John Caulfield, Contributing Editor
vol. x, #50, December 13, 2004

IN THIS ISSUE: • BMR anticipates big growth in Atlantic Canada • Totem veteran will retire at year's end • Quebec consumer renovation habits revealed • Forest City pays dividend on forestry sale • Bosch faces product recall • Cologne's newest show gains support • Quebec co-op anticipates strong 2005

* * * * * * HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY — AND RESTFUL — HOLIDAY! This is our last issue until Jan. 3, but the World Headquarters remains open until Dec. 22. We will be closed Dec. 23-28. — Michael * * * * * * NOTE: Dollar amounts are stated in the currency of the country from which the story originates. — Michael McLarney, Editor & Publisher * * * * * *
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." — John Lennon (who was murdered, at the age of 40, exactly 23 years ago last week)
QUEBEC CITY — Sales of hardware products by Le Groupe BMR reached new heights this fall, as the provincial wholesaler and LBM buying group took record levels of hardlines orders at its recent dealer market here.During the market, held here at the end of November, BMR dealers placed orders for $30 million worth of hardlines, up from $21 million in 2003. BMR president Yves Gagnon sees these sales to his own members as only one part of the overall picture for BMR. The company has also been selling hardlines to fellow Matreco members TIM-BR Mart Ontario (now part of Tim-BR-Marts Ltd.) and AWARD in Atlantic Canada, under a partnership arrangement called Quincaillerie Matreco Hardware. Gagnon expects big growth from QMH.In fact, he anticipates upwards of $190 million in sales through the fledgling hardware distribution business for 2004. And over the next three years, he expects that to grow to between $210 million and $240 million in annual shipments. "Honestly, I think we can go to $300 million, but my personal goals are very high," says Gagnon. "We've budgeted for $250 million." Given the success of hardware sales among BMR's own dealers in francophone Canada, Gagnon anticipates strong potential for QMH in Atlantic Canada, where AWARD has installed a distribution centre of its own (ADL). "I think Atlantic Canada will grow, but it's hard to tell you how much, because it's just started. But it will grow," he adds confidently.
WASHINGTON — Leading suppliers of garden carts and table saws have agreed to voluntarily recall products that were sold in stores operated by the three largest dealers in the U.S.The Consumer Product Safety Commission, based here, disclosed last week that Robert Bosch Tool Corp. would recall about 120,000 table saws because of potential problems that could expose users to injury or electric shock. CPSC also reported that LG Sourcing Inc. and Lowe's are jointly recalling about 200,000 garden carts because metal tire rims could break when tires are over-inflated, causing metal pieces to strike their users.There have been four reported incidents of the tire over-inflating and causing the metal rim of the GardenPlus Industrial Garden Cart to break. Three injuries were reported, including a fractured wrist, fractured fingers, and bruised hands. The commission has received 11 reports of loose or broken motors from Bosch's Skil Table Saw Model 3400 saws, and while no injuries or property damaged have been reported, CPSC said the drive mechanism on the table saw may loosen, possibly causing laceration, or the motor could separate from the tool, potentially striking the user or posing a hazard of electric shock. The table saws, made in Taiwan, were sold at Home Depot, Lowe's, Menards and other independent hardware retailers nationwide from July 2002 through October 2004 for $149-$199. The Garden Carts are made in China and sold for about $70.
CALGARY — After more than 30 years with the company, Colin Robertson will leave his post as vice-president marketing at Totem Building Supplies for retirement.Robertson started out working in the yard at Totem's flagship store in Calgary, where he did everything from cut boards to build trusses. He was later moved to sales, which led to the manager's job at Totem's Edmonton store. He returned to head office in 1981.From that time, Robertson has seen Totem grow from a $12-million operation with five stores to one of the country's top 10 retailers, with sales in 2004 of $233 million. The company added its 14th store back in the spring. "The most satisfying part of the job for me was the last 10 or so years, when we took on the big boxes," says Robertson. "And we're still thriving. We're still doing well. They're still thriving," he adds, "but we're co-existing very well." In recent years, besides the marketing function, Robertson had been charged with overseeing the flyer programs for Totem, as well as its growing range of package sales, which include garages, fences, decks and sheds. He intends to spend the initial months of his retirement relocating personally to Canmore, Alta.
