Canada’s electronic information service for the home improvement industry

April 2, 2001

Volume vii, #13

Michael McLarney, Editor & Publisher

Phone: 416.489.3396

Fax: 416.489.6154


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* Rona to close Cashway facility next year

* Lansing holds its own amidst Toronto’s box wars

* Howden launches expanded private label program

* Newfoundland dealer continues on acquisition trail

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Rona is continuing consolidation of its Cashway operation with the wind down of the Cashway distribution centre in Port Hope, Ontario next year. The lease on the facility will expire in Spring 2002. This lease was last renewed at the time of Rona’s announced take over of Cashway Building Centres chain last winter. Staff at the Port Hope facility have been preparing for the eventual closing and subsequent move into Boucherville and Toronto facilities. Rick Blickstead, president and COO of Rona Retail Canada, views the change as “part of the ongoing plan to get synergies out of Cashway and into Rona.” Buying teams will start moving from Port Hope to Toronto in the next several weeks; this will include the majority of the marketing and merchandising personnel. Some of the administrative staff will be making the transition to Boucherville over the next several months. Blickstead did not disclose how many people will receive termination packages.




With more than two dozen big boxes within the trading area of Lansing Buildall’s eight Toronto area stores, the chain continues to hold its own and increase top line sales, says John Kitchen, president of the Lansing division of Revy Home Centres Inc., Lansing’s parent.

“Numbers have been where we want them to be, and they continue to be strong,” he adds. “We continue to see a shift in our customer base, though, a shift from consumer to contractor sales.” This, he notes, is part of Lansing’s strategic plan to remain viable against large-surface competitors.

Lansing is retaining its market share, while the growth in the company continues to come from its Revy stores. The fact Lansing holds its own despite having 25 boxes to compete alongside, however, “speaks volumes,” he says.

The Martin Grove Road store, which also houses Lansing’s distribution centre and its contractor distribution, was retrofitted last year and has enjoyed a 20% increase in sales year over year.

While he would not comment on Lansing’s bottom line, Kitchen says he expects it to improve as margins on commodities increase again and “as people wake up to the fact that they’re not making any money on [depressed commodity prices].”




Upon the March 30 expiry of the Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the U.S., Ottawa is trying to appoint a special envoy that will unite the fractious Canadian industry. The envoy’s job would be to seek common ground among the British Columbia, Québec, Atlantic and remanufacturing industries – all of which have different positions on how, or even whether, to negotiate with the U.S.

In an effort to track shipments, Ottawa will require Canadian exporters to get permits for all lumber going South, effective April 1.




Notre Dame Agencies in Newfoundland has purchased another independent building supply dealer in that province. Sunny Haven Home Centre, a dealer in Twillingate, was confirmed last week as the newest addition to the Lewisporte-based chain, which now features seven building centres and four furniture and electronics stores. Notre Dame is the largest member of the Castle buying group in the province, with sales of $27.6 million in 2000.

This latest deal follows Notre Dame’s previous acquisition in April 2000, when it bought up the Hickman’s store in Corner Brook.



The Howden division of Sodisco-Howden Group launched a broadened line of private label products under the PRO brand at its dealer show in Toronto this past weekend. Almost 400 SKUs were introduced, including tools, paint brushes, spray paints, light bulbs and snow shovels. A total of 2,000 SKUs are planned for the program within the next 18 months, and will include cleaning supplies and garden tools.

Rona Retail Canada launched its first Home Solutions store in Brampton, ON, on March 28. The new-concept big box store has attracted a lot of attention for what it touts as a reinvention of large-surface retailing, with increased emphasis on female shoppers and shopping as entertainment. The store includes 130,000 sq.ft. of retail, with a 20,000-sq.ft. garden centre, a drive-through lumber yard, plus new wrinkles such as its “Paint Café,” IKEA-style boutiques and multi-media information centres.

