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



January 17, 2011, Volume xvii, #3

“Effective managers live in the present – but concentrate on the future.” —James L. Hayes (president and CEO
of the American Management Institute, 1895-1971)

HARDLINES launches print publication for retail decision makers

WORLD HQ, TORONTO — Canada’s foremost news service for the home improvement retailing is now launching the industry’s foremost trade magazine. Hardlines Home Improvement Quarterly is the new trade journal for decision makers in home improvement retail.

Four times a year dealers, buyers and executives across Canada will receive the latest news, information and research to help you make the decisions that will build your sales and increase your profits. Each issue will contain the latest research on the market from HARDLINES, executive interviews and product trend information, plus columns on management and merchandising.

To ensure you receive your personal copy of HHIQ, click here. If you are an advertiser looking for an outstanding vehicle to deliver your message to the retail decision makers, call Beverly Allen, our Illustrious Publisher: 416-489-3396 bev@hardlines.ca.

For more informarion on HHIQ Click here

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 Verschuren to leave Home Depot Canada

TORONTO — It’s the end of an era.

Annette Verschuren, president of Home Depot Canada, is leaving the company after 15 years. Effective Jan. 31, she will be replaced by Aaron Carmack, who is moving over from his current role as regional vice-president of Home Depot’s U.S. Pacific North region.

Joining the company in 1996, Verschuren led the Canadian division as it grew from 19 stores to 179. “These past 15 years have been the best of my career,” said Verschuren in a release. “However, I am ready to take some time off and then plan the next chapter of my life.”

When she began with Home Depot Canada, she had just come over from Michael’s, a big-box crafts and hobby retailer that she had successfully introduced to Canada. She had actually gone down to the U.S. to tell the Michael’s executives that they needed a Canadian to lead their Canadian expansion, because of the differences in the two markets — differences that are often overlooked by U.S. marketers.

For a girl who grew up on a dairy farm in North Sydney, N.S. (she really was the local cow-milking champion many years running) that same direct approach — and chutzpah — worked at Home Depot. She worked closely with the company’s founders, Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus, and Canada became regularly the most profitable division in the company.

Perhaps because of her results-oriented approach, she inherited some tough portfolios within the company. For a time, she oversaw the ailing Home Depot Expo stores, and in 2006 was handed Home Depot Asia – all in addition to her duties in Canada.

All during that time, she wore her anomalous role as a woman leader in the home improvement industry with élan. She also became a credible face and voice for the home improvement industry. Her belief in preserving the environment had an impact on Home Depot’s practices both in Canada and enterprise-wide. In 2008, she became part of a team of executives gathered by finance minister Jim Flaherty to provide guidance on the economy. The Home Renovation Tax Credit was one of the outcomes of that committee.

After 15 years, however, it appears she is ready for a new direction. Speculation has abounded as to what her next move might be. She may choose another corporate challenge in Canada, although managing $6 billion operation with 300,000 employees is a tough act to follow in this country. (The announcement that Target will enter Canada poses suggests yet another opportunity for Verschuren post-Home Depot.)

Oh yeah, the guy who’s replacing her: Aaron Carmack, a 23-year retail veteran, will assume responsibility for the operations of the Canadian division. He joined The Home Depot in December 2003 and was promoted to regional vice-president in March 2007. In this role, he’s been overseeing the performance of more than 100 stores in northern California, Nevada and Utah. Prior to The Home Depot, he worked for Midas International and spent the first 15 years of his career with Sears.


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Target confirms Canadian entry with Zellers purchase

MINNEAPOLIS — Were you wondering why Zellers had been tarting up its stores, with little or no fanfare? Turns out it was getting ready to be married off. The blushing bride is being handed over to Target Corporation by parent company Hudson’s Bay Company for $1.825 billion. The dowry includes the leasehold interests in up to 220 sites currently operated by Zellers Inc.

So, with one swift blow, Target has established its entry strategy into this country. Target expects to open 100 to 150 Target stores throughout Canada beginning in 2013 and 2014.

“This transaction provides an outstanding opportunity for us to extend our Target brand, Target stores and superior shopping experience beyond the United States for the first time in our company’s history,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman, president and CEO, in a release.

Target’s chief marketing officer, Michael Francis, will serve as the executive committee sponsor of Target’s entrance into the Canadian market.  In this role, Francis will oversee the extension of Target's brand as part of the corporation's first-ever expansion of its stores outside the U.S.

Target has agreed to pay Zellers Inc. $1.825 billion, in two equal payments of $912.5 million, to acquire the leasehold interests in up to 220 sites currently operated by Zellers Inc. These payments are expected to be made in May and September of 2011. Zellers Inc. will sublease these sites from Target and continue to operate them under the Zellers banner for the time being.

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 Home Furniture show reflects retailer’s upscale shift

ST. JACOBS, Ont. — Home Furniture dealers, staff and vendors gathered last week in the Home Hardware distribution centre here to attend “Live and In Colour.” The annual three-day forum lets dealer-owners preview and purchase furniture – as well as to network, share information and attend educational seminars on a variety of topics.

Home Furniture dealers, who sell everything from furniture and heavy appliances to lights, mirrors and other décor accessories, are on the leading edge of Home’s move to provide a more sophisticated product offering to its customers.

“We think of ourselves as the “softer side of Home and we marry off very well with our Beauti-tone paint division. We work very closely with them,” says Bruce Hammer, general manager of the Home Furniture division.

Last year, a concept called “urban spaces” was introduced, offering furniture and accessories suitable for smaller spaces such as apartments and condominiums. This year, the show features a “luxury living” concept. "This category is being introduced to bring a higher upscale element than ever for living and dining rooms,” says Hammer. Details include lots of leather upholstery, and a new line of wood finishes in solid and veneer ash.

Hammer says dealers are trying to offer more choice in colours, as well, this year, even though beiges still tend to predominate with many customers.

“We're showing a lot of colour this year – everything from white with red to plums.”

The Home Furniture banner has grown gradually over the past 30 years, enjoying a push over the past five that has seen the addition of new stores by both independents and existing Home Hardware dealers. In fact, one-third of the stores are “combo” stores, in conjunction with a Home Hardware store. The company has added five new stores to its network this year, for a total of 68 locations.

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LBM Sales Coordinator & Estimator

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Regular contact with LBM customer base
  • Blue print Estimating services
  • Job site estimating & consulting
  • Supervise on site projects
  • Sales of trusses and engineered wood products
  • Networking with Local Building and Planning departments
  • Networking with building contractors
  • Execution of computer generated estimate


  • Minimum of 10 years experience in lumber & building materials
  • Flexibility to work evenings in consultations
  • Train & motivate other staff
  • Understanding computers, drafting programs & estimates Work in a team environment

18,000 sq ft retail store in Dunnville, ON
Email resume to ken@granderie.net



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.



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  • 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

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