "The industry still looks very buoyant, and it's still being fuelled by all the life-style shows," he says.  Potential for growth also exists within the demographic of young consumers who, thanks to a strong youth employment market, are beginning to move out of the nest into their own homes.

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RONA announces three more big boxes in the Montreal region

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — RONA inc. has announced plans to open three new big-box stores in the Greater Montreal Area. Construction of a RONA L'entrepôt is already under way in Pierrefonds, and will open this summer. Before that time, construction of two more stores will begin — a Réno-Dépôt in Candiac and a RONA L'entrepôt in Brossard on the South Shore. The Brossard project represents the relocation of an existing store, on Taschereau Blvd., to a shopping mall in a busy sector of the city. These three projects represent a total investment of nearly $75 million and will create more than 325 jobs. RONA already operates 40 big-box stores in Quebec. The company plans to open a total of 15 big-box and "proximity" stores this year. The Pierrefonds store, which broke ground in fall 2006 at 3933 St‑Charles, is an 80,000-square-foot outlet that's owned 100% by RONA. The layout will be based on the new RONA big-box concept, with three separate zones: a seasonal and gardening zone, a renovation and interior decoration zone, and a zone for construction materials and basic products. It will be joined by a 100,000-square-foot Réno-Dépôt in the Carrefour Candiac mega-mall, at the intersection of Highways 15, 30 and 132. It's slated to open in spring 2008. The corporately owned store will be based on RONA's new Réno-Dépôt big-box concept, which was introduced last fall in its Rimouski store. (Check out our latest issue of Hardlines Quarterly Report for a full report on this store. Click here for more info! — Editor) Finally, the current Brossard store is being relocated to the new Quartier Dix30 commercial zone at the southeast corner of the junction of Highways 10 and 30, for an opening in late 2007. The new store, like the existing Taschereau location, will be co-owned by RONA and a group of RONA dealer-owners.

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TIM-BR MARTS creates new field support team

CALGARY — In an effort to drive increased support for its existing programs, TIM-BR MARTS Ltd., the giant LBM buying group, has formed a team of managers to work with its members. Called dealer development managers, they will be charged with strengthening relations with existing TIM-BR MART members, rather than recruiting new dealers. The new team will be responsible for ensuring TIM-BR MART retail members and their staff maximize TIM-BR MART marketing programs and other initiatives, such as flyers and in-store POP, as well as a dealer intranet site and TSG non-core programs for its commercial and industrial members. The team will also increase awareness and usage of the Moneris POP system, TIM-BR MART gift cards, the group's private-label credit cards, Air Miles, Homeplans and TIM-BR MART's involvement in the SpanCan hardware buying organization. "TIM-BR MARTS' retail services team is focused and working hard on delivering new and innovative ways for our members to increase sales and profitability," says Steve Stremecki, vice-president for TIM-BR Marts.  "I believe you will agree that it is an exciting time to be a retail member of TIM-BR MARTS Ltd." The team is headed up by Jon Irwin as national dealer development manager. Irwin has been with the group for 15 years, most recently responsible for store design and merchandising. Reporting to him regionally is Paul Pettersone, who has been appointed dealer development manager for Northern and Eastern Ontario. Formerly a dealer representative for both Homecare Building Centres and Le Groupe BMR, he joined TIM-BR MARTS in December 2006. Gary Yokubouskis is dealer development manager in Western Canada. Most recently he was with CanWel, and then Madero Distribution. Rick Houghton has moved over from Guardian Building Products, where he was branch and business development manager, to become dealer development manager for TIM-BR MART's commercial and industrial members. (See "People on the move" for more appointments from TIM-BR MARTS — Editor)

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New wood preservative launched in Canada

TORONTO — More than 100 homebuilders, architects and housing industry professionals attended the launch of a new wood protection product called BluWood, which has been used in place of regular construction-grade lumber and sheathing at the Eden Oak Homes' Vellore Park, a housing development just north of here. Designed to protect all types of construction wood from mould, fungus, moisture and insect infestation, BluWood first hit the U.S. market six years ago, after many years of development by WoodSmart Solutions Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla. Earlier this year, Ontario-based wood treater Shelburne Wood Protection purchased exclusive rights to treat and market BluWood in Canada. The BluWood process is not conventional pressure-treating, but a two-part dipping process that infuses both a water-repellent, semi-permeable film and a fungicide and insecticide called Perfect Barrier DOT Wood Preservative. Vellore Park is the first complete housing project in Canada to use BluWood, which will also be used on housing projects in Toronto and Ottawa this summer. Alpa Lumber of Mississauga, Ont. has an agreement with Shelburne to supply the product to builders in the Greater Toronto Area and also Ottawa, but Shelburne will be looking for additional retail and lumberyard distribution in the months ahead, according to Erwin Leonov, vice-president for Shelburne/BluWood Canada's operations. "We've had two or three good meetings with Lowe's Canada and we're very hopeful of getting the business," Leonov said, indicating that Lowe's were familiar with the product from the U.S. "We certainly see this product as getting distribution through all the major Canadian banners, but it will be an evolving process and we'll have more to announce as we go along." For now, the Shelburne plant will provide product for all Canadian customers, but BluWood is looking to establish or contract wood treatment facilities across Canada to handle the process, Leonov said.  BluWood will soon be under production in Abbotsford, B.C. and a second, undisclosed, B.C. facility will follow soon after, he said. Leonov estimated BluWood would add "about $1.25 to $1.50 per square foot" to the selling price of a 2,000 square foot Canadian new home.

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Home Depot Canada admits to tough competition

TORONTO — Speaking recently to a group of manufacturers at a breakfast meeting held by the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturers Association, Gino DiGioacchino, vice-president merchandising for Home Depot Canada, admitted that the competition has been getting tougher over the past few years. Both RONA and Canadian Tire, said DiGioacchino, have made big improvements to their stores and their assortments. "And Home Hardware — wow — what's up with them? They've woken up!" he added, referring to the dealer-owned co-op's quiet, but highly effective, retailing strategy. "Retailers in Canada have really gotten sharper." The increased competition, DiGioacchino said, not only gives the customer more choice, but "it only makes you better."

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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 )


Bilingual Sales Manager

Sales Manager Position now available for manufacturer of stair components and other quality wood products.  Applicants must be bilingual in French and English, must possess extensive marketing knowledge relating to the industry and have some background in LBM. Please send resume to: ZWT, P.O. Box 729, Vankleek Hill, ON K0B 1R0   Attn: A. Alexander

National Account Manager

Working from the client's Toronto GTA office the National Account Manager will be responsible for consumer hardware head office accounts. The ideal candidate will have a proven record of sales to head offices. You will be computer literate and have a record of achievement. This is a Tier One company, which provides a company car, excellent salary, bonus and benefit package. Please reply in confidence to Rick Harrison at A.E. Harrison & Partners Inc. (www.aeharrison.com) by email to mail@aeharrison.com.      (905-615-1577)

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 Available

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

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


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