Canadian Tire and Sears Canada have joined the ranks of retailers who now bill their customers using Epost, the electronic post office system from Canada Post. Other Epost mailers include Petro Canada, and Costco. The Bay, Zellers, Holt Renfrew and Home Hardware have announced they, too, will join in the coming months.

International Forest Products Ltd. will combine forces with Primex Forest Products Ltd. in a takeover move calculated to revitalize the coastal industry. This transaction is expected to close in late April. Commencing in 1999, Primex undertook a major capital expenditure improvement program, which included a total of $32.9 million to develop the company's operating assets and improve returns.

Atlantic Pressure Treating Ltd. and Marwood Ltd. have amalgamated under the name of Marwood Inc., effective March 23, 2001. Marwood’s head office and manufacturing facilities will remain in Beaverdam, NB, with additional facilities in Brookfield and Bedford, NS.

Richelieu Hardware Ltd. has announced its results for the quarter ending February 28, 2001. Sales rose 17% to $46.9 million, compared with $40.2 million for the corresponding time in 2000. Net earnings before goodwill charges grew by 19%, to reach $4.8 million, up from $4.0 million for the first quarter of the previous year.

Home Depot in the U.S. saw its shares rise more than 4% after analysts' indications that lower interest rates are keeping the U.S. housing market resilient despite a slowing economy. Shares are also being helped by hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve could cut interest rates even further in the immediate future in efforts to boost the economy and reignite consumer confidence.

Sears, Roebuck & Co. has agreed to acquire 18 former Montgomery Ward department stores, effective mid-April. Four of the locations will be converted to The Great Indoors, Sears remodelling and decorating retail concept. Fourteen of the former Wards locations will be converted to Sears stores, with Sears Auto Centres attached to three of these stores.



Dan O’Hara has been promoted to the newly created position of national sales manager at Can-Save. A ten-year veteran of the Barrie, ON-based wholesaler, O’Hara moves up from his position as territory rep for Central Ontario. (705-722-7283)

Imperial Manufacturing Group has appointed Richard Lépine as vice-president, sales and marketing, effective immediately. He will be relocating to the Montréal Imperial Kool Ray offices at the end of April ... Joe Landry is now vice-president, sales HVAC for the group. He will be concentrating on developing the Canadian, U.S. and European market.  (506-523-9117)

Home Depot in the U.S. has appointed Dennis Donovan as executive vice-president, human resources, effective April 2, 2001. Donovan will report to Bob Nardelli, president and CEO, and will be responsible for all human resources functions in the company’s stores and support centres. Donovan will join Home Depot on April 2 from Raytheon Co., where he has been senior vice-president of human resources since 1998. (770-433-8211)



COMPANY          52-WEEK HIGH            52-WEEK LOW         CLOSE (FRI.)

Canadian Tire      24.90                            15.05                                        22.65

Canfor                 19.80                            7.65                                            NA

Goodfellow          12.55                            8.50                                            9.00

Home Depot        70.00                            34.68                                        43.10

Hudsons Bay       19.10                            12.40                                        16.90

Lowe’s                67.25                            34.25                                        58.45

Sears Canada      41.00                            19.60                                        20.00

Taiga Forest        14.20                            6.80                                            7.20

West Fraser        38.00                            21.00                                        32.00


“All this post-modernism is theology without God. It’s unseemly.”

– Lionel Tiger



Strength in both the wholesale and retail sectors helped boost Canada's Gross Domestic Product by 0.3% in January, says StatisticsCanada.  Wholesaling and retailing activity advanced; there were broad-based increases in the retail sector, while computers were chiefly responsible for the strength in wholesaling. The construction industry also helped buoy the GDP, with the highest level of housing starts since 1994. U.S. consumer confidence rose sharply in March, after five months of decreases, driven by a more upbeat outlook on the economy and better job prospects. A private research group said its broad barometer of consumer attitudes rose to 117.0 in March from an upwardly revised February reading of 109.2, in a surprising report that knocked back growing expectations for interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

U.S. lenders have significantly reduced mortgage rates in response to the U.S. economic slowdown. Thirty-year mortgage rates fell to 6.89% last week, the lowest average since mid-January. It was the third straight week that 30-year mortgage rates stayed under 7%, a level considered the threshold for supporting home buying below the border.



