Michael McLarney, Editor & President mike@hardlines.caBeverly Allen, Publisher bev@hardlines.caJohn Caulfield, Contributing Editor Phone: 416-489-3396
April 6, 2009, Volume xv, #14
In This Issue:

“While I am proud of a number of accomplishments, there are real costs to being unreasonable. Long hours. Too little time with family. A near incapacity for, as they say, stopping and smelling the roses.” — Eli Broad (American business Leader and Philanthropist, 1933 –)

RONA acquires Bishop’s in Newfoundland
BOUCHERVILLE , Que. — RONA inc., Canada’s largest home improvement retailer, has acquired Bishop’s Building Center Ltd. in Bay Roberts, Nfld. It will become part of RONA’s Chester Dawe banner in that province. Chester Dawe already has eight stores of its own.Bishop’s, a former Castle member and 2003 Outstanding Retailer Award winner that started as a sawmill business in 1912. It was taken over by the Spencer family in the early 1970s and Cal Spencer is currently president of Bishop’s. Today, the business has a retail sales area of 8,000 square feet for hardware and home renovation products, a 15,000 square-foot warehouse, and a 75,000-square-foot outdoor lumberyard. The home centre employs almost 30 people. Including the Bishop’s acquisition, RONA now has 26 points of sale in Atlantic Canada, including both corporate and dealer-owned outlets. “Bishop’s is an excellent addition to our network of Chester Dawe stores,” said Pierre Dandoy, RONA’s executive vice-president for retail operations. “We’re very happy to welcome Bishop’s Building Center employees to RONA. This transaction meets our rigorous standards for acquisitions and will contribute toward improving our results in the region from day one.”


CHHMA inducts Sales and Martel to Hall of Fame

TORONTO — Two industry veterans were honoured last week when the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturers Association held its Hall of Fame Dinner. Gaetan Martel, former president of RCR, and Wayne Sales, former CEO of Canadian Tire Corp., were recognized for their lifetime dedication to the industry. Martel, who began with RCR some 30 years ago and ended up leading a takeover of the company that took it private, thanked his family — and especially his two daughters — for enduring his many years of life on the road, building the business. His award was presented by Groupe BMR CEO and longtime friend Yves Gagnon.

Sales, now in retirement (though he sits on four boards, including Tim Horton’s), spoke fondly of his years working in Canada (he hails from the U.S. originally). “It’s been the experience of my life,” he said.  He added that, on the world scene, Canadian Tire had to attempt to “level the playing field” against larger hardlines retailers “by developing a strong relationship with our vendors, because we couldn’t leverage our size vs. those larger competitors.” He also praised his former employer: “Canadian Tire always had a greater level of management closer to the consumer than any other retail organization in Canada,” he added.


Canadian Tire signs NASCAR’s Scott Steckly
TORONTO — Canadian Tire, the country’s leading retailer of automotive parts and products, has signed an agreement with reigning NASCAR champion Scott Steckly. Driving a newly built car made with more than 350 parts from Canadian Tire, Steckly will hit the tracks this May for his third NASCAR season, where he will defend his 2008 championship title.The agreement between Steckly and Canadian Tire is for one year, with an option for two additional one-year agreements. The partnership includes in-store appearances by Steckly and his team, as well as attendance at race day hospitality events. “Canadian Tire has a longstanding tradition of usupporting motor sports in Canada and we are thrilled to be teaming up with Scott Steckly as we head into the 2009 racing season,” says Tony Kuczynski, vice-president, automotive at Canadian Tire Retail.


Home Depot’s CEO Gives Up Bonus, Total Compensation Increases
ATLANTA — Home Depot CEO Frank Blake waived his $1.2 million cash bonus for 2008, according to a regulatory filing by the company. Also, none of the company’s top executives will get raises this year, according to the report.But Blake’s total compensation, including the estimated value of stocks and options granted in 2008, rose to $9.24 million in 2008, up from $7.64 million in 2007. The majority of the increase was due to the value of stock awards granted on March 19, 2008. Although Black waived his cash bonus, three of the company’s five top-paid officers received bonuses in the range of 35 to 48 percent of their base salaries. All of the executives have forfeited the use of company cars in 2009, and they are also losing long-term life insurance and “tax gross up” payments to cover income taxes. None of the executives will receive salary increases in 2009, according to the filing, and base salaries for top officers were essentially flat throughout 2008.


More calls for taxes on Canadian lumber imports
WASHINGTON  — Maine Sen. Olympia Stowe became the latest voice in Congress to call for the U.S. government to impose taxes on Canadian lumber coming into America.Stowe, a moderate Republican lawmaker, joined the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports (CFLI) — the lobbying arm of American lumber producers — in calling for a 10 percent duty on lumber exports from Canada until the United States collects a C$68.26 million (US$54.2 million) fine imposed on Canada by an international trade tribunal. Last week, Canada agreed to pay C$46.7 million after conceding that it had miscalculated lumber export quotas from four of its provinces in 2007. Stowe and the CFLI want the U.S. Trade Representative to impose tariffs on Canadian lumber to satisfy the penalty.


