"One of the things I've discovered in general about raising kids is that they really don't give a damn if you walked five miles to school."- Patty Duke (American actress, 1950)

Home Depot's growth will focus on wholesale, services side

NEW YORK-In a presentation yesterday to investors and analysts, Home Depot unveiled its growth targets for 2010. Over the next five years, the company expects to open up to 500 more stores. But it also plans to become America's largest diversified wholesale distributor and become number one in services. It also intends to increase dramatically. Bob NardelliThe news, delivered by Home Depot CEO Bob Nardelli, underscores what Hardlines has identified in recent months: increasing maturation of the big box home improvement market has Home Depot turning to other channels to maintain growth. The openings, at fewer than 100 per year, are considerably less than the rate of openings Home Depot has maintained in recent years-usually 175-200. In fact, during Nardelli's first five years with Home Depot, 941 stores were opened. (At the peak of its growth curve in the early '90s, the world's number-two retailer was opening a new store every 36 hours.) So scaling back its anticipated openings makes sense. No surprise then, that the emphasis is turning to Home Depot's wholesale business, including its commercial and industrial side. That, plus at-home services and its direct-to-consumer channels, will provide the most dynamic growth over the next five years. Nardelli said this strategy would enable the company to maintain growth of 9-12% annually, continuing the strong growth of the past five years, which totaled 76% from the time he took over the company. "Over the next five years, The Home Depot expects to maintain and grow its leadership position in home improvement retail worldwide," said Nardelli. "At the same time, we expect to become the nation's largest diversified wholesale distributor, become number one in services and will dramatically increase our direct-to-consumer channels. Our 2006 initiatives demonstrate that we are well on our way to accomplishing our 2010 goals." The increasing do-it-for-me trend continues to drive double-digit growth in Home Depot's services business. By 2010, the company expects that 5-6% of its sales will come from services, considered a $110 billion market opportunity. Home Depot is also banking on its "direct-to-consumer channels", namely its online initiatives. Leading the charge is homedepot.com, but its high-end Expo concept, which is losing ground as a retail entity, is gaining momentum through two specialty high-end sites, 10 Crescent Lane, which focuses on furnishings and décor items, and Paces Trading Company, (PacesTrading.com), a specialty site focused on high-end lighting products for more affluent consumers. These enterprises are generating impressive results, says Home Depot. The online business attracts much larger average transactions than in-store, as shoppers can enjoy low- or no-cost delivery on large items such as snow blowers. Online sales doubled last year, and more than three million shoppers visited the company's online properties each week company wide. Home Depot believes that its direct-to-consumer division has the potential to grow into a billion-dollar business by 2010.

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RONA's installed services will expand in West

BOUCHERVILLE, Que.-Installed services, though lagging behind its major competitor, Home Depot Canada, will continue to be important for RONA in 2006. The program is running in its stores in Ontario and through its big box stores, and about 35 traditional stores, in Western Canada. Watch for the installed side to be rolled out to traditional stores in Western Canada over the next two months, however. RONA has been gearing up for a widespread installed sales program for some time, but the news that Home Depot is banking on wholesale and at-home services as a key part of its growth strategy (see lead story, this issue-MM), makes RONA's timing all the more apt. In Quebec, installed sales will be up and running between March and July, beginning with doors and windows, then flooring, and finally kitchens. This business represents about 0.5% of RONA's sales, compared with Home Depot, which generates about 6% of sales from installation services. Sylvain Morissette, spokesperson for RONA, says the network will be built locally. "As for the Installation program, we will use small local vendors depending on the area, and also we look for larger install companies to look after larger regions." CLARIFICATION: RONA's neighbourhood, or proximity, stores will play an important role in the company's expansion plans. These stores feature some big box features, but squeezed into 40-50,000 sq.ft. RONA's urban store in Richmond, B.C., reflects some of the neighborhood store's elements, although, at 75,000 sq.ft., it's closer in size to a traditional big box. Those neighbourhood stores will open this year in Alberta, in Spruce Grove (40,000 sq.ft.) and Leduc (52,000 sq.ft.). In Manitoba, a neighborhood store (50,000 sq.ft.) in Winkler will open Jan. 27, 2006.

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Technology drives innovation buyers seek

SPECIAL REPORT-Advances in lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries-which provide better energy-per-weight ratios than conventional rechargeables-are fuelling competition among manufacturers who want to capture the lucrative professional and high-end consumer market for cordless tools. Milwaukee has been touting the benefits of Li-Ion batteries in its 28-volt cordless tools for about a year. Now it's adding four new tools to the line-up: a rotary hammer, right-angle drill, job-site radio, and metal cutting saw, all of which will be introduced to the Canadian market in the second quarter of this year. Power ToolsMilwaukee will be up against DeWalt's new line of 36-volt cordless tools, which was unveiled last week in Markham, Ont., and is also expected to hit Canada later this year. DeWalt partnered with A123Systems to develop a new generation of lithium ion batteries, which, it says, will increase productivity and efficiency on the job-site. The new line will include a hammer drill, reciprocating saw, circular saw, impact wrench, rotary hammer, jigsaw, flashlight, and combo kits.

