February 17, 2014 Volume
“The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting
come to the question, and by seeking we may come upon the truth.”
—Pierre Abélard (medieval philosopher and theologian, 1079-1142)
Changes at RONA reflect focused approach to its businesses
BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — RONA spent more than a decade under former CEO Robert Dutton amalgamating a lot of businesses and a lot of processes. New leader Robert Sawyer has spent the last year examining—and unraveling—the complexities of RONA’s massive structure. One result has been to restore a more autonomous operating structure to its different businesses.
A prime example is its Réno-Dépôt stores in Quebec. Once one of the most profitable big box chains in the world, over the years since it was acquired by RONA in 2003, the stores grew more and more like the rest of RONA’s big boxes. Now, that business unit, including everybody from store designers to buying teams, is functioning with much more autonomy. (See our January 27/14 edition for the full story on Réno-Dépôt’s new look. —Editor)
The company is making other changes, as well. Dominic Prégent has been appointed vice president to oversee RONA’s professional and contractor market. That channel includes Dick’s Lumber in Burnaby, B.C., two yards in Alberta and two in Ontario, plus Coupal in Quebec and Pierceys in Nova Scotia. Prégent was formerly executive VP and general manager at Belanger UPT. He now reports to Luc Rodier, executive vice president, retail. “His mandate is to put greater focus on that end of the business,” says Rodier.
Rodier spoke with HARDLINES on the eve of a presentation by his associate, Alain Brisebois, RONA’s new executive vice president and chief commercial officer, to members of the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturers Association in Quebec. (More on that presentation in next week’s edition of HARDLINES! —Michael)
The team managing RONA’s big boxes and proximity stores has been rounded out with the addition of Lucie Guimond as vice president of merchandising strategy for those stores. She was formerly vice president of sales at Via Rail Canada and was also a VP at Loblaw. Jean-Charles Doucet, formerly a VP with Coupal, is now vice president, national procurement for lumber and building materials, reporting to Alain Brisebois.
Rounding out the new members of RONA’s senior team are Claire Bara, vice president marketing, and Manon Bouchard, vice president national procurement, hardware.
The changes, says Rodier, are all pointing RONA in a direction that puts the customer first. He notes that RONA president and CEO Robert Sawyer now has just four direct reports, where once there were 13. (They are Rodier, Brisebois, Christian Proulx , senior VP of human resources and communications, and Dominique Boies, executive vice president and CFO.)
“We really made a major turn. It’s a company and a structural change—with a customer focus. I see tremendous potential in what we’re doing now. It will only make us stronger,” adds Rodier.
“I stand behind that.”
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RONA’s strategy includes renewed support for independents
BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — Recognizing its function as a wholesale distributor to its independent (franchise and affiliate) RONA dealers, the company has established that business as a separate entity, as well. “We consolidated an existing team that was part of the merchandising group, but is now focused on the independents,” says Luc Rodier, RONA’s executive vice president, retail.
That team operates under
Philippe Element, who is senior director of wholesale. Responsible for the entire dealer team across the country, he has been mandated to develop a product mix, different from RONA’s big box stores, that really focuses on the needs of independents and proximity stores. He reports to Lucie Guimond, vice president of merchandising strategy.
RONA continues to offer products and programs for smaller independents who still want wholesale support, but not necessarily with a banner. TruServ Canada, owned by RONA and based in Winnipeg, offers a pure wholesale function for dealers who need a source of supply for their hardware needs. Those dealers also have the choice of adopting the TRU banner if they wish.
“We have a lot of dealers,” adds Alain Brisebois, executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “We want them to succeed. We want them to re-invest in their business and we want them to grow.”
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Chalifour’s new West Coast DC will focus on building materials
LONDON, Ont. — Chalifour Canada has announced that its Surrey, B.C. distribution centre will be relocated to a new facility in Surrey by the end of May 2014. The move ties in with a plan to solidify Chalifour’s overall national structure while improving its efficiency and the array of services offered to its members in British Columbia.
Originally the hardware and building materials warehouse for IRLY Distributors, before it was bought by TIM-BR MART Group in January 2012, the new Chalifour Surrey facility will focus on warehousing building materials. It will also be used as a cross-dock facility by the B.C. dealers, offering them access to a larger selection of hardware products. The move will see the hardware business consolidated into Chalifour’s existing 400,000-square-foot distribution centre in London, Ont.
Chalifour, the hardware distribution business owned by TIM-BR MART Group, is headquartered in London, Ont. Besides its facilities in Surrey and London, Chalifour has three DCs in Quebec.
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HTV Special: Lowe’s sharpens focus on contractor customer
BURLINGTON, Ont. — Seeking to understand why contractors shop—or choose not to shop—in its stores, Lowe’s Canada underwent extensive field research and customer surveys to better understand the mind of this valued customer segment. “We wanted to understand how they were thinking so we could make it easier for them to shop,” said Sylvain Prud’homme, president of Lowe’s Canada. He gave a tour of the new Burlington, Ont., store recently, to point out the retailer’s latest innovations.
Changes were made to the contractor desk and products such as lumber have been sorted, as Prud’homme points out, by project, not by size. “It’s a subtle difference, but for any customer who wants to be here and out quickly, it’s really helping them.”
(HARDLINES was there! Click here to watch Sylvain Prud’homme explain the company’s contractor-focused strategy on HARDLINES TV! —Editor)
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Travel and hotel discounts simplify getting to Cologne Fair
COLOGNE, Germany — Eisenwarenmesse, the International Hardware Fair Cologne, runs from March 9-12. In addition to special travel and hotel conditions awarded by the Koelnmesse partners, early bookers can profit from the presale prices in the ticket shop and from a show pass that also gives access to unlimited local transport on Cologne’s sophisticated network of trains and subways.
Trade visitors can find further information on public transport connections and can also look up cheap flights with the travel partner, Germanwings, via the “Arrival and travel” link on the Eisenwarenmesse website.
Once in Germany, rail transport on the Deutsche Bahn is quick and efficient—and Cologne’s central train station, lies directly across the Rhine from the exhibition grounds. In addition, the Koelnmesse/Deutz station puts attendees just a five minutes’ walk away from the show. Rail bookings can be made by telephone directly: +49-(0)180-6311153 or online on the Eisenwarenmesse website.
Koelnmesse is also co-operating with partner hotels in Cologne and the surrounding region for online hotel reservations. For last-minute bookings, it is possible to reserve hotel rooms for the same night via the JustBook app on a mobile phone. Koelnmesse visitors will receive a
€20 discount on entering the “koelnmesse” voucher code.
The entrance tickets to the International Hardware Fair Cologne are available from the online ticket shop. (HARDLINES has a few complimentary passes, as well. Just contact Beverly Allen at the World Headquarters for info. —Editor)
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World Kitchen, LLC.
National Account Manager – OLFA Business.
Reporting to the VP/GM, this role is charged with managing a customer
portfolio totaling $8M-$12M plus in annual sales revenue, and requires a
Bachelor’s degree as well as 3-7 years of large account management skills required. We need someone who has strong financial acumen, adept in all aspects of trade management, who has strong critical thinking skills and a track record in improving customer profitability. This position requires 25%-50% travel. If interested, please click here.
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Tree Island Steel seeks Product Manager for champion new a new product line- experience with fasters is an asset. To read more about this exciting opportunity and to apply, please visit our careers page at http://www.treeisland.com/careers/job-postings
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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 email@example.com .
- 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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