"Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.“ – Oprah Winfrey

Coop fédérée's rural home improvement network garners strong growth

TROIS RIVIERES, Que.–In 2005, La Coop fédérée, through its hardware and home improvement banners, CO-OP and Unimat, saw sales grow by 8.% in spite of challenging conditions that typify the rural markets these stores operate in. “We analyze our market conditions each year and compare them with those of other industry players,” says Claude Gingras, Coop’s general manager–Hardware Division. “We're very proud to say that, in spite of the difference in context, we've performed better than other industry players.” Over the past seven years, in fact, the CO-OP and Unimat hardware network has grown by 71%. unimatWhile the Coop traditionally serviced only its own member CO-OP stores, a program introduced two years ago gives it the ability to sell to non-member retailers. Those retailers must operate under the Unimat banner, which is owned by Coop fédérée, and since the program’s inception, 10 stores have signed. Another one is expected to close early this year, with “several prospects” on the books, says Gingras. coop boutiqueOne of the programs contributing to Coop fédérée’s growth is a boutiqued decoration centre, being installed right inside the traditional hardware store or building centre. A unique aspect of the program is that it includes a decorator on staff to provide expert service to customers. In fact, Gingras says, some boutiques are so successful that they keep three décor experts on staff. After two years, the boutique concept has been established in 12 stores. “That’s the new concept we have,” he says. “That’s our future.” La Coop fédérée, with its network of affiliated cooperatives, is the fourth largest company in Quebec with total revenues of $5.1 billion and more than 14,000 employees.

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UFA’s ambitions not restricted to its home province

CALGARY–United Farmers of Alberta, the 35-store chain of farm and hardware stores, has rounded out its management team with the determined aim of growing the business, including a newly created position of vice-president of business development. (See also “People on the Move”–MM.) According to Jimm Holland, who is in charge of marketing for UFA, the new team–along with a new, updated corporate logo–have been established to increase the business acumen and competitive strengths of the company. It also confronts one question: “What’s the evolution of the agri market in Canada–and how can UFA respond to that?” he asks rhetorically. The large commodity farmer dominates now, he points out, while the small acreage remains important–but with very different needs. One way the company is responding is with innovations to its retail formula. UFA’s 35th store, erected last summer in Drayton Valley, Alta., weighs in at fewer than 6,000 sq.ft., considerably smaller than the standard UFA store, which can be up to 10,000 sq.ft. in size. It also has a smaller yard. Holland says there’s room for more such stores. “I’m not sure how many, or how soon, but we’re testing this one to see how well the market responds to it.” Increasing the size of the chain is part of UFA’s growth strategy, and its mission statement does not restrict that growth solely to Alberta. Although there’s “nothing on the books now, we’re always looking at those opportunities,” he adds.

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Home Depot beefs up power equipment offering

ATLANTA — As it moves towards the spring selling season, Home Depot is expanding its assortment of outdoor power equipment by adding two well-known brands, one of which has long been featured in the stores of its main rival, Lowe’s. Home Depot is introducing lawn tractors bearing the Cub Cadet and Toro brands. Cub Cadet will supply its Series 1000, RZT and Home Maintenance models, which range in price from $1,699 to $2,999. Toro will offer several lawn tractor models, including its TimeCutter Z zero-turn-radius mower. The Toro mowers will range from $1,299 to $2,599. By carrying the Toro TimeCutter Z and the Cub Cadet RZT, Home Depot will offer customers the two best-selling residential zero-turn-radius mowers on the market. And by stocking Cub Cadet, Home Depot is taking direct aim at Lowe’s, which has showcased Cub Cadet as its step-up brand for many years. In a prepared statement, Home Depot said that these additions will supplement its existing line of lawn tractors by John Deere, whose L100 series sells for between $1,799 and $2,599. However, a spokesperson for Home Depot, Connie Bryant, says that Deere’s product would have to yield some shelf space to the other two tractor brands. Home Depot’s supply relationship with Deere might also be changing because of the manufacturer’s own growth objectives. Deere’s chairman and CEO, Robert Lane, projected recently that his company’s commercial and consumer equipment division, whose sales were off 4% in 2005, would grow between 10% and 12% in 2006, thanks to new product introductions and a return to more normal weather patterns, as well as a full year of sales from the division’s recent landscapes-business acquisition. Lane also said Deere wants to expand its presence in the mass-retail market.

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Hardlines Marketplace

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  Lowe’s Home Improvement is a Fortune 50 retailer experiencing phenomenal growth. With more than 1,150 stores and 175,000 employees across the U.S.A., we’ve doubled in size in the past five years and are now expanding across the border. Lowe’s success hinges on having a diverse workforce comprised of the best people - passionate about their work, inspired by their work environment, and believing that home improvement equates to life improvement for our customers. Merchandising Opportunities
  • Merchandise Directors
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We are currently staffing the Merchandising Department for our new Customer Support Centre in Toronto. These experienced professionals will be covering Hardlines, Lumber/Building Materials, Home Décor, and Outdoor Living. For consideration and for more information, please email your resume to CareersAtLowes.com/Canada. Come experience this for yourself. Build your career at Lowe’s and discover the security of our prosperity, competitive benefits, countless opportunities for advancement, and much more. But above all, come and discover our commitment to you and your success. Lowe’s is committed to Diversity and Inclusion.


