vol. ix, 2 January 13, 2003

* Rona serves injunction against BMR's bid for Matco Ravary * Kingfisher cuts German division loose * TruServ buys up Growmark’s Consumers Division * Contractor event at CHS will showcase power tools * Home Depot Canada hires new marketing director * U.S. construction is up again in November

"Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it." - Goethe
Join Hardlines and Hardware Merchandising for the First Ever Industry Awards Breakfast to kick off the Canadian Hardware and Building Materials Show. It's on Sunday, February 2, 2003, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Civic Ballroom, Sheraton Centre Hotel, Toronto. This year, we're combining the world famous Hardlines Industry Awards Breakfast with the Outstanding Retailer Awards. This combined program guarantees a great wakeup for the CHS. The Awards Breakfast is free to Hardlines subscribers, and to guests of Hardlines and Hardware Merchandising magazine (with some restrictions!). You must reserve your space, so please RSVP to Nancy at 416-489-3396; nancy@hardlines.ca . Remember, the Hardlines Show Breakfast is held exclusively for Hardlines subscribers and guests, so be sure and join us!
Advertise your products online and take advantage of our bonus circulation at CHS. Reach 2,000 more qualified readers at Canada's premiere trade show! Be part of the excitement that is Hardlines. Contact Beverly Allen, Marketing Manager, for details: bev@hardlines.ca

London, UK - Hammered by the ailing German economy, Kingfisher plc will close its six-store German subsidiary, Castorama Deutschland GmbH. The move is part of the Group's review of its international home improvement operations. The closures will take place over the next eight months and affect 391 staff. The financial impact to Kingfisher will be an anticipated exceptional charge of around £35 million ($87.2 million).

