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February 20, 2023 | Volume xxix, #8


  • Dealers welcome face-to-face connections at Orgill market in New Orleans
  • UFA launches an expanded e-commerce platform with outside vendors
  • Indigenous artist invited to design showroom at Calgary IKEA store
  • Under creditor protection, Bed Bath & Beyond Canada plans to close

PLUS: Canadian Tire expands Petco shops, Hudson’s Bay suspends data transfers to Meta, Imperial Manufacturing purchases Norbel Metal, Lowe’s carrying Klein Tools, Cloverdale Paint holds annual conference and trade show, CertainTeed acquires technology from Asphaltica, Ben-Mor acquires Fortune Rope and Metal, existing home sales dip, Grainger kills it at the Super Bowl, and more!

Dealers welcome face-to-face connections at Orgill market in New Orleans

Orgill held its annual in-person Spring Dealer Market in New Orleans from Feb. 9 to 11. The Memphis-based wholesaler managed to draw thousands of dealers from around the world, including a strong contingent of Canadians representing about 175 stores, who attended to access new products, special buys, and the latest services available to them.

And once again, Hardlines was at the show, hosting the ever-popular Canada Night Reception.

The Orgill Market hosted more than 1,000 vendor booths, a model store, new product and promotional product sections, and educational sessions spread over more than 900,000 square feet of exhibition space at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Overall, the atmosphere was positive, with the majority of exhibiting vendors reporting lots of interaction with their dealer-customers and everyone sharing a sense of relief at being able to gather in person again. Attendees could take advantage of thousands of in-booth product specials, Orgill’s “Door Buster” promotions, pallet buys, hundreds of planograms, and a wide assortment of special pricing.

While Canucks walking the show comprised a small fraction of the overall attendance, Canadian exhibitors were happy for the most part to be there. Their presence supported their relationships with Orgill, which helps them supply independents across Canada. In addition, many Canadian vendors were happy to expand their reach with U.S. customers.

For companies that wanted to get all the Canadian dealers at Orgill in one room, Hardlines once again hosted its Canada Night reception. With lots of beer, fried catfish, and alligator, against the lively backdrop of Cajun music, the event brought together about 240 Canadian dealers, Orgill reps, and sponsoring vendors from every part of the country.

While the majority of Canucks in attendance were from buying groups like Castle and TIMBER MART, a range of other bannered retailers, many of whom rely on Orgill for fill-in orders, also showed up. And yes, per tradition, the entire room joined in a rousing rendition of “O Canada” in both official languages.

UFA launches an expanded e-commerce platform with outside vendors

The Alberta farm and ranch co-operative UFA launched an expanded online platform last week. Called MarketPLACE, it resides on the co-op’s own UFA.com site, and is the result of a partnership with Mirakl, an enterprise marketplace technology provider. The platform was further customized by UFA’s own digital, product strategy, and tech teams.

UFA (founded in 1909 as United Farmers of Alberta) has 34 Farm & Ranch Supply stores throughout the province. With this addition to UFA’s online shopping experience, shoppers can add vendors’ products to their cart along with products carried by UFA. The products can then be picked up at the customer’s local Farm & Ranch Supply store. Alternatively, MarketPLACE vendors can also choose to ship their products directly to the end user.

Vendors that take advantage of the new platform are in control of their own brand assortments. In addition, they set the price, manage the product set-up, and manage their own deliveries and returns. “The vendors own the fulfilment and ship to the local Farm & Ranch store,” says Glenn Bingley, VP of AgriBusiness and Supply Chain at UFA.

Bingley points out that the expanded online marketplace will also be a way for the Farm & Ranch stores to extend their geographic reach. The co-op is investing in the site and is already shipping from British Columbia to Manitoba.

“It enables us to better serve our customers. It maximizes our assortments, and gives the customers more choices,” Bingley says. “It allows us to expand our assortment without affecting the retail footprint, and it really complements our bricks-and-mortar business.”

