|In This Issue
“There are no traffic jams when you go the extra mile.” — Anonymous
| Lowe’s has Canadian sites for expansion in ’08
TORONTO — Lowe’s plans for expansion in Canada remain on course, with more than 20 “A” properties currently in development in Canada, says Don Stallings, president of Lowe’s Canada. He spoke to a group of vendors at last week’s AGM of the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturers Association.
True to form, Lowe’s took its time coming here, carefully gathering information about t he Canadian market for almost two years before even opening a store. The entire process gave Lowe’s the tools for understanding how to operate outside its own borders, with Canada as just the first stop. It already has an office in Mexico, and plans to open stores there in 2009.
“Any company that has ever grown internationally has not stopped at just one or two countries,” said Stallings. “So goes Canada, so goes the rest of the international expansion.”
Stallings, who took the helm of Lowe’s first international expansion initiative in August 2007, following the abrupt departure of then-president Doug Robinson, expects four or five stores to open here this year. However, he does not expect them to open much before the end of the company’s fiscal year, Jan. 31, 2009.
That expansion will eventually entail up to 100 stores and 20,000 staff, the majority of them Canadians, Stallings pointed out.
Securing good retail sites has always been considered one of the biggest challenges to Lowe’s expansion in Canada. However, Stallings assured his audience that Lowe’s has been able to do just that, offering praise for the company’s real estate division here. Lowe’s Canada has already purchased 31 sites, he said, and 20 of them are currently under development, all in the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario.
“If you’re patient, good sites can be acquired. If you have a good real estate team, then good sites can be acquired. If you work with the developers, then good sites can be acquired,” he said.
(Hardlines has just learnt that two Lowe’s sites have just been confirmed. The first store will be located at Taunton Rd. and Garrard Rd. in Whitby, ON and will form part of a greenfield shopping centre development by RioCan. The second is at an existing RioCan property, Warden Centre in Toronto’s east end (Scarborough), at Warden Ave. and Eglinton Ave. To accommodate Lowe’s a former Wal-Mart will be demolished in late April 2008, with an anticipated 2009 opening date of the Lowe’s store. And yes, two RONA big boxes are right near this second location. — Editor)
|RONA opens first Atlantic big box
|HALIFAX — RONA inc. officially unveiled its new store last week, the retailer’s first big-box format in the Atlantic market. The 100,000-square-foot store, in Halifax’s Bayers Lake business park, represents a $20 million investment and creates more than 150 new jobs. Both Home Depot and Kent have stores in the same complex.Despite the foggy morning, Haligonians appeared receptive to the new store, with about 1,200 people going through the doors within the first half hour. With the opening of this new store, RONA now operates seven stores in Nova Scotia and a total of 25 stores in Atlantic Canada.
| Industry slowdown will affect big box growth
|TORONTO — After a decade of unprecedented growth, the retail home improvement industry is slowing down, and that means new strategies for Canada’s top players. Insights into those changing strategies were revealed by HARDLINES to a room full of hardlines vendors at last week’s Spring Conference of the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturers Association.According to new findings from the HARDLINES Data Research Team (not exactly as shown), sales by the retail home improvement industry grew at a compound annual rate of 7.4% from 1997-2006. Growth in 2006 remained strong, increasing by 7.3%, but slowed to just over 6% growth in 2007. In the current year, the industry faces a slowdown in new housing construction (though still forecast to remain above 200,000 starts), and repairs and renovation spending has been slowed by a late start to spring.
This slowdown will have the most profound impact on the country’s largest players. According to HARDLINES, the loss of Home Depot Canada’s HD Supply business last year accounted for a reduction of between $300 million and $400 million to the retailer’s top line, securing RONA as Canada’s largest home improvement retail group. Home Depot’s plans for expansion this year are about half of what they were two years ago, and RONA’s big-box expansion, while steady, appears to have taken a back seat to its pursuit of major acquisitions.
In fact, 2007 was the first year that growth by the industry’s top four players — RONA, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, and Home Hardware Stores — fell below the industry average. Collectively, their sales grew by only 5.5%, while the industry grew by more than 6%. Those four still account for more than half the industry’s sales overall, according to the HARDLINES findings.
(The complete report on the size and growth of the industry, and the strategies of its key players, will be available next month in our Amazing 2008 Retail Report! – Michael)
| BMR ready to start shipping to new hardware members
|LONGUEUIL, QC — With 16 tractors and 70 trailers moving product to its dealers, Groupe BMR is positioned to start shipping hardware to dealers it recruits under its new BMR Hardware banner. A 350,000-square-foot hardware warehouse in Boucherville is already supplying to more than 120 building centre members of BMR, and the new hardware program, unveiled last week, already has nine dealers signed up, from Windsor ON to Lunenburg, NS.The new BMR Hardware members are: Dale Fawcett, Bobcaygeon Hardware, Bobcaygeon, ON; André Fradette, Albert Fradette & Fils, Saint-Raphaël, QC; Jean-Paul Allard, Quincaillerie Prince Rupert, Terrebonne, QC; René Gauthier, Quincaillerie R. Gauthier, Ormstown, QC; Éric Tessier, Quincaillerie de l’Est, Montréal; Gaétan Lévesque, Calais / Pigeon, Montréal; Jacques Lambert, Quincaillerie Esquimau, Montréal; Bill Towndrow, Lunenburg Hardware, Lunenburg, NS; and John Glover , Redmond’s Hardware and Bldg Supplies, Upper Tantallon, NS.
