Hardlines Weekly Newsletter
Click here for the blackberry and printable edition

Beverly Allen, Publisher
| Brady Peever, Client Services | Michael McLarney, Editor | admin@hardlines.ca | 416-489-3396 | hardlines.ca



January 10, 2010, Volume xvii, #2

“I wish I had a river, I could skate away on.”
—Joni Mitchell (Canadian songwriter, poet and painter, 1943- )

Home Depot will fine-tune existing stores in 2011

Home Depot’s Project Store in Oakville, Ont

TORONTO — The Home Depot Canada is planning only one new store this year. Instead, the focus for 2011 will be on upgrading existing stores, drawing on its prototype “Project Stores” for inspiration.

The “magic number” for Home Depot in Canada in 2011 is 180 stores, while asserting a major market share here, says Gino DiGioacchino, vice-president of merchandising for the giant home improvement retailer.

The Project Store was a major initiative for Home Depot Canada three years ago. The first one, in Richmond Hill, Ont., was launched one day after the opening of Lowe’s first store in Canada. The emphasis there was on dealing with a customer’s complete project need, rather than selling individual products. There are now four Project Stores in the country. Elements of these stores’ floor plan and signage will be used in other store upgrades. “But the [product] selection is not cost effective for all locations,” says DiGioacchino.

Blame the recession – and its fallout – which have changed how DIYers are shopping, he notes. “This year, the focus will be on small projects, on our pro customers and on increasing customer transactions,” he says.

back to top Back to top

 Home Hardware dealer gets hands on Grey Cup

(l-r: Steven Stefanuto, Home Hardware dealer-owner; Joey Abrams; and store manager
Yvon Rousseau)

SUDBURY, Ont. — The Grey Cup, the highest award in Canadian Football, spent an afternoon at the Home Hardware store on Second Ave. here a couple of days after Christmas.

According to Northern Life, a former employee of the store, Joey Abrams, now works in public relations for the Montreal Alouettes, who have won the Grey Cup for the past two years. Abrams used to work for Steven Stefanuto’s store and now handles administration and assists with the preparation of training camp for the team. He is also a full-time scout, active in Canadian and American college recruiting. Abrams offered to make a stop at his former employer on the way through town – an offer Stefanuto quickly agreed to.

back to top Back to top


TSC ramps up to support new wholesale business

LONDON, Ont. — TSC Stores Ltd., the farm and hardware retailer, announced its entry into the distribution business last month with the launch of TSC Country Pro Services. And while the new business got instant recognition thanks to a deal with Castle Building Centres Group, the germ for the concept came from the growth of TSC’s own Villager franchise store program.

Recognizing an opportunity to serve independent dealers beyond its own chain of 43 stores in Ontario and Manitoba, TSC began looking in the middle of 2010 for ways to serve other independent farm supply, garden centre, hardware and home improvement dealers, as well as its four Villager dealers.

Even as this business grows, however, it’s the deal to provide hardlines to Castle members in Ontario and Manitoba that has given TSC’s distribution business instant critical mass. TSC’s specialties here, which will enable it to serve Castle even as that group has forged another deal with U.S. wholesaler Orgill, include automotive, pet, work wear, agro chemicals and safety products.

In addition, “We can offer electrical, plumbing, hand and power tools – and gardening is a big business for us,” says Greg Hicks, who moved from his role as COO of TSC Stores to become president of TSC Country Pro Services.

The infrastructure is being put in place to service the new business. A transportation agreement has been made with Ryder Trucks to help increase fleet capacity, while the 100,000-square-foot DC in London, Ont., has been increased in size by 30,000 square feet. The company also has an offshore container facility in Toronto.

“Timing is absolutely perfect for us. All of a sudden, the phones are ringing off the hook,” says Hicks.

back to top Back to top

 Retail brands are point of conflict for vendors

BOUCHERVILLE , Que. — RONA is leading the charge by home improvement retailers to increase its output of private-label and proprietary brands within its stores. The goal — a worthy one for its dealers — is to lower retail prices while increasing margins.

However, as RONA follows the likes of Home Depot, Lowe’s and even regional groups such as BMR and TSC Stores Ltd., the downside is for the suppliers themselves, many of whom have been long-time partners for these retailers.

As RONA ramps up sourcing from factories in China, through its Shanghai sourcing office – “RONA Shanghai” – it is more and more by-passing current and prospective North American vendors. More than ever, the retailer is becoming a competitor to its own suppliers.

RONA will carry three private labels and eight controlled brands in 2011. Already, the company has purchased $175 million worth of product through its Shanghai office, representing 3,000 container loads brought into its distribution centre, in Terrebonne, Que., near Montreal. Through the coming year and into 2012, RONA reportedly has plans to spend another $400 million on this initiative.