Indigenous artist invited to design showroom at Calgary IKEA store

One of the showrooms at the IKEA in Calgary is the work of an indigenous artist. Lana Manyfingers drew on her Blackfoot and Cree roots to create a space that reflects her own culture and family history. “It's a fantastic opportunity to showcase my ancestry, my family, my culture, and my love for Mohkinstsis—the city of Calgary.”

Items in the showroom include a coffee table with a medicine wheel pattern, traditional medicines and herbs, and items from Manyfingers’ own home and life, reflecting the importance of her family and culture.

While having Swedish roots, IKEA stresses that it is committed to Indigenous reconciliation. In conversation with Global News in Calgary, IKEA Calgary manager Isabelle Brigliadori said this concept also symbolizes the value of reconciliation. “When we looked at where our building sits, it’s on Treaty land. We need to understand and educate ourselves, because we weren’t as educated as we needed to be.”

IKEA Canada has made other efforts to embrace indigenous culture. Through autumn of last year, it hosted an art installation in all its stores by The Canadian Library that honoured thousands of murdered and missing Indigenous women and children.

Each installation features a bookcase filled with books covered in Indigenous-inspired fabric. Instead of titles, the book spines noted the individual names of missing Indigenous women and children.

The Canadian Library is a grassroots art installation project that serves as a memorial to all First Nations, Metis, and Inuit women and children who have suffered abuse, lost their lives due to brutality, or have been forgotten.

Under creditor protection, Bed Bath & Beyond Canada plans to close  

Bed Bath & Beyond Canada Ltd. has filed for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in advance of closing its operations. The documents were submitted to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Feb. 10 and published on the website of the consulting firm that BBB has retained for these matters, Alvarez & Marsal.

The documents state that the Canadian operation does not have the “capacity or ability to independently effect a recapitalization or restructuring of the Canadian operations without access to cash and support” from the New Jersey-based parent company and its creditors.

The U.S. operation has been losing money itself, and has already closed several stores there, so it’s not looking to invest in the Canadian operations any further, according to the filing. “After consideration of all strategic alternatives, the Bed Bath & Beyond Group has determined that it is no longer in a position to provide financial and operational support to BBB Canada. BBB Canada is insolvent,” says the filing. As a result, BBB “will be unable to satisfy its obligations as they come due. BBB Canada is required to wind down its business in Canada.”

There are 54 Bed Bath & Beyond stores in Canada, in addition to 11 buybuy BABY outlets, which are also included in the filing. The American parent raised $225 million in an equity offering last week—but says it needs to get up to $800 million more to stave off bankruptcy. The Alvarez & Marsal filing shows BBB has total assets in Canada of $427 million and total liabilities of $342 million.



... that the Hardlines Conference is being held in Whistler, B.C., this year? Yup, we’re going to be at one of Canada’s most splendid destinations for our 27th annual Conference, and it’s going to rock! You may have missed the incredible networking and speakers at our past conferences, but you will definitely want to join us this year. It all takes place at the prestigious Fairmont Whistler Hotel, Oct. 17 and 18, 2023. (Click here for more info!)


Canadian Tire Corp. is busy expanding the number of Petco shops inside its Canadian Tire stores across the country. The company says the store-within-a-store concept is currently in over 80 percent of Canadian Tire stores and will grow to 90 percent by this summer. It says the pet market in Canada is worth $5.3 billion, with 60 percent of Canadian households owning a cat or dog.

Hudson’s Bay Co. says it has “suspended all data transfers to Meta,” the owner of Facebook and Instagram, following a report by Canada’s privacy commissioner. The report concluded an investigation into Home Depot’s sharing of customer data with Meta in exchange for market research. Privacy Commissioner Philippe Dufresne found that the practice breaches privacy laws—because the Depot did not get explicit consent from its customers—and is likely widespread across retailers.