| Newest Castle hire reflects groups’ focus on dealer recruitment
|MISSISSAUGA, ON — Castle Building Centres, the national LBM buying group based here, has hired a former CanWel rep, Les Gillespie, to develop its membership in British Columbia.Gillespie, who was most recently serving with CanWel, Hardware Division in B.C., begins with Castle on April 14 reporting to Alan Schoemperlen, western region business development manager.
Dealer “development”, another term for dealer recruitment among the retail groups, is heating up in Canada, as the buying groups continue to consolidate (IRLY Distributors allied itself with TIM-BR MARTS late last year, and Mutual Hardware closed its doors at the beginning of 2008). Meanwhile, RONA keeps seeking acquisitions and new members – its main target being the ranks of the buying groups. Castle’s announcement comes just as Home Hardware Stores Ltd. is in the process of looking for a senior dealer development person of their own.
Product Manager (2)—GTA
Due to their growing list of successes, a well-established international company needs to add 2 marketing performers to their team. You’ll manage and direct Canadian product marketing sales strategies for two premier product lines sold to mass merchants, home improvement and specialty retailers. Align functional experts in Engineering, Manufacturing, Development and Finance and interact closely with Sales, Graphics Design and the US team.
You can demonstrate successes in channel management, new product launches, speed-to-market turnaround and the ability to transform concepts into reality. Competitive salary, bonus, RSP. Toronto location. To explore this opportunity in complete confidence, please contact Wolf Gugler, quoting PM-GTA.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 888-848-3006.
Review this and other opportunities at www.wolfgugler.com.
Need to discuss your corporate recruitment needs? We’ll be attending the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas…call to book a confidential appointment.
Account Representative - Alberta
American Standard, an industry leader in Bath and Kitchen products, is seeking an Account Representative ideally based out of Calgary, Alberta.
As a member of the National Retail Sales Team this position will focus on all key retail account with emphasis on "big box" stores.
This individual must have the ability to develop and implement in-store promotions, develop training programs, process returns, be responsible for inventory management, react to any in-store issues and demonstrate strong problem solving skills.
This position requires a unique individual that is able to develop strong communications with both Store staff and Key management personnel.
- Post Secondary Education or equivalent sales/marketing experience.
- Previous retail sales experience in a manufacturing environment would be an asset.
- Computer experience in Microsoft Office - working with Excel, Word and PowerPoint is an asset.
- Strong Communication skills.
- Strong problem solving skills.
Qualified applicants should send their resume and salary requirements via email to email@example.com. No phone calls please.
DIRECTOR, NATIONAL DEALER DEVELOPMENT
Home Hardware Stores Limited, Canada’s largest independent hardware, lumber and building materials, and furniture retailer with more than 1,000 stores across Canada under the Home Hardware, Home Building Centre, Home Hardware Building Centre, and Home Furniture banners, with annual retail sales of $4.8 billion, is seeking an individual for the role of Director, National Dealer Development.
MAJOR TASKS AND LEVEL ACCOUNTABILITY
Reporting to the Vice-President, Operations, the successful candidate will be responsible for the implementation of Home Hardware’s strategic growth plan, as well as, the recruitment and membership application.
A strong understanding of the Canadian Home Improvement Market is required, along with at least five years experience in sales force management.
Manage the recruitment and membership application process.
- Establish and manage Home’s Dealer Development organization.
- Provide ongoing coaching and support to Dealer Development Managers to help them achieve growth targets.
- Recruit and present Home Hardware to prospective new Dealers.
- Maintain understanding of the market and develop strategies that will maximize Home’s growth.
This position includes extensive travel.
We offer a competitive salary and great working conditions. If you are interested in becoming part of Home Hardware, please forward your resume, quoting Director, National Dealer Development #1247, by Friday, April 4, 2008 to:
Human Resources Department
Home Hardware Stores Limited
34 Henry St. W. , St. Jacobs, ON N0B 2N0
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Microsoft Products Only)
- Results oriented individual with a strong understanding of retail operations and the strategy needed to succeed in a highly competitive market.
- Strong leadership capabilities, including coaching, training and development of talent.
- Ability to interpret financial statements and present budgets.
- Excellent communication, oral and written, with strong planning, organizational and presentation skills.
- Computer literate with strong knowledge of MS Office.
- Strong negotiating and budget management skills.
- Experience recruiting new members.
- Must be able to multitask and complete priorities effectively.
- Preference to a bilingual candidate.
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