The result: RONA’s private-label and controlled brands will grow from 19% to 22% in 2011. (Last year alone, the company introduced 1,059 controlled and private-label SKUs.)

BMR announced its own private-label initiative at its show in November, 2010. There, the Quebec-based company introduced two proprietary brands: “Evolution,” a line of faucets, and “Torkk,” a premium power-tool line.

back to top
Back to top




Loxcreen Flooring Group, Canada’s leading manufacturer of floor transition mouldings, is seeking a National Account Manager based in Southern Ontario to be responsible for sales to all regionally based customers across Canada including distributors, co-ops and retail accounts.

Reporting to the Director of Sales & Marketing, responsibilities will include direct account management, managing and directing commissioned agents, achieving sales targets, planning and managing trade shows, travelling across Canada to meet with customers on a regular basis, contributing to the development of sales programs and providing a supporting role with mass merchant key account initiatives.

Key competencies include proven ability to generate new business and effectively maintain customer relationships, strong communication and presentation skills, good analytical skills, self discipline and detail oriented.

Qualifications must include minimum 5 years retail sales management experience in the home improvement industry and having managed regional sales agents; previous experience in hardware/building materials/flooring categories; ability to travel; work independently; proficiency in Excel, Word and Powerpoint.

Respond by email to: hr.search@loxcreenflooring.com


Our client is a global building products leader with operations across Canada and has created this new opportunity. Toronto-based and working within a team environment, manage and direct the sales process for Home Depot throughout Canada including Toronto corporate offices targeting Consumer, Pro and Installed Sales areas. You’ll also direct regional sales managers and sales representatives.

  • On the Retailer’s behalf, provide leadership into all category management issues including competitive positioning, POS data, fill rates, product packaging, cross-selling opportunities, product knowledge/training and promotions. Exercise account management and sales initiatives, which ensure that a competitive leadership position is maintained within the market.
  • Review sales and forecasts for up to date accuracy and appraise each sales programs’ results against planned sales and profit objectives.
  • Provide feedback/make recommendations (including senior level presentations) to generate additional customer interest and purchases. 
  • Plans sales promotion programs and maintains liaison with the corporate marketing team.
  • Participate in trade shows
  • Provide input in the design of packaging and merchandising to build sales by working with the corporate marketing team and meeting the needs of the marketplace.
  • Ensure product knowledge information and/or training programs are executed for sales, customer service and customers

Position’s Key Qualifications

  • Key Account management: the ability to provide input into new category ideas or solutions. Also able to solicit and understand Customer feedback and make appropriate recommendations to further increase penetration, sales and profitability.
  • Current or past responsibility for Home Depot as a National Account.
  • Possess the skill set to analyze product category for competitive positioning and marketing or promotional opportunities.
  • Resourceful; innovative, can find information when the answer is not known.
  • Self-driven, competitive, team oriented, wants to be the “Category Captain”.

This is an excellent career opportunity with a market leader. Interested? Contact Wolf Gugler in strict confidence at 888-848-3006, apply online on our web site at http://www.wolfgugler.com, or click this link: http://wolf.maxhire.net/cp/?E55F6F361D43717B76561A653850526E04.

Wolf Gugler & Associates, Limited, Executive Recruitment and Outplacement.


Brand Manager – Skil Tools

Taking on the role of partner, you will assume overall business responsibility for the assigned products. This entails proactively developing and implementing a brand strategy to achieve sales, market share and margin targets. You will accomplish this by creating and implementing a marketing plan, which includes the definition of targets, budgets and strategies, and managing all aspects of entire marketing mix. As a result, you must be a strong communicator and creative entrepreneur with initiative, a commitment to teamwork, and 3 to 5 years of experience in marketing and sales. A Business Administration degree or diploma, with specialisation in marketing, preferably industrial consumer products, is also required.

We offer a competitive salary and an excellent group benefit and vacation plan. If you are a team player looking to demonstrate your drive and initiative, please send your resume, in confidence, to: Robert Bosch Inc., Human Resources, 6955 Creditview Road, Mississauga, Ontario, L5N 1R1. E-mail: Chrissy.Stanesic@ca.bosch.com No agencies, please.

We appreciate your response, however, only candidates under consideration will be contacted.



  • 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
  • National Field Sales Manager with twelve plus years in power tools and hardware sales/merchandising. view this resumé Back to top
  • Business Manager with U.S. & Canadian experience with retail & industrial customers seeks a new opportunity. 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

Connect with us!

back to top