"The fates have given mankind a patient soul." Homer (800 - 700 BCE)

CanWel tightens reins on hardware division following vp's departure

VANCOUVER — Yet another former CanWel, Hardware Division team member has left the company to join, er, a radio supply company. Cygnal Technologies Corp. announced last week that it had hired Jack Van Kessel as president and general manager of its White Radio business. Van Kessel, who had been vice-president at CanWel, Hardware Division, joins some familiar faces: Cygnal's president and CEO is Jos Wintermans, former head of Sodisco-Howden Group, who left the company when it was taken over by CanWel Distribution and renamed CanWel, Hardware Division. Wintermans took James Shannon, his CFO, with him to the new company. At CanWel's hardware division, Van Kessel was responsible for a 600-employee business that supplied 40,000 products to an independent dealer network and generated nearly $200 million of revenues annually. Before that, he was a vice-president of Brewers Retail Inc., running first its retail operations and then its logistics division. "We worked well together at Sodisco-Howden, so it made sense to bring him on," says Wintermans. At CanWel, Van Kessel's departure encouraged CEO Tom Donaldson to shift the operations of the hardware division more closely with those of its LBM distribution business. Both divisions are now under the direction of Robert Downs, vice-president and general manager of CanWel Distribution. Although the two companies are operationally closer together, they still go to market in different ways, says Donaldson. "There may be some opportunity for overlap at the senior executive level, such as with the buying groups, but they are quite distinct at the dealer level," he says.

↑ top

TruServ's new corporate structure supported by new systems

WINNIPEG — TruServ Canada began the year with a new plan for growth, a new corporate structure, and a new company-wide computer system. In order to strengthen the company's long-term financial position and to attract new business relationships, TruServ moved from a cooperative to a corporate structure as of Dec. 31, 2006. A week later, it flipped the switch on a new enterprise resource planning system. "Our board of directors is dedicated to the growth and success of the company," says Bill Morrison, TruServ's president and CEO. "Part of our strategic plan was to introduce a new ERP system to help us maintain and enhance business processes." Microsoft Dynamics AX, formally known as Axapta, officially went live on Jan. 8 in the offices and distribution centres of TruServ Canada. "We are thrilled with the success of the implementation. The extensive planning process and detailed testing have facilitated a smooth transition to the new system," says Morrison. "We're definitely open for business!" (He really does talk in exclamation points). However, he admits that implementation of the new system was held up by about six months. Cautioned by the experiences of companies such as Loblaw, whose supply chain woes made an impact on its annual results, TruServ waited to go live, "to get it right," Morrison says. The new system will also put TruServ in a better position to manage its alliance with CanWel, Hardware Division. (Called PRO Retail Services, the alliance puts the direction of CanWel, Hardware Division's bannered PRO retail customers under TruServ's management. CanWel continues to supply those customers as a pure wholesaler.)

↑ top

Quebec dealers' association celebrates publications' 50th anniversary

LONGUEUIL, Que. — This year will mark the 50th anniversary of Quart de Rond magazine, published by The Building Materials Retailers' Association of Quebec (ADMACQ). Donald O’ÄôHara, president, general manager and editor of the magazine, is delighted that the magazine has become the true reference of the industry. "Very few magazines are able to celebrate their golden jubilee, and I’Äôm extremely proud when I look at the road traveled in all these years. I would particularly like to thank all contributors, journalists, columnists, graphic artists, the previous editors of the magazine as well as all ADMACQ's staff members, who have helped make Quart de Rond magazine what it is today, and what it will be tomorrow." ¬Ý O'Hara also sends his thanks to all the members of the Association that have always given their support to make the magazine a success. "For the last fifty years, our goal has been to offer the best available source of information to our members. This contest is our way of thanking them." ¬Ý In collaboration with its partners, les centres de formation en transport routier de St-Jˆ©rˆ¥me et de Charlesbourg (CFTR et CFTC), Maia Home Products Inc., RDTS / RDTM and AFA Forest Products inc., ADMACQ is hosting a contest. Eight gift certificates, each worth $500, will be given away one for every issue of the magazine. The vouchers are for a weekend for two in a Quebec resort for either a golf, ski or relaxation package. Only retailer members of ADMACQ are eligible for the draws. Winners’Äô names will be announced in the pages of Quart de Rond magazine. ¬Ý O'Hara adds that a special section called "50 ans de Quart de Rond" will be inserted in each of this year's issues; the reader will find excerpts of articles and humorous events that were published in the magazine since the first issue. For more info, click here.