(12.12_01.09) Work hard. Have fun. Make the customer #1… It’s more than just a catch phrase at TSC Stores. It is the essence of our corporate culture and the attitude we look for in the people we hire. We believe our people are our number one asset. It’s why we invest heavily in developing their skills, empowering them to succeed and rewarding their contribution. We’re a Canadian owned company with 25 stores throughout Ontario. As we approach our 40th anniversary, we’re on the verge of significant expansion across the province and beyond. We’re looking for key team members who share our philosophy, can embrace change and have the desire to grow with us. If you’re looking to launch your career, or perhaps take your current career down a new path, we should talk. We have an opening at our Support Centre in London for a: DIRECTOR OF MERCHANDISING This senior position will report directly to the Vice President of Merchandising and is responsible for supporting a team of Senior Category Managers in the implementation of category objectives through the execution of company retail processes. This includes developing product assortments that achieve sales, gross margin return on investment and product turn targets, developing and maintaining strong vendor relationships to cultivate new business, ensuring that effective product training programs are in place for sales staff and flyer implementation. This person will work with various departments including Store Operations to provide effective merchandising of all categories. The successful candidate will work towards developing themselves for the position of Vice President of Merchandising. The ideal candidate will possess post-secondary education in a related discipline with 10 years management experience with a retail chain. Buying experience in a retail environment is required. Candidates must have excellent communication and negotiation skills and the ability to lead others. Must be customer oriented in order to ensure the department provides excellent support to our store teams. We thank everyone who applies but will only contact those we wish to interview. Please apply to: TSC Stores L.P. 1950 Oxford Street E. London, Ontario N5V 2Z8 Fax – 519-451-1235 e-mail – careers@tscstores.com (01.03_01.16)    
LINES WANTED• We connect you with KEY Canadian Hardware Retailers • We work for you and offer partnership – one that allows you to use our sales experience and industry insight as a strategic business tool. We have the connections to help get your product front & center on the retailers shelf. • Check us out – Al Vanderveen & associates have been building sales for leading Canadian & US manufacturers since 1986. Find out what our award winning service can do for you. contact: Al 519.439.6800 alv@wirdum.ca (12.12_01.09)


National Sales Agency servicing hardware retailers and National head offices, well established for over 30 years is seeking an District Sales Manager to manage our Ontario sales team 5. The ideal candidate will have previous experience managing a sales team 2 yrs + within the Hardware Box Store environment or related industries. Our organization uses the latest technologies so good knowledge of Microsoft Office software is required. If you wish to join the fastest growing National Hardware/Retail sales organization in Canada and have a strong desire to grow please reply with your resume and salary expectations to this ad. We offer a very competitive compensation package and all inquiries will be treated with the strictest confidence. Jobs@autopistaamericas.com ((01.09_16.06))


Our client, Spruceland Lumber Ltd., is recruiting a GM for their privately owned retail lumber and building products outlet in Fort McMurray, Alberta. In business since 1997, Spruceland started in retail lumber and recently added a 20,000 sq. ft. building product retail centre. Sales are currently in excess of $20 million. Competitive salary & benefits package + annual bonus incentive is provided. Relocation assistance available. To request a detailed position profile, contact: Enid Bradley or Stacey Sayler MEYERS NORRIS PENNY LLP Executive Search & Human Resources Consulting Tel: 1-800-661-7778 Email: search.edmonton@mnp.ca (12.12_01.09)

Services Offered

  Agents Are Us: A team of professionals across Canada offering your company and your products superb in-store servicing and merchandising. We are 100% dedicated and committed to looking after national brands in the "Big Box" stores, focusing on mass merchants and D.I.Y. retailers. We understand your wants and needs, and those of the merchants, and will work with you to develop outstanding relationships with management and associates at all levels. Call us at 905.707.7409 or email: sales@agentsareus.com Visit our website: www.agentsareus.com (12.12_01.16) I & S Warehousing Inc. offers its clients a warehousing facility that includes a distribution centre for goods to be shipped across Canada. This impressive facility of approximately 75,000 square feet was established to provide Third Party warehousing and distribution services to several vendors of the “Big Box” stores and major Canadian retailers. Located just north of Toronto, and a few minutes from Lester B. Pearson International Airport, we offer an unbeatable storage and shipping package. Our heavily discounted shipping rates can save you money. Find out how we can improve your in-stock levels and turn-around time. Call 905-761-0250 or email sales@iands.ca www.iands.ca Noral In Store RETAIL IS DETAIL. Let Noral Instore, a national service company, handle your service requirements in Canada. Noral serves some of America's leading manufacturers, managing their lines for Canada's top hardware retailers, big boxes and mass merchandisers. Contact Dave Leslie at 905-702-9443, to find out how Noral can boost your sales in Canada. http://www.noralmarketing.com (01/05)


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