February 10, 2014 Volume
“Well done is better than well said.”—Benjamin Franklin
(American author, politician, inventor and diplomat, 1706-1790)
Coop fédérée to close Trois-Rivières distribution centre
TROIS-RIVIÈRES, Que. —La Coop fédérée announced last Friday that it will begin closing its hardware and building materials distribution centre here. That facility operates under the Unimat banner.
However, the DC’s agricultural machinery and parts activities will be maintained, as will the Unimat banner. La Coop fédérée estimates that the closure will occur over the next 12 to 15 months and be completed by the spring of 2015. The closure is part of the consolidation of the resources of BMR, which La Coop took a 20% interest in late last year. Much of the activities of this DC are expected to be taken over by BMR’s infrastructure.
The first impact on La Coop employees will be in the spring of 2014 and will affect administration personnel, followed by warehouse employees in the summer and fall of 2014. The process will affect 236 staff, who will be taken care of through La Coop’s assistance programs. La Coop fédérée represents a total of 175 retailers, which employ 4,500 people.
“Our organization will ensure a fair and equitable transition for all our employees as has always been the case,” said La Coop’s CEO, Claude Lafleur. The company has hired Vézina Nadeau Labre, a career transition firm, to manage the layoffs.
Lafleur admits that, given the nature of the BMR acquisition, “The status quo was not a responsible decision. We looked at a lot of scenarios, including specialization, regionalization, and even bringing back certain activities. We also conducted technical analyses that were studied seriously. However, we arrived at the conclusion that we were up against the wall.”
He further noted that the increased consolidation within the retail hardware and home improvement industry has moved La Coop to seek ways to remain competitive. “The involvement of La Coop fédérée and its network in this sector remains a priority and it intends to remain a full player,” said the company in a release.
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Lowe’s Canada committed to Canadian expansion
BURLINGTON Ont. — Sylvain Prud’homme is the fourth head of Lowe’s Canada since the company established itself here in 2007 and its first Canadian president. Despite the turnover, Prud’homme says definitively, “We are really committed to this market.”
When Lowe’s first arrived, its stated goal was to open 100 stores within 10 years. More than halfway into that timeline, its store count still falls short of its original objective. However, timing is everything and Lowe’s timing was, it turned out, less than auspicious. Just one year after opening its first stores here, the worldwide recession hit, affecting economies—and retailers—everywhere. Big boxes in Canada were especially hard hit. Head office admitted to losses in Canada, even as Prud’homme’s predecessor, Alan Huggins, assured us that each new store was reaching U.S. levels of profitability quickly.
Then, as Lowe’s was getting back on track, another American retailer, Target, announced it would take over the leases of more than 200 Zellers locations. This in turn spurred its chief rival, Walmart, to step up expansion plans of its own.
The result was a tight supply of large-surface retail real estate, putting pressure on Lowe’s own “pipeline” of store sites it was trying to develop. Next came a “friendly” takeover bid for RONA inc., in the same week that la belle province announced provincial elections. RONA became a hot potato politically, and Lowe’s retreated from the offer.
Now, with two consecutive quarters of double digit growth from its Canadian stores, Lowe’s is once again voicing the possibility that it would attempt another acquisition.
“We are ready to grow,” Prud’homme says, hinting at more than just organic growth. “We are looking at every opportunity.”
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Benchmarking reveals Quebec operating conditions
QUEBEC CITY — In Quebec, only 34% of dealers say they use a loyalty program. Similarly, just one-third reported that they use electronic tagging in their stores. However, gift cards and certificates are much more popular: fully 91% of dealers reported offering those.
These are just some of the results of a report released by the hardware and building materials association of Quebec, AQMAT, called the Planning Strategy Guide (le Guide de planification stratégique—or GPS). The report, presented recently to members by AQMAT president and CEO Richard Darveau, provides the results of a survey conducted online to the association’s membership during the autumn of 2013. It provides a benchmark for a range of business conditions and operations.
Expansion plans of dealers in Quebec are tentative at best, reflecting the relatively slower market there, compared with many other parts of Canada. Only 6% of responding dealers said they intend to add another store over the next three years. However, that rate goes up among stores in the greater Montreal region, where 13% plan to expand with another outlet within the next three years.
