vol. ix, 6 February 10, 2003

* Innovations, new products offset lowered attendance at CHS * Joe Galli Jr., Wintermans, Réno-Dépôt round out speakers at executive conference * Home Depot begins rollout of nursery banner * Wylie gets lifetime achievement award * Masco buys Powershot

"It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.." — Woody Allen
The first-ever Industry Awards Breakfast was an amazing success! We had 300 people join us on Sunday morning, February 2 to join us in honouring award-winning companies. Hardware Merchandising presented its Outstanding Retailer Awards and we awarded our Newsmakers of the Year. Special thanks to our sponsors: · JDA Software, sponsor of Sodisco-Howden Group, Newsmaker of the Year · Sterling Commerce, sponsor of Rona Inc., and Richelieu Hardware, Newsmakers of the Year And to these fine sponsors of the Outstanding Retailer Awards by Hardware Merchandising: · 3M · Dimensions Retail Systems · IKO · CGC · Zircon
Toronto, ON The biggest talk at the Canadian Hardware and Building Materials Show was, well, the show itself. This year, its fate has come into question more than ever before. Exhibitor presence was down again, especially as major vendors continue to vote with their feet. However, the show was aggressive in recruiting new companies, which showcased a wide range of the very new and innovative products that buyers seek. While numbers dropped from 500 exhibiting companies in 2002 to 400, 165 of them were brand new to the show. And a lot of them were pretty cool. (See next week for our highlights from CHS — MM). The new product showcase featured 350 products. Nonetheless, compare vendor numbers to as recently as 1999, when 720 companies were represented at CHS. While new and innovative companies added lustre to this year's show, veteran companies with new products also got good response. Henkel was back after an absence of several years, spurred by an abundance of new products it wanted to show off. While U.S. attendance fell off post-9/11, a number of American companies were present. For Hillman, it was their second year at this show, back due to good response the previous year. Taymor, Delta Porter Cable and CanWel were among the traditional suppliers who hung in. "Dealer attendance was down," admitted Mike Piggot of CanWel, "but we're still writing some good business." However, sales were off for a large number of exhibitors interviewed, even though the show introduced a number of initiatives to increase buying in the aisles, including a lot of show specials. Dealer attendance appeared lighter again this year (the show's official tally of attendance was not ready as of press time), though Sunday, the first day of the show, had some good traffic. Stephen Murdoch, communications coordinator for CHS, concurs: "Quantity was down, but quality was up," he said. "We heard that from a lot of exhibitors. Eveybody I talked to said they met quality buyers." Buyers were definitely present: Greg Hollander of TruServ Canada brought three with him, and so did Jean Lamarche of Réno-Dépôt. Joel Marks brought members of his team from Home Hardware, as well. Home Depot's head hardware buyer, Peter Vernon, was spotted on the show floor, and ILDC let its dealer members loose following its buyer negotiations on Sunday morning. Schurman Building Supplies brought 14 people from PEI to the show. While much of that attendance may have been on the strength of the fact it won an award in Hardware Merchandising's Outstanding Retailer Awards, two Schurman buyers said they saw some new and interesting items. "We picked up a few things and placed a few orders," said Angela Millar, buyer for plumbing and paint. "I didn't find as many plumbing vendors as I would have hoped for, though, and saw nobody new in that category." A number of initiatives were attempted this year. Training and information seminars abounded, and Centre magazine's Awards program was admirably executed by editor Elena Opasini. But a number of ideas either misfired or failed to get off the ground, due to their last-minute nature. A vendor-buyer breakfast, apparently modelled after Hardlines' own Meet the Buyers Breakfast Series, failed to attract adequate attendance and was cancelled two weeks before the show - and only days after it was announced in the first place. A contractor night, built around a power tool information event, attracted only a limited number of tradespeople and kept the show open until 8 p.m. on the second day, to the chagrin of many exhibitors who had no involvement with the event. The seminar program was better than ever this year, with speakers such as Anthony Stokan and Dr. Richard Loreto presenting. Still, they weren't as well attended as they could have been. "The seminars were good, but we have to make them more central and perhaps tie them into a lunch," said Murdoch. "We had a lot of people saying they had trouble finding the rooms." The show's future is further confounded by talk of the Lumber and Building Materials Association of Ontario pulling its support of CHS. The LBMAO merged with CHS in 2000, after its own Canadian Home Centre Show was discontinued and some board members expressed concern about both the attendance at the show and the LBMAO's return on its investment. Non-exhibiting vendors were charged $200 for walking the show, a reasonable price on the face of it, since these vendors did not have to incur any show setup costs. And exhibitors were favourable to this restriction. However, vendors that had participated in the past resented being hit with the charge. As one said, they wanted a chance to see the show first-hand to evaluate their future participation. In fact, the surcharge managed to keep away at least one of the inventors sought after by CHS. A woman phoned the World Headquarters just last Thursday, looking for information on how to break into the market. She admitted being frustrated by the cost of attending the show. CHS's declining attendance is a common challenge for trade shows today, including the National Hardware Show in Chicago. However, the Canadian show is actively - and admirably - trying to reinvent itself and the show management is optimistic it can turn the event around. "We're pleased," says Murdoch. "I know a couple of things have to be revaluated, but we'll be bigger and better next year." The dates for next year's show are February 1-3, 2004.  