RONA to begin charging for plastic bags at checkout
BOUCHERVILLE , Que. — RONA inc. has announced that its stores will begin charging five cents for plastic bags used at checkout. The policy takes effect on June 1, coinciding with a Toronto municipal regulation making the 5 cent charge mandatory for all single-use plastic bags.“Our new shopping bag policy allows consumers everywhere in Canada to do something that’s ecologically responsible by opting for reusable bags instead of plastic ones when they visit a RONA store,” said RONA President and CEO Robert Dutton. “RONA is committed to becoming the Canadian industry leader in sustainable development, and we think ceasing to provide free single-use plastic bags is an effective way of cutting down on the number of bags in circulation. To coincide with the new charge to consumers, RONA will introduce a new, large-size reusable bag, in addition to the medium-sized bag already available in stores. At the same time, the various sizes of plastic bags currently available in RONA stores will be replaced by a single plastic format that’s made from recycled and recyclable materials. The 5 cent charge will help support eco-responsible initiatives.



National Director of Sales - USA TASK DESCRIPTION

Position: National Director of Sales - USA

Supervisor: Vice-president Sales and Marketing Responsibilities : Developing and managing all Sales in United States
  • Identify opportunities and develop a plan of action for growth with the Home Centers, Distributors, Small chains and Pro Dealers in the USA market.
  • Identify and contact the key people or agents to perform our developing goals.
  • Manage the actual Menards account with stairparts and present new opportunities with other product categories to grow sales at Menards.
  • Understand our competition in each specific market with majors target customers. Perform price shop analysis and identify the actions required to maintain our competitiveness.
  • Coordination of sales projects with merchandising and marketing dept.
  • Attend sales meeting with major customers.
  • Perform global presentation and action plan for upcoming Product Line Reviews in targeted customers
  • Generate regular calls and follow-up to major accounts merchant
Please email your resume to gbousquet@colonialelegance.com  

Sherwin-Williams Wood Care Group Canada is a leading manufacturer and marketer of the Minwax and Thompson’s Waterseal Brands. We are located in Thornhill, ON, and are a division of our parent company Sherwin-Williams, Inc. We are searching for a talented, energetic individual with drive, passion, and a proven track record, to join our growing organization. Product Manager A strong strategic thinker with proven leadership abilities. You will work with our retail sales teams across Canada to build and execute strategic initiatives. You will be responsible for managing all marketing aspects of the Canadian Wood Care business. This includes the development & execution of segmented brand reviews, annual marketing plans, product positioning, advertising platform/package development, merchandising development, promotion and pricing. You will bring 5+ years branded marketing experience to this position. Your skillsets will include strong computer, analytical, project management and people leadership skills. You will bring a proven track record with a wide range of experiences and accomplishments. Must have an ability to think creatively and strategically. You must possess Management experience. Must possess strong financial management skills. Minimum education requirements include a Bachelor’s Degree (MBA preferred). Please apply by submitting your CV to Glen Knowles at, glen.b.knowles@sherwin.com.

To place an ad in our classified section click here or call 416-489-3396


5 Most Recent Industry Resumés
Dynamic business development specialist seeking managment opportunity
Well-spoken, energetic, confident, and personable, the type of person on whom your customers and employees will rely.
A seasoned veteran with a wealth of experience, on the front lines of Retailing. Personable, energetic and dedicated to providing Exceptional Customer Service.
A sales leader experienced in coaching, managing and developing sales teams.
A high energy, results oriented, hands on sales professional with proven successes. A leader and team player , able to get the job done.
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Publishing Details: HARDLINES is published weekly (except monthly in December and August) by HARDLINES Inc. 360 Dupont Street Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5R 1V 9 © 2009 by HARDLINES Inc. HARDLINES™ the electronic newsletter www.HARDLINES.ca ; Phone: 416.489.3396; Fax: 416.489.6154 Michael McLarney - Editor & President - mike@HARDLINES.ca Beverly Allen, Publisher - bev@HARDLINES.ca Brady Peever - Circulation Manager - brady@HARDLINES.ca Kathryn Crosthwait - Accounting - kath@HARDLINES.ca The HARDLINES "Fair Play" Policy:Reproduction in whole or in part is very uncool and strictly forbidden and really and truly against the law. So please, play fair! Call for information on multiple subscriptions or a site license for your company. We do want as many people as possible to read HARDLINES each week - but let us handle your internal routing from this end! Subscription:$299 (Canadian subscribers add $14.86 GST = $315.21 per year/ GST #13987 0398 RT).Secondary subscriptions at the same office are only $48.75 (Canadian subscribers add $2.44 GST = $51.19).Ask about our reduced rate for branch offices.You can pay online by VISA/MC/AMEX at our secure website or send us money. Please make cheque payable to HARDLINES.