The Women’s Consumer Products Network will celebrate its first anniversary April 4th with a lecture from guest author Ann Coombs. She’s a consumer trends specialist who focuses on changing consumer needs and how to do business in the 21st century. Activities will include networking, dinner, golf tournament registration, and a FREE copy of Ann Coomb’s new book, “The Living Workplace,” for the first 150 people who register. For more information, please call: 905-212-3826; fax: 905-274-7646; email:, website:









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DIRECTOR, MEMBER OPERATIONS, and REGIONAL DISTRICT MANAGERS: Our client, TruServ Canada Cooperative Inc., a major retail/distribution franchise dealer organization with a broad merchandise assortment and stores throughout Canada expressed by two major banners —True Value Hardware Stores and V&S Department stores — wishes to add several key executives to the operational/member division of the company. The right candidates for these different opportunities will be highly motivated, intelligent, articulate, goal-oriented individuals who bring exceptional interpersonal skills to these leadership and teamwork opportunities. To be a candidate you must have: solid operations understanding and experience; a successful track record in recruiting and developing new retail dealers/members; the ability to work within a team framework; strong leadership using both mentoring and coaching skills; a proven ability to achieve results; a clear understanding of financial budgeting, analysis, and actions required. This unique opportunity to expand our team for the present and the future requires us to find management executives who can blend into an existing group while at the same time bring their own positive personality and characteristics. The primary location for these positions will  be the company head office in Winnipeg, but there will also be a number of opportunities throughout Canada. Send resumé to Robert Scurfield, Robert R. Scurfield & Associates, 238 Oxford St., Winnipeg, MB, R3M 3J6; phone: 204-981-5605; fax: 204-489-6204; or email:

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A progressive sales agency, representing brand leaders in the hardware industry, requires an experienced and enthusiastic sales representative to maintain and grow existing accounts and establish new accounts in Ontario. Responsibilities include calling on industrial and contractor supply accounts, and end-user calls.

The ideal candidate will have: a minimum of 3 years field sales experience; the self-motivation necessary to achieve goals with an aggressive approach to promoting product lines; and a working knowledge of computers. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package including car allowance and expenses. Please forward your resumé to Sales Tools, 4325 Steeles Ave. W. Suite 200, Toronto, ON, M3N 1V7; or email We thank all applicants in advance and advise that only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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TERRITORY SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Established sales agency requires an experienced and enthusiastic Sales Professional for Ontario.

Qualified candidates need to be knowledgeable of the mass market, home centre and hardware industry as well as interested in an opportunity to learn the sales agency business. A desire to eventually own the agency could be an asset.

Send resumé via email to We thank all applicants in advance and advise that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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As a national leader in woodworking products, we require an enthusiastic professional Sales Agent for Atlantic Canada.

The ideal candidate has three years of detailed field sales experience in the hardware industry, preferably in Atlantic Canada. A background in power tools is an asset.

If you are looking for a progressive organization and a competitive compensation package, please forward your résumé highlighting your experience and knowledge of your marketplace, to Hardlines fax: 416-489-6154, email: We thank all applicants in advance and advise that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. *  *  *  *  *  * B.C. SALES AGENT – PAINT SUNDRIES: Deft Inc., a leading manufacturer of interior wood stains and finishes, is seeking a manufacturer’s SALES AGENT for the territory of British Columbia. The ideal candidate is currently servicing the B.C. market with other non-conflicting paint sundry lines. Send resumé via email to; or fax 905-951-0977.



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HARDLINES™ the electronic newsletter

Phone: 416.489.3396; Fax: 416.489.6154

Michael McLarney, Editor & Publisher:

Eugenia Canas, Assistant Editor:

Beverly Allen, Marketing Manager:

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