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TruServ will treat Pro banner differently

WINNIPEG-The re-organization of CanWel's Sodisco-Howden acquisition has meant some recent changes, including renaming that business as CanWel, Hardware Division. The hardlines distributor's designated banner program, Pro, has also undergone some changes, being managed now by TruServ Canada within a new alliance between TruServ and CanWel. Pro joins TruServ's existing stable of dealer programs, which includes its fast-growing Country Depot banner, plus V&S Variety, a junior department store/general store format. But it's also in with TruServ's flagship, True Value, which competes directly, in format if not geographically, against Pro. "We recognize the distinctness of the banners and the need to focus on brands," says Bill Morrison, president and CEO of TruServ Canada. "The Pro brand needs a focus," he says, which will be the objective of TruServ's merchandising team, headed by Terry Derraugh, vice-president merchandising. And even though Pro and TruServ have product mixes and target customers in common, Morrison says the two brands are distinct, and those distinctions must be recognized. Here, Morrison has taken a page from the book of grocery giant Loblaw's, which managed a number of banners, including Supercentre and Loblaw's. "Loblaw's challenge-different stores attuned to different demographic segments of the market-resulted in the need for different programs and different brand support." Ace dealers, who have been hanging in throughout the changes, are getting the attention they deserve, Morrison adds. "We start with the customer and spent the last several weeks listening and seeking to understand where those dealers want to take the business."

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Builders show breaks attendance records

Orlando, Fla.-The International Builder Show solidified its ranking as one of the nation's largest trade shows last week, when the four-day event drew 105,263 attendees, a 3.3% increase over 2005, and a record total for this convention. According to data released by the National Association of Home Builders, which sponsors the show, this year's event also cracked records for net exhibit space sold (967,000 sq.ft.), and total space used (1.5 million sq.ft.). The Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau estimated the economic benefits to the community from the show would top $122 million. This was also the most people the Orange County Convention Center has ever drawn for a trade show, which was a double-edged sword because this facility did not have anywhere near enough parking to accommodate both this show and another event for surfing equipment that was occurring simultaneously in another hall. Several exhibitors said that traffic on the floor during the first morning of the show was unexpectedly light. But as the convention progressed, most booths and aisles were jammed with builders, distributors, dealers, manufacturers and other industry officials. Several manufactures-including Kohler, Whirlpool, and Andersen Window-took gargantuan booths that tested attendees' tolerance for sound and commotion. Several dealers turned their exhibit space into showcases for their suppliers' products: both Lowe's and Home Depot had enormous exhibits swarming with visitors, in which a wide range of preferred vendors made presentations about their products at different times during the day. This was the second year that Ace Hardware's LBM division allowed vendors to show product in its booth. Amy Pellerito, who runs this division for Ace, said exhibiting at IBS "is all about the brand, to tell people that we have a network of over 800 lumber dealers." She noted that Ace's percentage increase in sales in 2005 was its highest since 1999, and she attributed that partly to the co-op's re-entry into commodities distribution.

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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
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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.


Master Lock, an industry leader in the security hardware industry, is seeking a Retail Accounts Executive and a Bilingual Customer Service Rep. Retail Accounts Executive A strong understanding of the retail market is a must, along with at least 2 years experience with large retail national accounts, preferably in Mass Merchant channels. Preference given to candidates with:
  • 3 years overall sales/marketing experience in working with large national accounts
  • Very proficient in Microsoft Office, especially Excel and PowerPoint
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Education equivalent to college diploma or university degree required, preferably marketing or business administration. Bilingual Customer Service Representative As an experienced customer service rep (3+ years) you will ensure customer service excellence through your professional, caring telephone manner, order timeliness and accuracy as well as daily review of all required inputs. This is not a call centre position. Candidates must be fluent in English and French both oral and written. Your ability to thrive in a fast paced environment with attention to detail is ideal. Preference will be given to candidates with:
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Master Lock Canada is conveniently located in Oakville with nearby highway access to the QEW at Winston Churchill and 403 at Dundas Street. Qualified applicants should send resume and salary requirements via email to tmedeiro@mlock.com . No phone calls please. (01.23_02.06)
SALES AND MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR As an international manufacturer and distributor of bath and shower organizational products, and pioneers of the original "award-winning" shower organizer, the Dispenser™, Better Living Products has an excellent opportunity available in our Canadian division for a Sales & Marketing Co-ordinator. In this marketing support role, you will report to the National Sales & Marketing Manager and will assist in the execution of our marketing plan. This position involves handling a variety of administrative and marketing projects including; sales promotion, analysis and support, co-ordination and participation in trade shows, telemarketing, entry-level sales account responsibility, preparing and co-ordinating merchandising and marketing materials, support in product development initiatives. If you are an energetic, outgoing individual with a post secondary education in a business or marketing related discipline with some years of experience in sales and/or marketing combined with excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills, and proficient computer skills, we have a fantastic opportunity for you. If you are eager to advance your career in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment, please forward your resume and salary expectations by January 31, 2006 to: National Sales & Marketing Manager Better Living Products of Canada, Inc. 201 Chrislea Road Vaughan, ON L4L 8N6 Fax: (905) 264-3690 Email: dean@dispenser.com We thank all applicants for their interest but only those considered will be contacted. (01.16_01.30)
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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))

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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