Castorama established itself in Germany in 1990 and operates stores in Kamen, Koblenz, Wildau, Chemnitz, Castrop-Rauxel and Kassel. In recent years, the stores were enlarged and converted to big boxes under the Casto-Depot banner. Despite the repositioning, the chain is expected to incur a £5 million ($12.5 million) loss on sales of £40 million ($99.7 million) for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2003. Réno-Dépôt, Castorama's Canadian division, is part of Kingfisher's review process, but a key criterion for consideration is each division's profitability. "At this time, Réno-Dépôt is performing in line with our own expectations and generating a profit," says Jonathan Miller, a spokesperson for Kingfisher in the U.K. But other considerations include long-term prospects. "At the end of the day, the purpose of the review is to identify markets where we'll get the greatest return on our investment," Miller adds. "At the moment, we plan to complete our review by the end of this month, when any actions concerning a particular division will be announced." In the meantime, it's business as usual for Réno-Dépôt, which currently has 19 stores, and is expected within a few weeks to announce further openings in 2003.
St-Basile-le-Grand, QC - Matco Ravary Inc. has been served with an injuction by Rona Inc. to postpone the sale of the six-store chain to Le Groupe BMR. The deal, worth $24.5 million in cash plus the assumption of $13 million in Matco Ravary's debt, was originally scheduled to close at the end of this month. Matco Ravary says it "intends to vigorously contest the motion." Rona, which owns about 30% of Matco Ravary, did not make a counter offer to BMR's bid in earlier negotiations. In October 2002, BMR submitted two proposals to Matco Ravary's board, the second of which was accepted. Rona could have submitted a counter offer, but chose not to. If the sale does go through, ownership of the Montréal-area chain, which has sales of about $60 million, mainly to contractors, would revert to a syndicate of 16 BMR dealers and operate under the BMR banner. Although Matco Ravary has seen profits slip in recent years, the stores give Rona an effective beach head in the Metro area.
Mississauga, ON - This year's Canadian Hardware and Building Materials Show has developed a program for this year's show that will give special consideration to contractor customers, while providing a forum for power tool manufacturers to build brand awareness among both home improvement retailers and their professional contractors. Called Power Focus, the day of demonstrations and product knowledge will take place on day two of the show, February 3, 2003. As a result, for the first time at CHS, retailers are being encouraged to invite their professional customers to the show to see what's new in power tools. The program has proven to have special appeal for Black & Decker, whose DeWalt brand is aimed directly at the trades. B&D has been absent from the show in recent years, and though the company will not have a booth this year, the Power Focus event gives the company an appealing forum for being involved. Delta Porter Cable, a long time exhibitor and supporter of CHS, is the other company to sign up so far for this event, with others pending. Show hours on Monday have been extended to 8 p.m. to accommodate the contractor traffic. The show will close on Tuesday, February 4 at 1 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. On Sunday, February 2, the show starts at 9 a.m., right after the Industry Awards Breakfast presented by Hardlines and Hardware Merchandising at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto. CHS 2003 takes place February 2-4 at the National Trade Centre in Toronto. Registration is free in advance or $25 at the door. Non-exhibiting manufacturers who attend CHS 2003 will now pay a registration fee of $200. For show information, visit www.crha.com or contact Maura Bella at (905) 821-3470; fax: (905) 821-8946; crha@crha.com.
Ottawa - Housing starts for 2002 reached an estimated 204,857, up 25.9% from 2001 (179,082 units compared with 142,280 units), says Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. This represents the highest annual growth rate since 1983. The single-detached market increased 31.7%, while multiples increased 18.7%. According to David Weingarden at CMHC, the market remained strong last year thanks to low mortgage rates, growing employment and increasing incomes. He also mentions that Canada's inventory of completed and unoccupied new housing "is very close to the lowest levels ever since we've been recording them, so that tells us there's a very strong demand for housing, which has to come from additional stock." However, there are signs that things may slow down into 2003. Housing starts dipped in December, reaching 198,500 seasonally adjusted, down 6.7% from November's rate of 212,900 units. Urban single starts rose 0.7%, but urban multiple starts fell 17.9%. In addition, the value of building permits issued in December was down 2.7% overall and residential intentions fell 7.8%, an indicator of the expected level of construction activity in the months ahead. Despite the decline, the level remained high, as construction intentions revolved around the $4.0 billion mark for the fourth time in the last five months. However, the previous month's level remained 30.8% higher than November 2001. Nevertheless, Weingarden expects a healthy start to 2003. "Basically, inventory levels show demand is still there, so I expect the market to remain robust, at least in the near term."
Don't miss Practical World 2003, the Cologne International Hardware Fair/DIY'Tec. The 2003 show is March 9-12. For show information, contact Barbara Hills at 416-598-3343 or email colognet@idirect.com. To book your flight and hotel, call Carol-Ann Itel at Trade Show Travel, 1-877-873-7469 or email tradeshowtravel@shaw.ca . And new this year is the V.I.P Reader Trip— ask Carol-Ann!
Canadian Tire 33.65 23.96 31.65
Canfor 11.70 6.83 9.45
Costco 46.90 27.09 30.58
Emco 14.14 6.50 14.06
Goodfellow 13.99 9.00 10.50
Home Depot 52.60 21.06 21.58
Hudson's Bay 15.55 5.87 9.30
Lowe's Cos. 49.99 32.50 38.45
Rona Inc. 14.75 13.25 14.00
Sears Canada 25.10 15.15 17.85
Sodisco-Howden 2.20 1.06 1.68
Taiga Forest 7.00 4.90 6.90
Wal-Mart 63.94 43.72 51.62
West Fraser 44.42 28.90 35.00
The previously announced alliance between TruServ Canada and Growmark Inc. was finalized last week. The outcome of the deal is the selloff of Growmark's Consumers Division to TruServ. Growmark's nearly 150 co-op member stores, under the FS and Country Depot banners, become members of TruServ Canada through a "federation membership" agreement and TruServ takes ownership of Growmark's Country Depot trademark. In addition, Growmark has taken an investment interest in TruServ. Mutual Hardware Inc. has moved from its location on Argentia Road in Missauga, ON to: Suite 402, 627 Lyons Lane, Oakville, ON, L6J 5Z7. New phone: 905-337-1184; fax: 905-337-1185. Tractor Supply has reported year-end sales of US$1.21 billion, up 42% from the previous year. The company expects net income to range from US$36.1 million to US$37.1 million, up from US$25.8 million. 4Q earnings are expected to be higher than previously estimated because of strong sales of winter work clothing and heating products. The U.S. claims it would drop duties on Canadian softwood lumber if this country will adopt U.S.-style forestry practices. Since last Spring, Canadian suppliers have been forced to pay an average tariff of 27% on exports to the U.S. This means opening the market to the highest bidders, and potentially unprecendented U.S. control of Canadian timber sources. Mired in bankruptcy proceedings, Kmart Corp. will likely announce a raft of closings next week. Analysts and industry experts expect the retailer to close between 300 and 500 stores. The company also intends to emerge from bankruptcy sometime this year.
Pat Wilkinson has been promoted to the newly created position of director of marketing at Home Depot Canada. She was most recently with hyperWALLET Systems Inc. as vice-president of marketing and business development. Wilkinson joined Home Depot 10 months ago as part of the company's strategic store leadership program. She will be responsible for advertising, visual merchandising, media relations, public relations and community affairs. (416-609-0852) Sandy D. McDade will take over the role of senior vice-president at Weyerhaeuser Canada, when Bill Gaynor retires later this year. McDade will also assume the role of president, Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser Co. … Susan Mersereau will become vice-president, Information Technology and CIO, replacing Thom Ped. (604-669-8714) Alison White has departed from Innovak, where she was product manager, to join Globe Electric in the newly created position of merchandising manager. She reports to Dave Creglia, Globe's vice-president of marketing. (1-800-361-2861)
Municipalities in Canada issued $4.0 billion worth of building permits in November, according to Stats Canada. This marks a 2.7% drop from October. Residential permits fell 7.8% to $2.4 billion, reflecting a decline in both single- and multi-family permits. The residential component declined 7.8% to $2.4 billion. However, this drop follows November's high level, which was 30.8% higher than November 2001. The value of non-residential construction intentions increased 6.3% to $1.6 billion in November. New house prices continued to climb in November, as Stats Canada's New Housing Price Index rose 0.6% from October, up from 0.5% a month earlier. Compared with November 2001, this index of contractors' selling prices increased 5.0%. A healthy demand for new housing in conjunction with increased costs to builders for skilled labour and building materials helped push prices upward nationally. Construction in the U.S. was up for the third straight month in November, reports the Commerce Department. Construction spending on homes, hotels and highways increased 0.3% to US$843.2 billion from October, which was up 1%.
The Canadian Retail Hardware Association has released a new poll of its members gauging the success of the recent Christmas shopping season. While 44% of retailers surveyed said they hada better sales than last year, another 34% felt reported a decline in their sales. The remaining 22% reported no change from year to year.