MONTREAL — The Quebec association for building materials dealers, ADMACQ, has unveiled a very cool research report that tracks the home improvement spending habits of Quebecers. And the results show that they're hard-line DIYers.In fact, 51% of households surveyed admitted to having done some kind of renovation work in their homes during 2004 — and 89% of those respondents said they did the work themselves. Surprisingly, work done actually exceeded reno intentions, the survey revealed. Over half the renovations undertaken were the result of emergency situations, and therefore not planned.The report, "Les Quebecois et la renovation," features the results of a poll of 3,700 Quebec households that queries them on their renovation spending intentions for building materials. The ongoing study is done in conjunction with the marketing research firm L'Observateur. The project was unveiled at a special lunch reception here last week, hosted by ADMACQ president and general manager Donald O'Hara, who also conceived the project. For more info on purchasing the full report, Contact Donald at; or 450-646-5842.
CLEVELAND — Forest City Enterprises, the real estate conglomerate based here, last week declared a special cash dividend of 20 cents per share in recognition of its sale last month of its lumber distribution division. That unit, the Portland-Ore.-based Forest City Trading Group, was sold to its employees for an estimated $39 million. Of that total, $35 million was paid in cash, and Forest City expected to report a $22 million pre-tax gain from that transaction.Forest City Trading, the largest lumber wholesaler in North America, is an umbrella organization consisting of 11 different businesses that operate under several names, including American International Forest Products, Buckeye Pacific, Chesapeake Trading Group, Vancouver-based Olympia Industries, and Seaboard International Forest Products. The wholesaler has customers in all 50 states and in Canada. Annually, Forest City's trading companies are responsible for just over $3 billion in sales, representing shipments of 115,000 trucks and 56,000 railcars of lumber.Forest City Enterprises said it sold the forestry company because it is no longer a strategic fit with its business model, which focuses on real estate development.
COLOGNE, Germany — Registrations are on the rise for the first-ever Asia-Pacific Sourcing show, with more than 500 manufacturers distributors from the Far East booked to showcase their wares here February 27 to March 1, 2005.Asia-Pacific Sourcing is an alternative to two of its shows, Practical World — the International Hardware Fair — and Gafa, the lawn and garden show. These shows are now biennial, and in the off-years (commencing 2005), Asia-Pacific Sourcing will feature products, innovations and trends from the home improvement, garden and leisure sectors.About 20 groups will be part of the show, including exhibits from growth markets such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Thailand. A number of visitors and buyers from North America and Europe have already registered for the fair, as well, including representatives of Hornbach and Wal-Mart USA. Information on the show can be found at, where you can avoid the 50-euros entrance fee if you register by February 25, 2005.
Trois-Rivières, Que. — La Coop fédérée held its annual trade fair for its Hardware and Building Materials Department. Hardware outlets affiliated with the provincial co-op, operating under the CO-OP and Unimat banners, have the opportunity to hook up with suppliers. Orders signed at the show reflect the health of the stores in this sector: sales were up more than 15%, indicating optimism for the year ahead. Sales have, on the whole, increased by nearly 60% over the past six years for La Coop fédérée's hardware and home improvement dealers.Throughout both days of the "Coopérama," representatives of 155 CO-OP, eight Unimat and 26 independent stores took advantage of the event to place their orders for the upcoming year.Exhibitors filled 220 booths at this year's show, which was held under the theme, "The meeting of champions." A big push was made on décor, including a large vignette (27 ft. by 43 ft.) allowed buyers to view and experience the sales potential provided by interior design items. La Coop fédérée, with its network of affiliated cooperatives, is the fourth largest enterprise in Quebec with sales of $4.2 billion and is ranked eighth among Quebec's employers, with more than 13,000 employees.
