February 24, 2014 Volume
“We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear.”
—Leonard Cohen (Canadian poet, songwriter and musician, 1934- )
RONA year-end reflects turnaround efforts in tough market
BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — RONA inc. saw year-end sales drop 5.7%, from $4.44 billion in 2012 to $4.19 billion. Same-store sales fell 1.9%. The company’s fiscal year and fourth quarter in 2012 had one more week than in 2013. Excluding the extra week, the decrease reflects the closure of under-performing stores and a difficult year for most of the industry.
Net loss from continuing operations was $45.9 million in 2013, down from profits of $12.3 million in 2012. Adjusted profits for the year fell to $49.9 million or 41 cents a share, from $73.5 million or 60 cents a share a year earlier.
On the upside, RONA managed annualized cost savings of $110 million, a goal the company had set out to achieve last year. In addition, it has not had to dip too deeply into its credit lines: as of year-end, it had used $45.0 million on credit facilities of $700 million, compared to $171.9 million in 2012.
“Fiscal 2013 was a year of profound organizational change at RONA, against the backdrop of a difficult market context for our industry,” said Robert Sawyer, president and CEO of RONA. “Although consolidated results are down, we are satisfied with the progress made in the implementation of the restructuring measures and the team reorganizations.”
He added that the coming year will see RONA focus on deploying a new positioning for some banners and stabilizing profit margins after having revised the pricing strategy and disposed of some excess inventory in 2013 (see story in this issue—Your ever helpful Editor).
For the fourth quarter, RONA had revenues from continuing operations of $941.1 million, down 12% from $1,071.5 million in 2012. Same-store sales were down 3.5%. During the quarter, RONA closed the sale of its Commercial and Professional Market division, which negatively affected sales but added $214 million to its coffers—money that was used to pay down debt. The company also repurchased 1,177,300 common shares worth $15.4 million.
The company managed to narrow its loss in the fourth quarter, reporting a net loss from continuing operations of $1.1 million, compared to a net loss of $17.3 million in 4Q 2012. Adjusted profit was $4.6 million, or $0.04 per basic and diluted share, compared to $6.4 million, or $0.05 per basic and diluted share a year earlier.
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Training and services highlight latest TIM-BR MART show
TORONTO — “Hot buys” and new retail support services were the focus of TIM-BR MART’s fourth annual National Buying Show at the Toronto Congress Centre.
The show, filling over 100,000 square feet of space, featured more than 200 vendors offering lumber and building materials, as well as core hardware categories. The event also featured marketing programs and value-added services available to TIM-BR MART’s 700-plus members.
More than 400 of those dealers, with managers and families, were expected at this year’s event.
“I’m really pleased that so many dealers attended the show and are taking advantage of the fantastic deals,” said Bernie Owens, president of TIM-BR MART Group. “There are some incredible specials here and the show is such a great way for our members to foster good relationships with their fellow dealers and with vendors, and to learn about ways to build their businesses.”
This year’s show featured an array of services to support the retail operations of its members. A “Solutions Centre” was introduced, which presented marketing, merchandising, distribution, and LBM support. “The new Solutions Centre concept really highlights how we can offer independent entrepreneurs all the support they need to be successful in their markets,” said Jon Irwin, VP of retail services.
Chalifour Canada, TIM-BR MART’s distribution arm, had a strong presence at the show. Its category managers were stationed in dedicated buyers’ booths within their category throughout the show.
A new “Paint Essentials” program featured 1,400 square feet of new merchandising and planograms for paint and paint sundries. Dealers also visited Chalifour’s retail technology and support section, where Chalifour showcased its new electronic catalogue, ECAT 2.0, with demos and training sessions.
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RONA EVP outlines company’s new direction
BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — Alain Brisebois is the new executive vice president and chief commercial officer of RONA. At a recent breakfast meeting of the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturers Association, he explained the reorganization of the company and outlined its efforts to focus on growth. In fact, he promised to the group, “You’ll understand what the new RONA stands for now.”
The company is taking a three-step approach to its turnaround, he said: fix, improve, and grow. The fixes have come from store closings, layoffs, and cost reduction at head office and within its supply chain. Improvements have come from reorganizing the management structure, including reducing the number of direct reports to CEO Robert Sawyer from 13 to just four. And improvements will come, said Brisebois, from four “growth vectors.”
Those are RONA’s 66 big boxes (50,000 square feet and up), which are both corporately and privately held; its 16 Réno-Dépôt big boxes in Quebec—all corporate stores; its proximity stores, including 144 corporate stores and 239 independent and affiliate dealers; and its contractor business.
Each vector needs its own marketing, promotions, assortments, and pricing, says Brisebois. “It’s time to drop the gloves and go after market share,” he said emphatically.
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B.C. show to continue as Prairie show moves to Calgary
SURREY, B.C. — The Building Supply Association of B.C. has confirmed it will reprise its annual buying show, Westcoast Building and Hardware Show. The last show, held in the resort town of Whistler in September 2013, was considered by many to be the final instalment, garnering strong regional support from both vendors and dealers.
“After a successful show in Whistler last year, and based on surveys and all the positive feedback, the association wants to fill the needs of the members in hosting a B.C. show,” says Thomas Foreman, president of the BSIA of B.C. “Many of our suppliers are B.C. members only and use our show to promote and network with B.C. retailers and suppliers.”
The show will return to Whistler from September 10-13, 2014, just four months before the Western Retail Lumber Association moves its show from Saskatoon to Calgary.
Some dealers from B.C. have expressed mixed feelings about the Calgary show, which will require all current non-members of the WRLA to become full members in order to attend the show. Membership criteria differ from association to association in Canada. By being accepted as a member of the WRLA, all retailers attending the show would meet the same criteria and be the same business model—in fairness, says WRLA president Gary Hamilton, to current WRLA members.
To that end, the WRLA will be mounting an awareness campaign through the spring to explain the new criteria to non-members who may wish to attend the show in future.
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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
Located in Richmond, BC
Tree Island Steel seeks an experienced Product Manager. The Product Manager will report to the Sales Manager, Retail/ Residential Products and will lead the launch, execution and support of a new product initiative, including procurement, inventory recommendations, logistics, customer product support, while ensuring the new product exceeds business targets, customer needs and expectations. Experience with fasteners is an asset.
To see more information regarding this exciting opportunity, please visit our careers page which can be found here.
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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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