Arlington, TX Home Depot has announced it will begin expanding its lawn and garden specialty stores in Texas and will open its first new store in Arlington, near Dallas-Fort Worth, on February 13. Additional locations will open later this Spring in Plano, Grapevine, Lewisville and Dallas.

Home Depot Landscape Supply has been tested in three markets around the retailer's home base of Atlanta, GA since last summer, expanding on Home Depot's seasonal and live goods assortments, and aiming at the trade customer as well as the serious consumer. Each store has approximately 30 staff, including certified nursery experts. Each store stocks a wide selection of products ranging from live goods and chemicals to tools and landscaping materials. A 12,000 sq.ft.climate-controlled area includes a tool rental department in front of a covered greenhouse. Each store also features up to seven fenced-in acres called the "Pro-Yard." The stores are set up with separate entrances for the professional landscaper and the DIYer. The pro side of the store features job-lot quantities with bulk items stacked nearby. The other side of the store resembles a greenhouse, complete with exotic plants and flowers. "These stores are our response to demands from professional landscapers and avid do-it- yourselfers alike," says Todd Williams, president of Landscape Supply. "We want to take Home Depot's lawn/garden offerings to a higher level to reach a new set of customers." According to Home Depot Canada's president, Annette Verschuren, she wants to let the company's specialty store formats get tested thoroughly in the U.S. before she considers bringing them north of the border.
World Headquarters, Toronto Top executives from around the world have been secured to speak at the eighth annual Hardlines Marketing Conference on September 4, 2003. Joe Galli Jr., the head of Newell Rubbermaid, has been the centre of attention as he pushes Newell through acquisition after acquisition (see Companies in the News for the latest from Newell — Ed.). He has agreed to speak at the conference along with two key Canadian retail leaders, Jos Wintermans, president and CEO of Sodisco-Howden Group, and Sylvain Toutant, president and CEO of Réno-Dépôt. John Herbert, general manager of BHB, the German retail hardware association, will speak, as well. Herbert is a true expert on the international retail scene who has seen duty on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the former general manager of Knauber, a ground-breaking DIY chain in Germany that became a mecca for everyone from Home Depot to Canadian Tire. Herbert was picked by Home Depot to become vice-president of its Expo stores and develop that banner in the U.S., before moving back to Germany in 2001. The innovation and passion of an award-winning independent wil be represented by Tanya Rocca, owner/manager of Roblynn Home Hardware in Oromocto, NB. Rocca won the Young Retailer of the Year Award for all of North America last year. The Hardlines Marketing Conference annually brings together North America's leading retail executives for a forum of ideas, innovation, trends and networking. About 200 retailers and vendors are expected at this year's Conference, which will be held at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, near the Toronto International Airport. It's part of the Hardlines Conference Series, running September 3-4, 2003. The Series includes the third annual Retail Education Forum on September 3, an intensive half-day focusing on the competitive issues specifically affecting the industry, such as housing trends, economic forecasts and trends within home improvement retailing. The International Business Seminar, "Global Selling: tools for opening overseas markets," will be held in the morning before the Education Forum, completing the two-day series. For more information on the Hardlines Conference Series, and to take advantage of Nancy's early bird specials, contact: nancy@hardlines.ca or call 416-489-3396.
"This was way better than the Geminis." — Mag Ruffman, TV's DIY diva and faithful Hardlines fan, who joined us at the Industry Awards Breakfast at the Sheraton Centre on February 2. She compared the morning's wackiness to Canada's awards for the television industry.
Canadian Tire 33.65 23.96 29.55
Canfor 11.70 6.83 9.30
Costco 46.90 27.09 28.52
Emco 14.23 6.75 13.50
Goodfellow 13.99 9.25 11.01
Home Depot 52.60 20.10 21.31
Hudson's Bay 15.55 5.87 8.90
Lowe's Cos. 49.99 32.50 34.08
Rona Inc. 14.75 12.26 12.35
Sears Canada 25.10 15.15 17.60
Sodisco-Howden 2.20 1.06 1.55
Taiga Forest 7.00 5.05 6.60
Wal-Mart 63.94 43.72 46.79
West Fraser 44.42 28.90 36.25