SANTIAGO, Chile — The Worldwide DIY Council, an association of active U.S. and Canadian exporters, held its annual meeting here recently (see also People on the Move). Several dozen Council members exhibited their products at a table-top show in conjunction with the meeting. Buyers from throughout Chile attended the show and buyer reception, including multiple representatives from the three largest buying groups in that country. Council members also participated in a store tour during one afternoon of the program. Information about the Council can be found at:, Wash. — Costco Wholesale posted a 21% increase in profits in the first quarter ended Nov. 21, rising to $193.2 million, from $160.2 million a year earlier. Quarterly sales increased 10% to $11.34 billion. Same-store sales rose 7%.OAK BROOK, Ill. — Ace Hardware Corp. has sold its headquarters located here to a real estate investment trust in a $40 million sale/leaseback deal. The hardware co-op will use the money from the sale to grow its business. The deal involves a 10-year lease with a first-year net rent of $2.9 million, excluding taxes, on the 206,000-sq.ft. facility. The deal was brokered by CB Richard Ellis Inc., which also represented another company, Zurich Financial Services AG. VANCOUVER — West Fraser Timber Co. has made some concessions with Canada's Competition Commissioner concerning its planned purchase of Weldwood of Canada from International Paper Co. Under the agreement, West Fraser has agreed to unload a 90% interest in sawmills located in Burns Lake and Decker Lake, B.C. West Fraser will also agree to a temporary reduction of its annual allowable cut in the Williams Lake area by 75,000 cubic metres for a 10-year period. The acquisition is expected to close on or before Dec. 31, 2004. FORT WORTH, Tex. — Wal-Mart used newspaper advertising for the first time in November, in an effort to shore up disappointing sales. (Same-store sales were up only 0.7%, versus an anticipated 2-4%.) Full-page ads ran in major U.S. markets and in 35 secondary markets. TORONTO — A gingerbread house sponsored by Home Hardware Stores and created by Oshawa Central Collegiate culinary arts students was presented to the Hospital for Sick Children last week. An oversized gingerbread cheque for $120,000, raised through fundraising efforts at Home Hardware stores, was also part of the contribution. The gingerbread structure was actually an entire city, measuring nine metres (30 ft.) by one metre (4 ft.) and weighing 300 kilograms (675 lb.), in recognition of Home Hardware's 40th anniversary.
Canadian Tire Corp. has renewed the employment agreement with its president and CEO, Wayne Sales. The agreement extends his contract to June 30, 2007 and replaces a previous contract that would have expired in August, 2005. According to a prepared release, the terms and conditions of the new agreement are substantially the same as his former contract.The Worldwide DIY Council appointed its new board at its recent AGM: Jim Ness, vice-president of Meter-Man in Winnebago, Minn., is the new chairperson ... He succeeds Betty Perez-Koukounaras, sales and marketing manager—international, for H.D. Hudson Manufacturing Co. of Chicago. She becomes ex-officio director for one year ... Vice-chair is Ken Wallace, Latin American sales manager for Fluidmaster, based in Miami ... Ian Wallace of Better Living Products, former chairman and ex officio director, also retired from the board.Tom Coughlin will retire as vice-chairman of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. after 25 years with the world's largest retailer. His retirement will be effective Monday, Jan. 24, 2005, but he'll continue as a director of the company until June 3, 2005, when Wal-Mart holds its AGM.
Wholesale inventories in October 2004 were $323.1 billion, up 1.1% from September and up 10.6% from one year ago. Sales were $282 billion, up 1.6% from September and up 14.3% from one year ago.
Housing starts remained strong in November, rising to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 238,200. That's up from 225,000 in October, according to CMHC, and the 18th consecutive month that housing starts came in above the 200,000 level. Starts in urban centres increased 6.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 209,700 units. Urban single detached starts fell by 2.8% to 99,300 units in November while urban multiple starts increased 17.1% to 110,400. The estimated number of seasonally adjusted annualized starts in Canada's rural areas was 28,500 units.The price of new homes increased by 5.6% over the same month last year, according to the New Housing Price Index, which measures the change in contractors' selling prices. This was down slightly from the 5.8% annual increase registered in September. The annual rate of increase has been slowing since the 6.2% peak in June 2004, which was the biggest 12-month gain since February 1990.Construction intentions increased for the first time in four months in October, says Stats Canada. Municipalities issued $4.6 billion in building permits, up 2.0% from September. Last year's November average was $4.2 billion.