↑ top

Home Depot faces challenges to growth: new report

NEW YORK — In its first 25 years, Home Depot had the fastest growth of any retailer, including Wal-Mart. Its target for 2010 is $125 billion, up from its current $82 billion. But to meet that goal, the company will have to undertake aggressive retooling and international expansion, says a report by Retail Forward, a management consulting and research organization. The report suggests that while Home Depot will continue to log solid overall sales, growth will moderate and product sales, once representing 92% of volume, will drop below 65%. Last year, they had already dropped to 83%, as the company's focus turned increasingly to installed sales and services. Home Depot must undertake more store modernization to improve the shopping experience for customers, says the report, and put more focus on new and upgraded products. A continued expansion of the "do-it-for-me" business (DIFM) will also be necessary, as will a renewed commitment to internet sales. Two other challenges face the company — developing different formats to tap new markets and enhancing operational efficiency. It currently has five multi-level stores, including two in Manhattan and two in Canada, which focus more on local needs such as strong storage assortments. Home Depot faces increased competition in both the U.S. and Canada from its biggest rival, Lowe's, which is considered by industry observers and consumers as having more attractive and user-friendly stores. To compete successfully, Home Depot will have to improve its existing stores.

↑ top

Ace Hardware performs well against big box rivals in '06

OAK BROOK, Ill. — Ace Hardware Corp. appears to have outperformed Home Depot and Lowe's in 2006, based on preliminary figures used in an interview given by the company's CEO, Ray Griffith. According to the report, the company has just concluded its best sales year since 1998, with wholesale sales up 6.5% to $3.4 billion and a record bottom line exceeding $104 million. Its stores, about two-thirds of which are owned by independent dealers, racked up almost $12 billion in retail sales. A focus on convenience and excellent customer service has enabled the 4,600-store chain to claim such a significant portion of the hardware market. In addition, old stores have been revamped, while new ones have a bigger footprint. As reported in Hardlines, it has also engaged in guerrilla marketing, such as the Dream Ace program, under which a potential store owner is sold a $1-million store for $1.

↑ top

Lowe's 'decks out' its stores

MOOREVILLE, N.C. — Lowe's appears to be moving more aggressively into the composite deck market. In the first quarter of this year, its 1,325 stores throughout the U.S. will begin stocking selected decking and railing products supplied by Trex Co., the Winchester, Va.-based manufacturer. This purchasing agreement "represents an exciting new opportunity for Trex to expand our presence in the retail channel," said that company's chairman and CEO, Anthony Cavanna. Upon the announcement of this agreement, Trex's stock price enjoyed its single biggest gain in five months. Trex's full line will be available at Lowe's through special order. Lowe's has also extended by three years its exclusive agreement with Weyerhaeuser to offer that supplier's full line of ChoiceDek brand composite decking. The line will be expanded in Lowe's stores to include a broader color selection available through special order. ChoiceDek is made for Weyerhaueser by Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies.

↑ top

Hardlines Marketplace

Don't miss the products and services on the Hardlines web Marketplace ( https://hardlines.ca/html/marketplace.html ) And check out Hardlines Classifieds on the web ( https://hardlines.ca/html/classifieds.html )


POSITION: National Account Manager LOCATION: Toronto Ontario Canada            REPORTS TO: General Manager Canadian Sales & Marketing

Responsible for large account management in multiple territories or districts within a region.  Includes acting as key internal contact for any business pertaining to specific large account.  Represents Company on issues including but not limited to pricing, product placement, trade spend negotiation, inventory fill, quality issues, and new product development.  This position is applicable to sales activity in a variety of channels including but not limited to mass market, hardware, commercial office, office superstores, and other retail markets/channels.

Execute sales strategy, initiate contact with existing and potential customers, identify their needs and sell appropriate merchandise to meet those needs. Analyze local market opportunities, develops working plans and develops and maintains key industry and customer contacts to achieve revenue and net income goals.

Create and build client relationships while sponsoring interaction to obtain projects.  Assist in developing and facilitating the proposal process for specific clients/customers including budget and pricing development, proposal writing, contract negotiations, annual business plans, and customer presentations.

