"Flattery is all right — if you don't inhale."— Adlai Stevenson (1900 - 1965)

Doug Robinson leaves Lowe's Canada

TORONTO — Doug Robinson, the affable and enigmatic president of Lowe's Canada, has resigned suddenly "for personal reasons". He has been replaced by Don T. Stallings as president, reporting to Larry Stone, president and COO of Lowe's Cos. in Mooresville, N.C. Robinson, who had previous experience in Canada (he headed up Beaver Lumber before its sale to Home Hardware Stores in 1999, and later ran a construction company in Eastern Ontario), joined Lowe's in 2004 to help the company develop its international business. Until his resignation, he led Lowe's Canadian executive and merchandising teams at their offices here. Stallings, on the other hand, is a Lowe's veteran who joined in 1994. Moving  up through the ranks, he served as district manager, merchandising vice-president and, most recently, RVP of operations in Lowe's south central division. Based in Houston, it represents the fourth largest metropolitan market in the U.S. In 1997, as regional vice-president, Stallings was responsible for leading a team that opened six stores in one day in Dallas, Tex. — a first for the company. And that may be the clue to Stallings' appointment. Lowe's entered this market promising six to 10 stores by the end of 2007. But now, well into the third quarter of the year, it has yet to open a single location. Ground was broken on the first Lowe's store in Hamilton, ON almost one year ago (Sept. 21, 2006).  But that store, while finished, sits empty, as other Lowe's sites remain in various stages of construction. Stallings came up last Wednesday to meet the Canadian team.

↑ top

Hardlines Conference scores Don Cherry

TORONTO — Hockey legend Don Cherry will meet and greet Hardlines Conference participants during a special appearance on the morning of Oct. 16, 2007. The Hardlines Conference, Oct. 15-16, 2007, will kick off Day Two this year with the Newsmaker of the Year Awards Breakfast, which is included in Day Two registration.  Cherry, who will appear courtesy of conference sponsor Rayovac Canada, will be on hand to meet with delegates and sign autographs. "Don loves to sign autographs and interact one on one with people," says Robert Cayer, director Canada, Rayovac and Remington divisions of Spectrum Brands Canada Inc. Cherry's involvement with Rayovac will include featuring his image in all aspects of the battery line's Canadian relaunch. Cherry's strong recognition factor with Canadians, and his reputation for telling it like it is, will boost the brand's value proposition of lasting as long as the other national brands, says Cayer. The Hardlines Newsmaker of the Year Awards are presented as part of the Hardlines Conference, the annual information and networking event for members of the hardware and home improvement industry. Click here for more information.

↑ top

RONA's 2Q growth driven by acquisitions

BOUCHERVILLE, QC — Second-quarter sales at RONA jumped 9.1%, on net earnings of $86.2 million, an increase of 7.7% over 2006. However, sales from acquisitions such as Chester Dawe, Matériaux Coupal and Mountain Building Centres, contributed to about 4.3% of growth. Organic growth, generated by new stores, the acquisition of affiliate stores, and a small increase in sales in the distribution network, had less impact. Same-store sales grew by only 0.3%, although, adjusting for depressed lumber prices, same-store sales grew by 1.4%. April, which brought poor weather to many parts of the country, was especially hard on same-store sales. However, sales, and basket size, grew in May and June, as weather — and consumer confidence — improved. "Considering the fact that current conditions are less favourable to a strong increase in same-store sales, we are satisfied with these second-quarter numbers," Robert Dutton, RONA's president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. "We achieved these record results by taking additional measures to stimulate sales of our private-label products, increase customer loyalty and improve our efficiency." Private label now accounts for about 14% of RONA's sales; the goal is to get that up to 15% by year's end. With another 15 possible acquisitions currently under review, Dutton asserts that the company is on track to achieve its sales targets. Those companies are in both the retail sector and the commercial side, along the lines of Noble Trade, an Ontario-based wholesale chain, which RONA bought at the beginning of this year. In addition, the company plans to open six more stores, for a total of 10, in 2007. "I am still confident we can achieve the objective of our "7-07 Program", $7-billion in annualized retail sales by the end of 2007," Dutton said.