****HARDLINES MARKETPLACE**** Check out Hardlines Classifieds on the web: https://hardlines.ca/html/classifieds_new.asp

HELP WANTED ITW Paslode is a world leader in the manufacturing and distribution of power nailing equipment & tools for the construction and industrial sectors in Canada. We are seeking a dynamic professional to join our Residential Business Unit. PRODUCT/MARKETING MANAGER In this key role your responsibility will be to develop & implement short-term and long-term marketing strategies for our Paslode product line of power nailing products sold through industrial, dealer and distribution channels. Using a trade focus approach you will work closely within a team based environment that includes a sales team and sales management to develop & launch new product & service packages and create brand awareness to identified trades in specific geographic areas. Additionally, you will coordinate, monitor and manage all promotions, advertising, trade shows and merchandising activities for this product line. Your qualifications will include a degree with a major in Marketing combined with 3 –5 years marketing management experience in the retail sector. A background in brand management & strategic planning/execution is preferred. Above average communication, presentation and inter-personal skills is also required. Join an industry leader that offers a challenging career, competitive salary, & a comprehensive benefits program. Please reply in confidence to: Human Resource Manager, ITW Construction Products, e-mail: resume@itwconstruction.ca or fax: 416-750-9601. For further information on our company please look us up on the web www.itwconstruction.ca or the Corporate website www.itw.com . We wish to thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

