Canada’s electronic information service for the home improvement industry April 9, 2001 Volume vii, #14 Michael McLarney, Editor & Publisher Phone: 416.489.3396 Fax: 416.489.6154 email: *  *  *  *  *  * IN THIS ISSUE: * Sodisco-Howden to develop PRO stores in Jamaica * Home Depot makes resource protection a training issue * Newell raids B&D’s executive ranks – again * Retailers’ spring catalogues reflect growth of seasonal and décor *  *  *  *  *  * ARE YOU UP ON OUR DAILY NEWS? Our website has daily updates on retail and industry news that matter to you. Keep informed. Visit every day. *  *  *  *  *  * TELL A FRIEND ABOUT HARDLINES! AND WE’LL GIVE YOU A SWISS ARMY KNIFE TO SHOW OUR APPRECIATION! We’d like to think you are telling your friends about us because of the cutting edge news we deliver every Monday morning. Or maybe it’s our up-to-date news, trends and statistics affecting the world of home improvement. But if it’s the Swiss Army Knife we’re sending you for referring a new subscriber to us, that’s okay too. So get a friend/colleague/customer to subscribe for one year and we’ll give them four free weeks and send you a Swiss Army Knife! But you have to act now — Swiss Army only lets us give away their knives until JUNE 30, 2001.  See the attached order form. Can’t open it?  Download Adobe Reader for free at: ______________________________________________ SECURITY AT THE WORKPLACE IS A TRAINING ISSUE SAYS HOME DEPOT’S VERSCHUREN A corporate-wide philosophy of resource protection (RP) must be part of ongoing employee training, says Home Depot Canada’s president, Annette Verschuren. Speaking last week at a conference on resource protection mounted by the Retail Council of Canada, Verschuren pointed out the need to promote a philosophy of security and shrinkage awareness right from the point of hiring. With the help of nine loss prevention directors, Home Depot Canada’s HR team attempts to develop a strong RP philosophy through mentoring. Every facet of training, from product knowledge to customer service, includes worker safety and loss prevention components, Verschuren said. The training messages are reinforced with games, incentives and competitions. And the input comes from the staff level, as well. “Encourage your people to tell you how to run your business better”, she said. “After all, they’re the ones on the front lines talking to customers every day. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – loss prevention is a universal concern.” With a number of stores open 24 hours now in Canada, added precautions must be taken to ensure the security of staff and customers. For example, a buddy system is in place to walk staff and shoppers to their cars after hours, and parking lots are well lit. While the random act of theft continues to be a concern in big boxes, Verschuren said “intelligent crime,” the work of organized gangs, often with networks across the country, is on the rise. ______________________________________________ SODISCO-HOWDEN MOVES INTO JAMAICA The Howden division of Sodisco-Howden Group has struck a supply deal with a Jamaican chain, Mainland International. Six of the chain’s seven stores will adopt the Pro banner, including one brand new store, a 100,000-sq.ft. building centre that’s expected to generate more than CDN$13 million annually. Jim Young, Howden’s marketing manager, organized the deal with the assistance of Doug Carter, Howden’s ex-national sales manager, who was involved in a consultant capacity. Carter has since remained in Jamaica as COO of Mainland. The right to use the Pro name in Jamaica was approved by Pro Hardware in the U.S. Howden owns the Pro name in Canada. ______________________________________________ SPRING CATALOGUES REFLECT RETAILERS’ GROWTH CATEGORIES Retailers’ spring catalogues are flooding the mailboxes, reflecting the increased emphasis on certain categories: it’s the season for lawn and garden, but it’s also the season for colour and home décor. Canadian Tire’s 2001 edition features 438 pages of products that can now all be ordered either by phone or online. The lawn and garden section, featuring the retailer’s new upscale Yardworks line, is only a few pages shorter than the catalogue’s sports and recreation section. The new Home Hardware catalogue also has a high ratio of lawn and garden to other categories. Among the 13 categories in its 288 pages is a rural & outdoor section, as well as home decorating, improvement and furnishing sections. Home Ideas, a 50-page home and decorating magazine distributed quarterly at Building Box locations, is a competitor of sorts to the traditional catalogue. In line with the retailer’s seminar program, Home Ideas gives instruction and advice while it effectively showcases various product lines. ______________________________________________ COMPANIES IN THE NEWS Taiga Forest Products Ltd. has announced a re-organization of its internal corporate structure into a general partnership. The company will now conduct business as Taiga Forest Products while continuing to hold 99% of the partnership directly; Taiga owns the remaining 1% through a wholly owned subsidiary. The initiative, designed to lower costs, will not affect Taiga’s shareholders or customers. Laval’s Rona Le Rénovateur has changed its banner to Rona Le Régional, opening this week after a $3.5 million expansion and renovation. This one will be run by the Lespérance family, established Rona dealers on the North Shore of Montréal. The 100,000-sq.ft. store is Rona’s 25th large-surface outlet in Canada. Home Depot in the U.S. will launch a new proprietary line of home décor products using the name and expertise of Canadian décor