↑ top

AFA acquire Lighthouse Lumber

BOLTON, ON  — AFA Forest Products, a distributor of construction plywood and lumber with 10 branches from Vancouver to Quebec, has extended its reach into Eastern Canada with the acquisition of Lighthouse Lumber Wholesalers. Lighthouse, which currently has locations in Moncton, Halifax, and St. John's, has estimated annual sales of about $30 million. It was started by Jean LaFlamme, after he sold his first business, the highly successful Dartmouth Building Supplies, to Piercey's Building Supplies in the mid-80s. To oversee the Lighthouse operation, AFA has hired John Morrissey away from TIM-BR MARTS Ltd., where he has served as vice-president. Morrissey, who will take up the new position at the end of August, says the deal between Lighthouse and AFA is good news for independent dealers in Eastern Canada. "Distribution is an integral part of LBM. Through consolidation, we've actually seen a shrinkage in the distribution channel, so there are fewer opportunities for where retailers can get product. Having a company like AFA come to the region brings a very strong vendor to the market," he says. While Lighthouse will continue to operate under its own banner, the partnership with AFA will allow it expand into new product lines, such as plywood, OSB flooring and laminate, and MDF.

↑ top

UFA picks up Ft. McMurray dealer

CALGARY — UFA Co-operative Ltd. has acquired Spruceland Lumber, a one-store building supply dealer that has experienced tremendous growth since opening here in 1998. The move follows the acquisition earlier this year of Bar-W Petroleum & Electric of Red Deer. It also signals the company's plans to expand beyond agricultural supply into the lucrative construction and building sector in rural parts of Western Canada, according to Chuck Coté, vice-president of UFA, farm and ranch division. "There is not a lot of revenue in Ft. McMurray in the agricultural sector," says Coté. "But it was identified in UFA's strategic plan as having a lot of potential in the petroleum and building sectors." Coté added that Spruceland is a good fit partly because many of its existing vendors already deal with UFA. Spruceland brings to 36 the number of UFA stores that offer building supplies and general merchandise. The store, which includes 19,500 square feet of retail space, an 8800-sq.-ft. cold storage warehouse and a three-acre yard that sits on a 4.7-acre parcel of land, will continue to operate under the Spruceland banner, allowing UFA to enter the market under an established brand.

↑ top

Wal-Mart to enter into joint enterprise in India

NEW DELHI — A joint agreement to establish a wholesale cash-and-carry and back-end supply chain management operation with a multi-platform business group will allow Wal-Mart to enter into India, where government regulations prohibit foreign retailers from selling directly to customers. The giant retailer has signed a deal with Bharti Enterprises, which is involved with the Indian telecom, agribusiness, insurance and retail sectors. Under the partnership, Bharti Wal-Mart Private Ltd. will oversee a wide range of wholesale cash-and-carry products operations to businesses and retailers, including Bharti Retail, which is setting up a chain of stores across India. The first facility is expected to open by the end of next year, with 10 – 15 opening over the next seven years.

↑ top

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 )


Westman Steel Industries, including Canada Culvert, is one of Canada’s largest manufacturers of steel roofing and siding products, galvanized steel culverts, and related products. Customers are serviced by 15 manufacturing and distribution facilities located in Ontario and throughout Western Canada. Westman Steel Industries is a member of The Westman Group of Companies, a dynamic entrepreneurial group of companies also composed of: Behlen Industries LP, and Meridian Manufacturing Group. Continued growth creates a career opportunity in Langley, British Columbia.