ONTARIO RETAIL ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVE(commissioned sales) The MIBRO Group, a leading North American supplier of Power Tool Accessories, Chain, Chain Accessories, and Lawn and Garden Products is expanding its Sales Team. We are looking for an enthusiastic & competitive “road warrior” to grow our non-key account business throughout Ontario. Qualifications: Proven track record in sales to retail accounts, merchandising skills, a “road warrior” (extensive travel throughout the province) with a reliable vehicle & valid drivers license, and computer-literate. Please submit a resumé by email stating qualifications and income expectations to esmith@mibro.com. *********************************************************************************** NATIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER & MARKETING COORDINATOR The Company: Maxtech Manufacturing, one of the fastest growing designers, manufacturers and distributors of hand and power tool accessories is looking for an account manager to grow our expanding Canadian and U.S. customer base. We have over 28 U.S. utility patents with many more pending. We offer a dynamic work environment, a solid customer base, and innovative products to sell. We are a multi industry, multi location privately held company based in Waterloo, Ontario. At Maxtech: Strength through People, Diversity and Innovation. Visit us at our Web site: http://maxtech-mfg.com We are recruiting for two positions: NATIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER Represent Maxtech in sales presentations to a large customer base in N. America, extensive travel required. Work with Sales Agents to manage and direct their sales activities. Devise sales strategies for his/her accounts, plan product positioning and create promotional ideas to increase customer base and increase product penetration with existing customers. Provide inventory requirement forecasts to our purchasing team. Provide feedback about price competitiveness, competitor activity, and customer reaction to our product and its features. Budget sales by customer and sku annually and complete weekly customer activity/progress reports. Organize and attend trade shows. Your Personal Tool Box will include: -Demonstrated ability to grow sales in the DIY Hardware/Power Tool Accessory market with a keen sense of the market, US experience an asset. -Strong analytical skills. -Self Starter with good organizational and prioritisation skills. -Excellent Communications (written and oral) and Presentation skills, ability to recognize/identify customer needs and translate into product sales. -Degree /diploma in marketing or sales an asset. MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR As a key member of our sales and marketing team, you will work closely with the Director, Sales & Marketing, Marketing Communications Associate, National Account Managers, and others, to provide assistance, research, recommendations and in some cases be solely accountable for the marketing aspects of : -New Product Development; -Competitor analysis; -P.O.P. Material; -Product Launch; -Catalogue Development; -Trade Show Co-ordination; -Customer Service/Support. Your Personal toolbox will include: Relevant post secondary education in marketing. Marketing degree or diploma preferred. Previous experience in the D.I.Y. hardware industry preferred. Demonstrated ability to apply program management skills to brings issues from the concept to fully implemented stage. Ability to think outside the box, and problem solve in a team setting. Effective communications skills to represent Maxtech to Customers. Self starter with ability to multi-task and prioritize. Proficient in standards Microsoft Office Products. Ability to occasionally travel and attend week-end and evening trade shows. If you are interested in either of these opportunities, please forward your resume to: Director, Sales & Marketing, Maxtech Consumer Products Group, 600 Weber St. N, Waterloo, Ontario N2V 1K4; Fax: (519) 884-5327; Email: davem@maxtech-mfg.com (this is the preferred option, as a WORD attachment)