The GPS is a rich data source, tracking everything from customer types (37% of the business on average was from DIYers, while 20% came from contractors) to staff relations (less than half the dealers offer any kind of dental coverage).
(The full GPS report, which is free to AQMAT members who participated in the survey, can be obtained by clicking here.)
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Home Depot ramps up hiring for spring
TORONTO — The Home Depot Canada is in the middle of its annual spring hiring spree, in search of an additional 6,300 employees across all 180 locations, representing an increase in staffing levels of about 22%.
The company, which has 180 stores and 28,000 employees in Canada, is hosting 500 career events across Canada, hiring full-time, part-time, and seasonal positions. In addition, the retailer is adding a new event to its hiring strategy. It will host its very first National Hiring Day on February 12 at all Home Depot Canada locations.
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National Retail Sales Manager, The Hillman Group Canada
Our client is a leading distributor of hardware, signs and key duplication equipment to more than 21,000 retail locations worldwide. The company has 11 facilities across North America and services over 58 countries with a significant presence in Mexico, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. The integration of the H Paulin business unit has provided the company with dominant North American market share in all categories they serve.
We’ve been retained to search out a Retail Sales Manager for the Canadian division overseeing growth of the sales encompassing LBM and other independent retailers nationally. Big Box and mass merchandise retailers would be excluded. Primary objectives are: driving revenue, developing business relationships, managing field sales organization and controlling expenses. He/she will provide hands-on leadership in developing an existing field sales team including both factory sales staff and independent agents. The position will involve some time in the Toronto east end office, but the majority of time will be spent in the field with sales staff assisting them in overachievement of their goals and providing excellent customer satisfaction as a direct result.
Key qualifications include:
Interested? Please contact Wolf Gugler in strict confidence by phone (888-848-3006), by clicking this link or by applying online on our web site at www.wolfgugler.com . We reply to all responses.
Wolf Gugler Executive Search, 200-100 Consilium Place, Toronto, ON. Offices in Canada and the U.S.
- Minimum 10 years field sales management experience
- Experience in the Canadian hardware and/or building materials industry preferred
- Extensive senior sales experience and contacts with national/ regional hardware and building materials retailers and wholesalers
- Ability to develop and execute sales and management programs and policies
- Excellent planning, organization, time management skills
- Strong written and verbal skills . French a definite asset.
- Advanced User of Microsoft Office - Word, Excel & PowerPoint
- Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills
- Post secondary undergraduate diploma/degree in business or equivalent
- Ability to travel extensively
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RENIN CANADA CORP
National Account Manager
Renin is an International market leader in Wall Mirror, with its Canadian head office based in Brampton, Ontario. We are currently seeking an experienced National Account Manager to join our team.
- Managing portfolio of North American retail accounts
- Promotional planning and sku/category management.
- Development and preparation of customer presentations and meeting materials.
- Coordinate and attend customer/ industry trade shows and events, as required.
- Create and maintain competitive market price shops on a regular basis.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Strong organizational skills – ability to work independently and within a team.
- Participate effectively with cross functional departments internally and externally.
- Experience in product forecasting and sales data analysis required.
Interested applicants should email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org .
- 5+ years of national/regional account sales experience in the retail home improvement/plumbing.
- Post-secondary education.
- Knowledge of big box DIY and Mass home products channel is essential.
- Ability to travel within Canada required and USA.
- Advanced Microsoft Office Applications including: Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
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(ONTARIO - EASTERN, CENTRAL, GTA)
ISOLOFOAM Group is a well establish company, manufacturer and distributor of innovative rigid foam insulation panels (EPS) for all types of buildings.
We are currently seeking a talented, energetic individual with strong drive to success and determination to join our growing team.
This position requires an individual who is familiar with the Lumber and Building Supply industry, as well as building techniques and specifications.
Reporting to the District Manager, this position will develop and expand relationships with LBM dealers, retailers, contractors and architects. Manage and direct the sales process for these customers to achieve and surpasse sales and corporate goals. Enhance market positioning. Support the organization in competition and market requirements analysis. Competitive compensation package offered.
Please forward your resume in confidence to email@example.com
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