2009 National Hardware Show®, May 5-7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, debuts its 7-events-in-1 strategy. Re-designed to reflect how retailers buy, explore over 2,800 companies in the seven major home improvement categories: Hardware & Tools, Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living, Paint & Accessories, Homewares, Plumbing & Electrical, Storage & Organization and International Sourcing Convention.
WINNIPEG — We tipped you off in an earlier issue about the big boxing match featuring Johns Manville’s Gino Allegro. Well, as far as we’re concerned, he kicked some mean derrière. Check out the fight for yourself on Youtube.GRANDE PRAIRIE , Alta. — Excellence in customer service and going “above and beyond” were recognized recently by Woodland TIM-BR MART when Brandon Fischer, rep for CanWel Building Materials, was awarded Woodland’s “Outstanding Sales Representative” for 2008. According to Woodland TIM-BR MART Vice-President of Operations Greg Bartolotta, Fischer earned the award for “meeting and exceeding expectations” and for exemplifying “excellence in customer service.” Woodland has locations in Grande Prairie and in Fairview, Alta. BEACHWOOD, Ohio — Tremco Inc. has acquired Canam Building Envelope Specialists of Mississauga, Ont. The purchase of the building envelope contracting firm includes Zerodraft, a related company that provides specialized retrofit weatherstripping and distributes related insulation and sealant products. Terms were not disclosed. Canam will become part of the Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance Division’s subsidiary, Weatherproofing Technologies, while Zerodraft joins Tremco Commercial Sealants & Waterproofing. BOUCHERVILLE , Que. — RONA introduced 40 new products to its RONA ECO line last week. These products, which RONA calls “more respectful of the environment than similar conventional products over their entire life cycle”, were selected in partnership with the International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment. The new items are from a number of different product categories, and include a manual lawn mower, an algae-based fertilizer, a rainwater collector, and reconditioned tool blades and mouldings. In conjunction with the new RONA ECO products, the retailer is also launching recycling programs for tool blades and accessories, and for alkaline and rechargeable batteries. Consumers who bring back used RONA ECO tool blades will receive a discount on the purchase of a new blade or accessory of the same brand. TORONTO — The Housewares and Hardware Independent Representatives of Canada (HHIRC) launched a newly revamped website. The HHIRC is composed of 15 independent sales agencies that provide Canadian representation for manufacturers in the housewares and hardware industries. The group has been in existence since 1978. For full details and further information, go to www.canadianreps.com. NISKU, Alta. — Wood Composite Technologies Inc., manufacturer of decking components made from recycled materials, has announced its first sale into the Russian market. The company’s subsidiary, Millennium Decking Inc., has recently entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Petrostroytrest, a construction business based in St. Petersburg, representing the first sale of the Millennium Decking System into the Russian market. The company’s board of directors has also approved consolidating its current manufacturing operations to one of its two locations here, likely involving the relocation of its extrusion plant and executive offices to Wood Composite’s pellet mill location. MONTREAL — In a continuation of its on-going strategy to become a global leader in the recreation and leisure markets, Dorel Industries, through its Recreational/Leisure segment, has launched a multi-faceted Worldwide Centers of Excellence program. Five Centers of Excellence are being established around the world, with each location focused on market leadership in a specific market segment or expertise. These centers will be based in: Bethel, Conn.; Basel, Switzerland; Madison, Wisc.; Vancouver; and Taichung, Taiwan. WASHINGTON — According to the National Retail Federation in the U.S., in 2007, retailers lost about $34.8 billion in stolen merchandise, an increase from 5 percent to 15 percent in 2008. The FBI reports that most of the loss — as much as $30 billion a year — is to organized, retail-crime groups who steal as a part of a commercial enterprise. LONDON — Tesco, the U.K.’s largest grocery chain, is adding bank outlets in 30 of its stores this year, hoping to woo British customers who are outraged by high bonuses being received by many of the nation’s banking executives. Customers of the new banking service will be able to earn Tesco loyalty points, as well.


…that TIM-BR MART ran its biggest in-store consumer contest ever last summer? From June 1 to July 31, customers shopping at 225 participating TIM-BR MART stores across Canada had a chance to win 50,000 Air Miles reward miles. (Learn more about the buying groups, the big boxes, and the entire industry in our sister publication, Hardlines Quarterly Report. —Michael)


  Real gross domestic product declined 0.7 percent in January following decreases of 1.0 percent in December 2008 and 0.7 percent in November 2008. The output of manufacturing, especially of motor vehicle and associated parts industries, as well as wholesale trade and construction were the main contributors to the January drop. The finance and insurance sector, transportation, mining (excluding oil and gas extraction), and accommodation and food services also retreated. Economic activity increased in retail trade, oil and gas extraction and the public sector. (Stats Canada)
Registration is open for the Presidents Council Buying Days benefitting the City of Hope during the National Hardware Show in May in Las Vegas. You can have a guaranteed meeting with retailers such as Ace, True Value, Sears, Do it Best, and many more!  Please visit the Presidents Council website to register, or call Julie Pavletich at 847.480.7171 for more information.
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