TRADE MARKETING MANAGER Our Toronto-based Client is seeking a Trade Marketing Manager to join their company, a consumer durables firm consistently #1 in their category and continuing to grow and dominate with high market share. As a key member of the senior management team, take true ownership of this function that reports directly to the Vice President, Sales & Marketing. The successful candidate will have an immediate impact on the organization through their outstanding marketing, analysis and people management abilities. Regular involvement in product line extensions/reviews, packaging, pricing/margin management, seasonal promotions, POP development, and assisting the Field Sales Management team in applying fact-based selling. REQUIREMENTS:* 7-10 Years experience in trade marketing/sales of consumer durables. * Enjoys working in a streamlined organization that has enjoyed spectacular growth and is poised to continue growing through market share and competitor acquisition. * Hands-on management by example; knows how to motivate direct reports and other work colleagues.* Business degree/diploma, bilingual advantageous. Looking to help a company continue its marketing sophistication level? Please contact Wolf Gugler in complete confidence, quoting file # C-26. Wolf Gugler & Associates Limited. 1370 Don Mills Road, Suite 300, North York, Ontario M3B 3N7. Phone: 416-386-1719. Email: resumes@wolfgugler.com Web site: www.wolfgugler.com *********************************************************************************** TERRITORY SALES MANAGER Our continued growth in Canada has opened up an opportunity for an energetic and self-motivated individual to join our team. We are looking for a territory manager for Ontario and Quebec who will provide direction for our regional sales staff and help grow our business in lumber yard markets. Qualifications: Minimum 5 years account management experience, highly developed interpersonal and communication skills, good analytical skills and experience with mass merchandise retailers. Must be bilingual and willing to travel. This is a management position and this person will report to the Canadian Sales Manager. Please submit a resumé by email or fax stating qualifications and income expectations to Mitten Vinyl Inc., c/o Human Resources to freddie@mittenvinyl.com; fax: 519-442-3214. *********************************************************************************** PRODUCT MANAGER The INNOVAK GROUP, a Canadian manufacturer and importer of hand tools and related products, is seeking to expand its marketing and sales team. The successful candidate will have the responsibility of managing the key product lines of the company, with specific emphasis on new product development, introducing new products as well as merchandising the product line. Working out of Montréal, the candidate must have 3 to 5 years of marketing background with specific experience in the retail hardware industry. Strong merchandising, analytical and computer skills are a definite asset. Please reply in confidence by fax to 514-695-4997 [attention Director of Marketing] or via email to: jbazar@innovak.com.

*********************************************************************************** KEY ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Our continued growth in the United States has opened up an opportunity for an energetic and self-motivated individual to join our sales team. We are looking for a Key Account Executive to help grow our business within our Tier 2 accounts in the USA and to assist in developing our secondary markets.

  Necessary qualifications: 3-5 years account management experience, highly developed interpersonal and communication skills, good analytical skills and experience with Mass Merchandise retailers is preferred. This is an intermediate position and the successful candidate will be working out of our world-wide headquarters in Woodbridge, Ontario.   Please submit a resumé by email or fax stating qualifications and income expectations to: Camillo Caperchione, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Better Living Products, Telephone: 905-264-7100 Fax: 905-264-3690 Email: camillo@dispenser.com


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Hardlines is published weekly (except monthly in December and August) by McLARNEYCOM 542 Mount Pleasant Rd., Suite 302, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4S 2M7 © 2003 by Michael McLarney. HARDLINES™ the electronic newsletter hardlines.ca Phone: 416.489.3396; Fax: 416.489.6154 Michael McLarney, Editor & Publisher: mike@hardlines.ca Beverly Allen, Marketing Manager: bev@hardlines.ca Nancy Wright, Circulation Manager: nancy@hardlines.ca ______________________________________________ THE HARDLINES "FAIR PLAY" POLICY: Reproduction in whole or in part is very uncool and strictly forbidden and really and truly against the law. So please, play fair! Call for information on multiple subscriptions or a site license for your company. We do want as many people as possible to read Hardlines each week – but let us handle your internal routing from this end! ______________________________________________ Subscription: $199+$13.93 GST = $212.93 per year (GST #13987 0398 RT). Secondary subscriptions at the same office are only $28 + $1.96 GST = $29.98. Ask about our reduced rate for branch offices. You can pay online by VISA at our secure website or send us money. Please make cheque payable to McLarneyCom.