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February 6, 2012, Volume xviii, #6

“Fortune smiles on the audacious.” 
—Virgil (Roman poet, 70 BC-19 BC)



TruServ one year later: Morrison gives update

TORONTO — Besides offering what he refers to as state-of-the-art logistics, TruServ Canada president Bill Morrison says his company can deliver a first-class retail model for independents in the form of the TRU banner, which replaces True Value in the Canadian marketplace. Morrison spokerecently to members of the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturers Association, who got an update on the evolution of TruServ one year after being taken over by RONA inc.

TruServ president Bill Morrison (r), with CHHMA president Vaughn Crofford.

He started by giving some numbers: TruServ had 135 new customers last year, consisting of 118 hardware independents, seven farm and agro dealers, and 10 general merchandise stores. In addition, the company is now also supplying 322 independent RONA stores. TruServ now supplies 725 independents across the country, he noted.

The TRU banner for building centres has been tested in four locations, Morrison said, and is getting a wider rollout right now. It relies on the best practices developed by other RONA building centres, including Dick’s Lumber in Burnaby, BC and Coupal in the Montreal area.

Other accomplishments in the first year under RONA: a new marketing strategy that includes new flyers, a new website for TRU, and advertising to support the banner.

Morrison explained how the mix of products from TruServ helps round out the offerings of many RONA dealers. TruServ can supply a wider range of products suited for smaller stores, such as cleaning products and seasonal items, which has been well received by independent RONA dealers. His company can do that, he stressed, because it now offers a 95% fill rate coupled with 95% on-time delivery. “And we’ve reduced prices on 1,300 of our best-selling SKUs.”

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Buying strong at WRLA show despite cold snap

SASKATOON — Despite temperatures that dropped to almost -40 degrees here, the Prairieland Showcase recently drew more than 1,200 people from more than 400 stores across Western Canada – plus 12 from Ontario, 17 from the U.S., and two from down east. The range of dealers who attended, coupled with the amount of purchases made, helped keep this show in the front ranks of Canadian buying shows for another year.

The show, put on by the Western Retail Lumber Association, featured 266 exhibiting companies in 630 booth spaces – including about 40 first-time exhibitors.

Entertainment and networking played an important role in the show again this year, with Colin James performing at the Gala event and a double-header of April Wine and Lover Boy playing during the Closing Night Party. The Gala was also the scene for the presentation of the Industry Achievement Award, which went to Ernie Penner of E.G. Penner Building Centre in Steinbach, MB.

Awards were presented for product innovation, as well, at the show. First place for best new Canadian product went to Techniseal for its Carbopoxy garage floor sealer. Runner up was Alu Rexfor its Clip’N Guard eavestrough protector. Goodfellow won first prize for the best new imported product for its Abaco Decking. Runner up was Stanley Black & Decker for its Hardware.

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RONA rolls out trade shows for contractors

CALGARY — RONA is hosting a series of 17 commercial “trade fairs” for its pro customers this spring. The program begins in Kamloops, BC on Feb. 16 and ends in Saint John’s, NF on May 1. It’s designed to appeal to contractors, builders, tradespeople, and property managers, featuring “the very latest home renovation goods and services.”

According to Bob Ulrich, who manages the program from RONA’s Calgary office, in conjunction with RONA’s commercial marketing team, the program has been growing steadily and gaining in popularity in recent years. The events feature professional emcees and lots of food stations throughout the halls.

“Last year, we did nine of these in the West and had just under 6,000 people attend, so this year we decided to do them across the country.” He says the company expects 16,000 to attend the invitation-only fairs this spring.

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TruServ readies for spring market

WINNIPEG — TruServ Canada will hold its Spring National Buying Market April 14-16 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. The event will feature products and services from more than 400 manufacturers, including a wide selection of the seasonal products and specials on everyday products.

The Market will kick off with a “Customer &
Partner Welcome” on April 14; Olympic gold skeleton racer Jon Montgomery will be the featured speaker. The main show floor will open April 15 and highlight the upcoming fall and winter seasonal categories such as Christmas décor and toys.

The market is expected to attract independent dealers from within the ranks of some 725 TruServ customers across Canada.