diva Lynette Jennings. The line, which includes paint, décor and floor coverings, will be in North American stores starting this April. Like the recently introduced Thomasville Cabinetry, the Lynette Jennings Collection is the latest example of how Home Depot is expanding its appeal to women. Its décor offerings now cover all categories: flooring, lighting, paint, wallpaper, window treatments and kitchen and bath products, as well as major appliances. Sears Canada Inc. has been cited for its efforts to ensure a safer workplace: the Retail Council of Canada awarded Sears the Retailer Award for the design and implementation of a violence-in-the-workplace prevention program as well as a confrontational management program. Canadian Tire has opened a new “Next Generation” format store in Oakville, ON. The 108,000-sq.ft. store holds over 50,000 products and includes a 13, centre and a 17-bay automotive service centre. The Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association named Charles Springer Jr. and the late Charles Springer Sr. to its industry Hall of Fame yesterday. Springer senior founded C.E. Springer & Son almost 40 years ago. Also named: P.L. Robertson, who invented the Robertson head screw in 1908. Weyerhaeuser’s Forestlands operations in the Kamloops timber supply area have achieved CSA certification covering approximately 1.1 million acres of Crown forest. The CSA standard includes performance requirements and is complementary to the ISO 14001 certification achieved by the company’s B.C. Interior Forestlands in 1999. The company has certified more than 8.36 million acres of land to date. Royal International Co. made a joint venture agreement with Fimaco Herramientas, a hand tool supplier in Argentina. The new company will be known as Royal International Argentina S.A. and will expand Royal’s operations throughout South and Central America.

PartSource, the Canadian Tire stand-alone chain of auto parts stores, has announced the launch of its first loyalty program for retail and wholesaler customers. The Club Card offers members exclusive privileges, including discounts and promotions. PartSource has been part of the Canadian Tire master plan since 1996. In 1998, the company announced plans for a roll out of 200 of these stores over the following five years; to date, however, there are 29 stores.

South Carolina based Bowater Inc. and Alliance Forest Products Inc. have announced an agreement by which Bowater will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Alliance in a $1.2 billion transaction. Through the combination, Bowater will increase its annual lumber capacity to 1 billion board feet. The union representing 900 hourly employees at Camco Inc.’s manufacturing facility in Montréal has gone on strike after rejecting the company’s latest contract offer. James Fleck, president and CEO, said in a prepared statement that he anticipates no short term impact in Camco’s ability to supply appliances to its customers. The British Columbia government has put an end to extended dispute between environmentalists, First Nations groups and the forest industry with an announced  logging deferral in the Great Bear Rainforest. Over 600,000 hectares of old-growth forest will be set aside. Patrick Moore, director of the Forest Alliance, an umbrella organization for B.C. forest companies, said the companies are embracing the decision because they recognize the unique nature of the area and  want to bring an end to a damaging campaign being waged against them internationally by Greenpeace and other environmental groups. The campaign has affected sales in Europe and the U.S. ______________________________________________ PEOPLE IN THE MOVE Pat Bennett has joined Ace Hardware Canada as vice-president of sales. He’ll report to Rob Collins, director of sales. Bennett was most recently vice-president of Canadian operations at Home Depot Canada ... Dunc Wilson, previously director of inventory management and merchandise services, has been promoted to vice-president merchandising and marketing ... Stan Sauer, formerly director of human resources, is now vice-president operations and administration. (905-475-1188) Ed Bremer, formerly director of commercial sales for Turkstra Lumber, has moved to Ramcore Inc., where he has joined the senior management team as implementation manager. (905-689-1411) The Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association has appointed Pierre Vachon, general sales manager of Sico Inc., as chairman of the CHHMA board of directors for 2001-2002. (416-282-0022) Newell Rubbermaid Inc. has named two former Black & Decker employees to head up its new Lowe’s and Home Depot’s divisions. Paul Boitmann was named president of Newell Rubbermaid's Home Depot division and Richard Kern Jr. president of the Lowe's division. Boitmann and Kern both report to CEO Joseph Galli, also formerly of Black & Decker ... The appointments come just two days after Newell Rubbermaid named two other former Black & Decker employees, David Klatt and James Roberts, to senior management posts. Boitmann is responsible for the company's Home Depot sales force. Kern is responsible for Newell Rubbermaid's Lowe's sales force. (815-235-4171) _____________________________________________ CANADIAN STOCK WATCH COMPANY          52-WEEK HIGH           52-WEEK LOW    CLOSE (FRI.) Canadian Tire      24.90                          15.05                                        24.00 Canfor                 19.80                         7.65                                            9.75 Goodfellow          12.55                          8.50                                            8.70 Home