EDU & EXP Required BA/BS in Marketing or related field. Five to Seven years of progressive business experience in a fast paced, quick changing environment.  Minimum of five years experience as National Account Manager.

Qualified candidates only apply lburke@elmers.com by Jan 29 2007. Ref#NA0107

BMF provides store and merchandising design services, supplies fixtures, onsite merchandising and renovation services to independent dealers and vendors in the Lumber and Building Material industry.

BMF is expanding rapidly with projects in all regions of the country and a growing client list.  BMF has exciting opportunities both at its operations in Burlington Ontario and in the field as follows:

Project Coordinator This position requires an individual well grounded in the Lumber & Building Material industry with excellent administrative, communications and customer service skills.  This person must be well organized to coordinate the many activities required to deliver thorough design and timely production/consolidation of fixtures, millwork and signage to ensure smooth execution at store level.  This person is the primary contact point for the client and must interact effectively with suppliers, vendors and internal BMF staff.  Strong computer, purchasing, expediting and negotiating skills will be real assets in this role.

Project Manager This position requires individual(s) with excellent organization, people management, and customer service skills.   The successful candidate(s) will be well grounded in the lumber and building material industry ideally with operational and merchandising experience in these stores.   Travel for extended periods across the country and a willingness to work in off hours as required are necessary in this role.  The successful candidate(s) will communicate effectively with dealers/store managers, vendor reps and the BMF office.  People management experience and a proven track record of managing complex projects and meeting budgets and deadlines will be essential.

Merchandisers BMF requires merchandisers with 2 or more years of experience merchandising hardware and/or building materials.  These positions involve traveling for extended periods across the country and a willingness to work off hours as required.  Operational experience in lumber and building material stores will be an asset.

Fixture Installers BMF requires fixture installers with 2 or more years experience.  These individuals need to have a good understanding of safe and proper installation of pallet and cantilever racking as well as gondola style store fixtures.

Please fax inquiries and resumes to (905) 332-5821 or email to careers@bmfonline.com.

Supplierpipeline Inc. provides market leading and innovative products and services to Canada's do-it-yourself hardware market.  As a globally integrated network of operations, SPI is the pipeline for its customers to a group of world-class North American and International manufacturing facilities.

We are currently seeking an experienced National Account Manager to manage the relationships of our major customers and assist us in achieving our aggressive growth plans.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Manage specific national account relationships
  • Identify growth opportunities and facilitate plans to execute growth goal
  • Communicate with external sales representatives and service agents to facilitate the ongoing servicing of national accounts
  • Work with the New Product Development team on product/SKU development
  • Work with the Sales & Marketing Coordinator to facilitate the distribution of product/market information

Experience and Skills:

  • 3 - 5 years of related sales experience
  • Experience selling to national or major accounts
  • Experience selling DIY industry products would be a definite asset
  • Strong time management and organizational skills
  • Sound problem solving and analytical skills
  • Good oral, written, and presentation skills
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office

We offer competitive wages, benefits, a company-wide profit sharing program, and a great team with which to work. If your experiences match our requirements and you are up for a rewarding challenge, please submit your résumé and salary expectation to hr@supplierpipeline.com. While we appreciate submissions from all applicants, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Territory Manager ’Äì Atlantic Provinces

Freud Canada, Inc.

We are a well established & respected Canadian wholesale company with direct links to a world class European manufacturer of high quality woodworking tools. Your duties as Freud Canada's Territory Manager for the Atlantic Provinces will be to develop and maintain our market share in the provinces of New Brunswick, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, & Newfoundland. The ideal candidate will have experience calling on Hardware chains, Building Supply outlets and Big Box stores. Strong organizational skills with the ability to work independently are prerequisites for this position. Preferably you possess a College or University degree. Frequent overnight travel will be required of this position. We offer a highly competitive performance based remuneration structure and car allowance.

Please send your resume to the attention of: Mark Mossman National Sales Manager Freud Canada Inc. 7450 Pacific Circle Mississauga, Ontario L5T 2A3 mmossman@freudcanada.com



  • Sell your company - or buy one - with Hardlines Classifieds!
  • Do your executive search, find new lines or get new reps in the Hardlines Marketplace.
  • Only $2.75 per word for three weeks in the classifieds.
  • To place your ad, call isabel bisong at 416-489-3396 or email: isabel@hardlines.ca