Territory Sales Representative

Working with guidance from the General Manager and while maintaining a sales budget, the successful candidate will develop and maintain long-term relationships with customers in British Columbia; sales region: Okanagan, Kootenays, and Prince George. The professional will effectively perform all aspects of the marketing program including: sales, advertising, product promotions/literature, point of purchase displays, product knowledge seminars, pricing and logistics. Using a consultative selling approach, the incumbent will ensure sales and marketing objectives are achieved. The ideal candidate has a minimum of one to three years of demonstrated experience in sales and/or marketing, preferably from a steel and/or roofing background. Having a post secondary degree is desirable. Equivalent education and experience combinations will be considered. Communication, interpersonal, customer service, problem-solving, organizational, and time and priority management skills are necessary for success. Significant travel is required. Westman Steel Industries provides a competitive total compensation package with commission incentive and many opportunities for learning and professional growth. Apply online via Careers at www.westmangroup.com by August 17, 2007 or connect with Diana Chomichuk, CHRP, Corporate Human Resource Manager at 204.224.6343. 

We thank all applicants for their interest. WGI Westman Group Inc., is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Senior Sales Manager

Maxtech Consumer Products Limited, based in Waterloo, ON is an innovative company that supplies Hand Tools & Power Tool accessories in North America & Europe. Maxtech is a major supplier to many major Home Improvement Retailers and Big Box stores in USA & Canada. The company is looking for a highly motivated result-driven Senior Sales Manager based in Waterloo to complement the present Sales Team. The incumbent will be responsible for devising sales strategies for the US, increasing the customer base in the US, and increasing the product base to existing customers in order to ensure that budgeted sales numbers are met or exceeded. This opportunity affords the incumbent to set their own total compensation based on a lucrative commission structure. Experience in the industry & willing to travel is essential. Prior experience in US market is desirable. Salary & perks based on experience, qualifications & previous achievements. If you are a self-starter, a goal setter & an achiever that is able to recognize market & customer needs, please contact Arvinder Hanspal at arvinderh@maxtech-mfg.com.

Associate Account Manager

Location:         Montreal based Territory:        Quebec province Description:
  • Responsible for developing sales in a specific territory.
  • Prospecting new business with existing and new accounts
  • Making weekly calls to existing and new customers for the purpose of selling Wood care products (Minwax - Thompsons Water Seal)
  • Typical accounts include 2 step distributors, dealers and direct accounts.
  • Must be bilingual - Oral/written. Job requirements :
  • Five years sales experience in the retail trade, preferably hardware/paint
  • Able to travel at least 80% of the time
  • Good self discipline, self-directed, aggressive, excellent selling skills
  • Must have strong problem solving skills, excellent communication skills.
  • Computer knowledge (word, excel, powerpoint)
  • Possess a valid driver's license. (company vehicle supplied)Those interested please submit your resume to: frank.defabritiis@sherwin.com

Marketing Manager

Due to their growing success, our Client, a premier provider of quality products for construction and industrial applications needs to add a Marketing star to assist in continuing their category leadership. Reporting to the General Manager and working in concert with the National Sales Manager, you'll manage and direct the new product development process for products sold through home centres, construction trades and industrial distribution. This involves true project management including competitive tracking and sales analysis, working with the U.S. Marketing team for product development and becoming the "corporate authority." You'll spend time in the field with the customer and end user to research and identify new product opportunities and then make that happen from a trade marketing perspective. New product launches, qualitative and quantitative research and satisfying the needs of all channel distribution partners qualify you for this excellent career opportunity. Bilingual E/F skills would be advantageous. GTA location. Please contact Wolf Gugler (wolf@wolfgugler.com) or Lesley Fulton (Lesley@wolfgugler.com) in complete confidence, quoting Marketing Manager-Construction. Wolf Gugler & Associates Limited .Web site: www.wolfgugler.com. (888) 848-3006.


  • Sell your company - or buy one - with Hardlines Classifieds!
  • Do your executive search, find new lines or get new reps in the Hardlines Marketplace.
  • Only $2.75 per word for three weeks in the classifieds.
  • To place your ad, call Brady Peever at 416-489-3396 or email: brady@hardlines.ca