Depot        70.00                          34.68                                         43.78 Hudsons Bay       19.10                          12.40                                        16.91 Lowe’s                67.25                          34.25                                        57.35 Sears Canada      41.00                          19.60                                        19.45 Taiga Forest        14.20                          6.80                                            7.00 West Fraser        38.00                          21.00                                         34.75 ______________________________________________ “Character builds slowly, but it can be torn down again with incredible swiftness.” – Faith Baldwin (American writer) _______________________________________________ MARKET INDICATORS Construction intentions in  the non-residential sector lost ground from January’s peak, resulting in a decline in the value of building permits issued by municipalities in February. Builders took out $3.4 billion worth of building permits, down 9.1% from January. In spite of this retreat, February’s total value of building permits was 11.9% above the average monthly level recorded in 2000. The value of non-residental permits dropped 17.0% to $1.5 billion. Housing intentions remained strong, reaching $2.0 billion, down a slight 0.9% from January. Declines in single-family permits more than offset the higher demand for multi-family dwellings. Among the regions, the census metropolitan areas of Toronto and Montréal started 2001 strongly; the value of residential and non-residential permits was well above that of the same period last year. These two areas contributed more than 75% of the growth in the cumulative value of permits. Cold weather and the late onset of spring, rather than the sluggish economy, are affecting sales in the U.S. lawn and garden industry. Market analysts said gardening equipment and product makers are seeing weak demands and delayed starts, but they did not comment on how this would affect the larger industry players. Lawn mower engine maker Briggs & Stratton Corp. said third-quarter results would fall far short of expectations due to weak demand for engines late in the quarter. ______________________________________________




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BUYER – BUILDING SUPPLIES: UFA, formed in 1909, is a farm supply and petroleum marketing co-operative owned by over 100,000 members. Reporting to the Senior Buyer, the successful candidate will be required to negotiate the purchase of products, contracts and distribution of merchandise, and to source new products and technologies, determining preferred suppliers in the building supplies area. You will work closely with other buyers and the marketing group. Applicants must have a sound knowledge of purchasing, inventory management, warehousing and distribution management functions, and proficiency with Microsoft Office products. Minimum P.M.A.C. Level 3 or equivalent experience is required. Product knowledge in building supplies is essential. An agricultural background is an asset. Interested applicants are invited to forward their résumé in confidence by April 18, 2001, quoting competition number HR01-46. Mail to: Human Resources, United Farmers of Alberta, 1016-68th Avenue SW; Calgary, AB; T2V 4J2; fax: 403-258-7630; email: We thank all applicants for their interest in UFA. Only applicants being considered will be contacted.

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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 résumé to Robert Scurfield, Robert R. Scurfield & Associates, 238 Oxford St., Winnipeg, MB, R3M 3J6; phone: 204-981-5605; fax: 204-489-6204; or email: *  *  *  *  *  * TERRITORY SALES REPRESENTATIVE: 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 résumé 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. *  *  *  *  *  * 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 résumé via email to 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 résumé via email to; or fax 905-951-0977. ______________________________________________ THE HARDLINES MARKETPLACE: just $16 per line. A classified ad with Hardlines is the most direct way to industry eyes. Over 3,000 executives in the industry come in contact with our email and fax publications … and have you seen our Marketplace in our new website? Publish your ad where it matters. Get industry exposure today. Contact Eugenia Canas at 416-489-3396 or email: ______________________________________________ “HARDLINES INDUSTRY REPORT: Home Improvement Retailing in Canada” is a comprehensive overview of the size of the market, how many stores are out there, who the key players are, their market position, the size and growth of the big boxes, the trends in housing and renovations, market trends –  and much, much more! 120-plus pages filled with charts, graphs and photos. Regular price: $945, only $750 for subscribers! Contact Nancy Wright at; phone: 416-489-3396 for more information. ______________________________________________ HARDLINES™ the electronic newsletter Phone: 416.489.3396; Fax: 416.489.6154 Michael McLarney, Editor & Publisher: Eugenia Canas, Assistant Editor: Beverly Allen, Marketing Manager: Nancy Wright, Circulation Manager: Hardlines is published weekly (except monthly in December and August) by McLARNEYCOM 542 Mount Pleasant Rd., Suite 302, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4S 2M7 © 2001 by Michael McLarney. ______________________________________________ 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. 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