****HARDLINES MARKETPLACE**** Don't miss the products and services on the Hardlines web Marketplace: And check out Hardlines Classifieds on the web: HELP WANTED


This well-established home improvements company has built their success on top quality service for window, door and siding products and recently added the Owens-Corning basement finishing system to their portfolio. Business growth requires the addition of a Marketing Manager to complement their existing management team. Reporting to the President, he/she will operate and manage all marketing staff and programs to obtain leads for their inside and outside sales forces. Consumer marketing areas include marketing collateral development, direct mail programs, media buys, referral programs development, community relations, trade show involvement and market trend analysis. Currently a US-based Manager, others would typify you as the “lead generation guru” in a home improvement firm that knows how to get the most out of your staff. Open and forthright, you’re good at developing two-way communication channels throughout your company and managing by example. Home improvement company experience is essential. Located in central Pennsylvania with Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia all in relative proximity, Harrisburg is a family-friendly community that recently ranked as America’s #2 least-stressful city. To inquire further about this opportunity, please contact Wolf Gugler in strict confidence, quoting Direct Marketing Manager-PA. Wolf Gugler & Associates Limited, 1000 West Wilshire, Oklahoma City, OK 73116. (405) 848-3006 email: Web site:



Our client a tier one supplier to the “Big Box Stores” is expanding again. Working from the client’s Toronto GTA office the National Account Manager will be responsible for consumer hardware head office accounts. The idea candidate will have a proven record a proven record of sales to head offices like Home Depot and Rona. You will be computer literate and have a record of achievement. Please apply in confidence to Rick Harrison at A.E. Harrison & Partners Inc. ( by email address



We seek a dynamic support person to work in a small, mid-town publishing company. A dedicated self-starter, you’re not afraid to wrestle our new database to the ground one minute, and pick up the phone to deal with an ad customer the next. Your role: update and maintain our new database (Filemaker Pro) develop promotional mailing lists and perform mail merge Answer and screen calls when needed Assist the Sales & Marketing Director to follow up and manage classified ad sales; and prepare ad proposals and promotional schedules. Your skills: detail oriented, deadline driven, flexible software proficiency: Word, Excel, Outlook Functionality: Dreamweaver preferred,but not essential Bilingual English/French a plus! Reply in confidence to Beverly Allen at 416-489-3396 or email We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those under consideration will be contacted.



Well established sales agent sourcing major line to represent to building supply retailers, Northern Ontario. Must have brand recognition and existing sales with opportunity to grow. Reliable support including distribution, product knowledge and customer priority are essential. Reply in confidence to Dale Harvey, Harvey Northern Sales 866 200 1560



With over 150 years in business, Stanley is one of the world's most recognized and trusted brand names for tools, hardware, and security systems. The Stanley Works is currently hiring a Marketing Manager for our Canadian Headquarters, located in Oakville. Responsibilities: -Develop and execute growth strategies -Ensure fill rate targets are achieved -Actively participate in product development process -Line reviews and competitive analysis -Manager P&L -Maintain competitive price comparisons -Conduct field research -Customer presentations -Provide product knowledge, training and technical support -Travel regularly within Canada and the U.S. Occasional travel to Asia and Europe may be necessary. Requirements: -Bachelor's Degree (prefer marketing or business) -5+ years relevant experience -Solid knowledge of: Big Box, Mass Merchants, 2Step, and Independents -High customer orientation -High Financial Aptitude -Project development and Management, planning and organizational skills -Previous experience in a matrix environment strongly preferred -Solid knowledge of PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook -Knowledge of SAP and J.D. Edwards an asset At Stanley, we offer an outstanding array of benefits and a competitive salary that upholds our commitment to excellent employee care. Forward your resume to:


U.S. REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR A highly successful Canadian firm is taking advantage of their extensive product line and business success in an up economy by spearheading their new US efforts. To assist in this, a Regional Sales Director for the Northeastern US is sought. Reporting to the VP, Sales, the Director will communicate the company’s strategic direction, goals and values to sales staff in NY, NJ, NH, MA, PA and Ohio. Currently a US-based Manager, you can demonstrate the proven ability to optimize retail Customer & market mixes, maximize sales returns (margins) within a region, and are able to get the most out of your staff through open, consistent communications, motivation and follow-up processes. To inquire further about this opportunity, please contact Wolf Gugler in strict confidence, quoting Regional Sales Director-US. Wolf Gugler & Associates Limited, 1000 West Wilshire, Oklahoma City, OK 73116. (405) 848-3006 email: Web site:  

********************************************************************************** NATIONAL ACCOUNTS MANAGER

Reporting to the GM, a leading manufacturer is seeking a National Account Manager in Mississauga. You will be responsible for major accounts in Ontario and eastern Canada (Wal-Mart experience essential). A hands-on and innovative professional who interacts at all levels; you will prepare proposals, quotations, promotional offerings, plan, budget, and organize promotional advertising, participate in trade shows, demos, and forecast sales volumes. Customer focused and an excellent communicator, you have 5 years' related experience and a Business/Economics degree. You are computer literate and bilingual (French & English) and are able to travel as required. The Company offers a competitive salary and benefits program along with a good working environment. Please submit your confidential resume outlining accomplishments, objectives, and salary expectations along with a cover letter describing how your background fits the position to P.O. Box 335.  

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ARE YOU A TOOL FOOL? We are looking for agents in BC, Alberta, and the Maritimes to sell a line of quality tools. Experience in tools an absolute necessity. Also seeking a full time sales rep to do the same in Ontario. Company is a mid-sized tool importer selling to the retail, industrial and electrical markets. Send resume and/or line card to, P.O. Box 435.

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