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Target makes deal with Fairweather over Target brand

TORONTO — Target has reached an agreement with Fairweather Ltd., International Clothiers Inc. and Les Ailes de la Mode inc. for the naming and branding rights in Canada. Under the agreement, Fairweather and Les Ailes have agreed to cease use of the Target mark by Jan. 31, 2013. This agreement is designed to eliminate potential confusion among Canadian consumers about what Target stands for. No additional details of the agreement will be disclosed.

The deal comes exactly one year after Fairweather filed a lawsuit against Target. Fairweather sought up to $250 million in copyright infringement damages and attempted to block Target’s use of the brand in Canada. Fairweather had been operating “Target Apparel” stores in Canada since 2005.

Target’s first Canadian stores are scheduled to open in March or April of 2013. (Are you ready? Click here to join our Target Boot Camp on Feb. 15)

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Hitachi Power Tools is seeking an Account Executive for the Maritimes provinces.

The successful candidate will possess:

  • at least 3 years experience in a territory sales role
  •   strong organizational skills with ability to plan and manage a territory
  •    strong communication and presentation skills
  • ability to work both independently and as part of a team, be a self-starter
  • knowledge of trades (ie. Construction, electrical, woodworking, etc.) an asset
  •   ability to lift product weighing max 65lbs
  • a clean driving record and a valid driver’s license

Please visit our website at www.hitachipowertools.ca/en/CompProfile/Careers for more details. If interested please forward your resume and cover letter to melissaf@hitachi-powertools.com. No phone calls please.

We thank all applicants, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


SPG International Ltd, part of the Geelong Sales Company, is a manufacturer of metal toolboxes and industrial storage systems.  Located in Drummondville, QC we have been manufacturing tool storage solutions since 1960.  We have an immediate opening for a:



Reporting directly to our Vice President of Sales & Marketing your main tasks will be to:

  • Grow sales in the US market, specifically the Automotive, Industrial and Tier 2 retail sectors;
  • Focus resources and energy into opening up new markets and accounts.
  • Be responsible for achieving sales objectives, and profit objectives for your assigned accounts
  • Contact and service your customers on a regular basis and effectively assess and understand their needs;
  • Maintain and improve our customer satisfaction levels;
  • Develop and coordinate a network of manufacturer agents throughout the US
  • Regular sales analysis of account base, providing clear and decisive plans for account and market growth
    • Participate in solution development and follow-up;
    • Participate in sales budgeting and marketing planning;
  • Identify market trends and implement sales initiatives;
  • Provide sales support which includes sales calls, sales & marketing planning;
  • Organize and attend industry trade shows and conferences;
  • You will work from a home office; candidate must have a designated area to conduct business – file records, etc.


  • Relevant academic training. Minimum of College degree;
  • 5 years experience performing similar duties;
  • Proven track record in the aforementioned market sectors
  • Possess strong presentation and communication skills;
  • Must be available to travel up to 50% of the time;
  • Strong practical knowledge of Office software;
  • Self motivated and energetic, people oriented and a team player;
  • Be able to set sales goals and objectives;

If you’re interested please send us your résumé with reference number: 01-012:

SPG International Ltd
Human Resources department
4275, St-Joseph blvd, Drummondville (Québec) J2B 1T8
Fax : (819) 477-0705, Email : rh@spg-toolbox.com



  • Experienced District Manager with a proven track record with several national chains. view this resumé Back to top
  • A relationship builder who passionately sells for profit through quality service view this resumé Back to top
  • A conscientious, highly motivated manager with a results-oriented track record in developing new business. view this resumé Back to top
  • A goal oriented sales director that has superior management skills, customer oriented, with in depth knowledge of the industry and the ability to achieve results. view this resumé Back to top
  • An experienced merchandising executive possessing passion, vision, and a strategic approach to delivering bottom-line. view this resumé Back to top
  • Senior sales/marketing leader with experience in all classes of trade wishing new HARDLINES career. view this resumé Back to top
  • Very Experienced Business Unit Manager, great passion for generating sales and building relastionships.view this resumé Back to top
  • Worked through my career within the manfucaturer, wholesale and consumer goods industries. view this resumé Back to top
  • Senior Sales Manager with vast experience in retail and wholesale sales growth in Canada. view this resumé Back to top

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