Lowe’s Cos. will start stocking Klein Tools products on its shelves and among its e-retail offerings in the second half of 2023. With premium store placement across multiple product categories, the initial selection will include hand, electrical test, and measurement tools, followed by a multi-year rollout of new products.


Imperial Manufacturing Group of Richibucto, NB., owner of Pointe-Claire Steel, has purchased Norbel Metal Service Inc., making it part of Pointe-Claire Steel. The Norbel Metal management team, led by Michael and Matthew Guglielmin, will continue to manage the Norbel Metal operations. All customers will continue to be served from Norbel Metal’s Etobicoke, Ont., location.

Cloverdale Paint held its annual conference and trade show in Vancouver recently, its first in-person show in four years.  The week-long event celebrated the company’s 90th anniversary and hosted 400 attendees including key vendors such as Rust-Oleum and Bennett Tools. Cloverdale also highlighted its efforts at environmental and social responsibility during the event.

Saint-Gobain North America, through its subsidiary CertainTeed Roofing, has acquired the rights to proprietary technology from recycling partner Asphaltica. This will allow CertainTeed to recycle asphalt shingle waste, diverting it from landfills.

Ben-Mor Cables, a sling and cable assembly manufacturer, has announced the acquisition of Fortune Rope and Metal, in partnership with Mike Sullivan. Founded in 1996 by Bill Pero, Fortune Rope supplies aircraft cable, wire rope, chain, coated cable, and fittings to a range of industrial and commercial customers. It will continue to operate under its own brand name from its three locations in the U.S.

Global paint giant Akzo Nobel will reduce production capacity, including possible job cuts, as high inflation dampens worldwide consumer demand for paint, Reuters reports. Akzo Nobel owns the Dulux brand globally but licenses it to PPG in Canada. Paint manufacturers raised prices last year, blaming increased raw material costs. But analysts are warning of falling paint consumption in 2023, owing to economic concerns.


Existing home sales dipped three percent from December to January, continuing the mild downward trend observed since last summer. The actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in January 2023 came in 37.1 percent below January 2022, which was the second-best January on record. The actual national average sale price tumbled 18.3 percent year-over-year and January’s sales were the lowest for that month since 2009. (Canadian Real Estate Association)

Investment in building construction decreased 1.3 percent to $20.2 billion in December. Spending in the residential sector was down 2.1 percent to $14.6 billion. Investment in the construction of single-family homes continued to decline for the fifth consecutive month, down 0.5 percent to $7.8 billion. Alberta’s 3.6 percent decrease was the most significant. (StatCan)


Grainger Industrial Supply was among the businesses that nabbed coveted advertising time during last week’s Super Bowl LVII. Companies shell out upwards of $6 million for a 30-second spot in the event’s iconic commercial breaks. Due to simultaneous substitution rules, many of the ads are not seen in Canada. (Click here to view Grainger’s commercial.)


“If you can be a really good bricks and mortar store and you can become such an integral part of your community that people would dearly miss if you weren’t there, then you’ve done something right.” —Frances Sologuk, of Osoyoos Home Hardware in British Columbia’s South Okanagan wine region. Built with materials salvaged from a deserted gold mine in 1942, the store’s unique assets include a jail-house door and five (yes, five!) sets of stairs. She shares her incredible story on the latest episode of the Hardlines Podcast Series, “What’s in Store.” Click here to listen and to get on our list for future podcasts!)

Classified Ads  

Position:                     Key Account Executive

Responsibilities:       Sales to Retailers in the Canadian Market

Product:                     Primarily Seasonal and Hardware Categories

Location:                    Toronto / Working Remote

Compensation:         Base + Commission

The Company:          Vertex Sales

About Vertex:

Vertex Sales is a sales agency representing non-competing manufacturers’ product categories spanning the Hardware, Housewares, Electrical, and Seasonal product categories. Vertex provides sales solutions for consumer products marketers / companies.

Contact:                     info@vertexbrands.com

  Looking to post a classified ad? Email Michelle for a free quote.

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