With an eye to the success of companies such as Liquidation World, Hudson's Bay is getting into the liquidation business. It will source products from Internet auctions, off-price trade shows and bankrupt companies. The products will be sold through all of HBC's banners, Zellers, The Bay and Home Outfitters. Nexfor lost US$6 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a break-even in the final quarter of 2001. Revenues were up 19% to US$384 million on the strength of acquisition, while earnings for the year reached US$13 million on a sales increase of 12%. Faced with stiff competition from China and Mexico, Canada's largest appliance maker may close its Canadian manufacturing. Camco, 51% owned by American-based General Electric, reported a "modestly solid" 4Q profit, but added it's looking elsewhere. Masco has purchased Powershot Co. In Canada, both Arrow Fastener Inc. products and Powershot products will be distributed by Jardel Distributors. Freeport, IL-based Newell Rubbermaid will relocate to Atlanta, GA. Newell plans to build a 300,000-sq.ft. complex somewhere in north Fulton County. The company employs about 350 at its current headquarters. Newell has 48,000 employees worldwide. Sherwin-Williams Co. had an increase of 26% in its 4Q profit, boosted by cost cuts and paint sales to DIYers. However, the faltering U.S. economy has cut into Sherwin-Williams' industrial and automotive business. The company posted a quarterly profit of US$57.1 million, compared with US$45.4 million. Sales rose 2% to US$1.16 billion. The company expects 2003 to be a tough year, due to uncertain worldwide economic conditions, the threat of war with Iraq and the slow, long-term recovery expected in the domestic economy.
Joe Edwards has been appointed general manager of International Home Shows for Showcase Marketing Ltd., which produces the International Home & Garden Show & Success With Gardening Shows. Edwards will oversee these shows. Prior to this position, he was show manager for 18 years with the Canadian Hardware and Building Materials Show. He reports to Paul Newdick, president and CEO of Showcase Marketing. (416-512-1305) Pro Wylie, president of Castle Building Centres Group, received the Industry Achievement Award from the Lumber and Building Materials Association of Ontario last week. On receiving the award, Wylie announced he has renewed his contract to head up the Castle buying group for another four years. (905-564-3307) Eric Roberts has been named director of sales, consumer markets for Osram Sylvania. He assumes the newly created position after stints at Sealey, Moulinex and Sanyo Canada. (905-671-5582) Catalina Lighting Inc. has promoted James W. Scott to the position of managing director of its Canadian subsidiary, Catalina Canada. Scott has been with Catalina for the past seven years, most recently as vice-president of sales and marketing, responsible for managing the company's large Canadian retail accounts. He replaces Don Planche, who has left the company. (905-795-9995)
The value of building permits in Canada in 2002 jumped up 16.0% over 2001, the seventh straight annual increase, says Statistics Canada. Residential building permits climbed a whopping 32.1% from 2001, breaking the 200,000-unit mark for the first time since 1989. Non-residential intentions dropped 4.1% in 2002, however, as industrial and commercial permits fell in value. In December, the value of building permits declined for a second consecutive month, down 3.2% to $3.8 billion. Non-residential building permits dropped 14.8% to $1.4 billion, but residential permits remained high, increasing 4.6% to $2.5 billion, as both single- and multi-family components gained ground. In December, U.S. residential construction spending hit a record US$434.6 billion seasonally adjusted, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. A 1.2% increase in spending pushed the value of residential and commercial construction projects to US$858.3 billion seasonally adjusted, following a 0.9% increase in November.
Raymond F. Kennedy, president and COO of Masco Corp., passed away suddenly on February 4 at his home in Michigan. He was 60. Masco chairman and CEO Richard A. Manoogian, who previously served as president and COO, will assume Mr. Kennedy's responsibilities on an interim basis. (313-274-7400)
Newsmaker Awards: Richelieu Hardware Curtis Popovich of Sterling Commerce presents the award to Richard Martin of Richelieu Sodisco-Howden Group Jos Wintermans of Sodisco-Howden receiving the award from Desmond Preudhomme of JDA Rona Inc. Curtis Popovich of Sterling Commerce presents the award to Claude Bernier of Rona And at the Canadian Hardware and Building Materials Show: Ezgi Unal, Henkel Canada, demonstrating new products:

****HARDLINES MARKETPLACE**** Check out Hardlines Classifieds on the web: https://hardlines.ca/html/classifieds_new.asp

HELP WANTED KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER Olympia Group USA is a leading worldwide manufacturer and importer of Hand Tools, Striking Tools, Lawn and Garden Tools, Automotive Tools and Abrasives, with offices all around the world. Its Canadian branch is expanding its sales team in the Quebec province. We are looking for a Key Account Manager. This team player will report directly to the Vice-President of Sales and will represent Olympia Canada to large customers in Quebec. His/her key role will be to; develop and implement sales and marketing strategies to increase our customer base and increase product listings for his/her accounts; provide forecasts to our purchasing team, provide feedback, store shop and competitiveness report to our product development team, budget customers and give weekly call and project progress report. Mandatory qualifications and experience: You must have a minimum of 5 years in key account representation, in the retail hardware industry, with proven track record. Strong analytical skills, highly develop communication and inter-relations skills and excellent in presentations and line review. Experience in merchandising is a must. The candidate must be bilingual written and spoken, computer literate; Excel, Word, Outlook, willing to travel, have a car with valid drivers license. We thank in advance all candidates and wish to inform that we will contact only the individuals retained for an interview. Please submit a resume by email, stating qualifications and income expectations to sales@olympiagroup.qc.ca. ***********************************************************************************  SALES REP AND TRAINER Cognicase-Omni, the largest provider of Turn-Key Management Solutions for the Hardware and Building Supply Industry, is now expanding by opening an office in the Vancouver area. We are looking for career minded individuals who enjoy working in the hardware and building material business and have an interest in assisting dealers by providing management solutions. Computer experience is not necessary but preference will be given to those that have industry experience and want to work closely with a proven Software system. Positions are available in Sales and Training. Please submit a resumé by email to Frank Rizzo, frizzo@attcanada.ca

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National Manufacturing & Distribution Company requires Sales & Marketing Organization to sell Lawn & Garden Product lines to Independent Dealers networks in Ontario. Reply in strictest confidence to: bev@hardlines.ca (put Box 327 in your subject line); or fax in strictest confidence c/o Box 327, 416-489-6154. *********************************************************************************** Polar Distribution is looking for reps calling on the electrical distributors and retail electrical departments. We are introducing a new ETL/CSA approved mounting block (e-mount) for exterior applications for light fixtures and electrical receptacles. Please forward your companies details to dynamics@rogers.com. Click on www.polardistribution.com for product details.


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Hardlines is published weekly (except monthly in December and August) by McLARNEYCOM 542 Mount Pleasant Rd., Suite 302, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4S 2M7 © 2003 by Michael McLarney. HARDLINES™ the electronic newsletter hardlines.ca Phone: 416.489.3396; Fax: 416.489.6154 Michael McLarney, Editor & Publisher: mike@hardlines.ca Beverly Allen, Marketing Manager: bev@hardlines.ca Nancy Wright, Circulation Manager: nancy@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: $199+$13.93 GST = $212.93 per year (GST #13987 0398 RT). Secondary subscriptions at the same office are only $34 + $2.38 GST = $36.38. Ask about our reduced rate for branch offices. You can pay online by VISA at our secure website or send us money. Please make cheque payable to McLarneyCom.