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January 23, 2012, Volume xviii, #4

“When choosing between two evils,
I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.” 
—Mae West (American actress and playwright, 1893-1980)



Chalifour will close its Montreal office

LONDON , ON — With the lease coming to an end, Chalifour Canada has decided to close its 20-person office in downtown Montreal and relocate it to the company’s distribution centre here. The move is effective April 20. Seven category managers currently work out of the Montreal office.

According to a letter co-signed by Andrew Allen, vice-president of Chalifour Canada, and Randy Martin, vice-president procurement, “The consolidation of the Montreal office into our London location will facilitate improvement to service through centralization, and give vendors one centralized location in which to meet with their buyers.”

HARDLINES has confirmed that, “All employees have been given the opportunity to relocate to London,” according to Catherine Brownlow, communications manager for TIM-BR MARTS Ltd., which owns Chalifour Canada.

The move will also streamline operations. “Having the complete procurement team centralized and working closely with sales, operations, and customer service teams will result in clear and effective communications between departments, our vendors, and our customers,” the letter continues.

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TIM-BR MARTS takes team to hockey championships

CALGARY — From the minor leagues to the big leagues, the Lillooet Junior Girls Pistons have experienced what most young hockey players only dream of – standing centre ice at the World Junior Hockey Championships.

The players took their team spirit online for the TIM-BR MART World Junior Hockey Video Challenge. In their winning three-minute video, the Pistons demonstrated their love of the game, team spirit, and pride in Canada. Their hard work was rewarded with an all-expense paid trip to the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships for the entire team, including coaches and parents.

The contest became the target of tampering and hacking with thousands of votes being registered in a matter of minutes for certain teams. As a result, the winner was selected through a random draw instead of online voting.

TIM-BR MART flew the Pistons to Edmonton where they attended four games, including Canada’s impressive 10-2 win over Denmark on Dec. 29. Their winning video was played at that game on the big screen at Edmonton’s Rexall Place as the team stood at centre ice.

“The girls were incredibly excited when they found out they had won,” said Leanne Lane, coach of the Lillooet Junior Girls Pistons. “It truly was a trip of a lifetime and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”

The TIM-BR MART World Junior Hockey Video Challenge was open to minor hockey teams between the ages of seven and 14 across Canada, excluding Quebec.

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Home launches 2012 contractor shows

St. Jacobs, ON — Home Hardware Stores has reprised its popular contractor trade shows for 2012. The events, labelled “Tough as Nails,” kicked off on Jan. 16 in Peterborough, ON.

The annual invitation-only event enables groups of Home’s building centre dealers in various regions to combine forces to attract contractor customers. The events feature booths and product demonstrations from suppliers that focus on contractor and renovator business.

Six shows will be held this year, in Peterborough, Sudbury, and Waterloo, ON; and in Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Moncton. A total of 5,000 contractors are invited to the shows, representing, says Home, approximately $310 million in annual business in their local economies.

“With over 507 Home Hardware Building Centre and Home Building Centre locations across Canada, we strive to be the destination of choice for contractor customers,” said Bruce White, vice-president, merchandise and marketing – lumber and building materials at Home Hardware Stores.

The shows are also known among the trade customers for their competitions in areas like sawing, nailing, and drilling. “The trade show is a great way to cut loose and have some fun. The contractors receive free products, a free meal, and the chance to win great prizes, including a Toyota truck,” said White.

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Lowe’s not a threat, says RONA CEO

MONTREAL — With the onslaught of 24 new Lowe’s stores in its own markets over the past three years, RONA has been investing in its own big boxes to defend itself. “We have good big box locations,” says Robert Dutton, president and CEO of RONA inc. “And we have great management.”

Dutton spoke to HARDLINES about how Lowe’s expansion into this country has affected his own big boxes. To hear him tell it, not very much, it would seem. “Our same-store sales grew in 2012 more than Lowe’s. Lowe’s has not affected our big-box stores.”

He points out that the challenge for Lowe’s is inherent in the marketplace, as there are already two strong big-box players in Canada. “Other players in the big box stores don’t bring anything new.”

In last week’s interview with Robert Dutton, we stated that expansion will include a big box and a corporate store. That should have read: “Expansion will not involve big box or corporate stores,” as emphasis is being placed on the affiliate dealer base at RONA.

(If you didn’t see it last week, click here to see a short interview with Robert on HTV!)

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RONA to relocate Studio stores into big boxes

MONTREAL — RONA has revealed it will relocate its Studio by RONA stores, integrating the stand-alone sites into big-box RONA stores in nearby markets within Montreal. The stores, in Saint-Leonard, Vaudreuil, and Rosemère, were test stores for a new concept by the giant retailer to offer a stand-alone paint and décor store. A fourth store was launched on MacLeod Trail in Calgary.

Initially, the company had big plans for Studio. RONA claimed it was the first concept of its kind to provide a retail solution to three customer groups – consumers, designers, and professional painters – under one roof. The stores offered paint, wallpaper, and accessories, as well as a wider range of décor products including mouldings, floor coverings, and window treatments. In addition, a whole range of services, including design and decoration consulting, was also made available.

It was being promoted, at the time of its launch at the RONA show in November 2009, as a way for existing dealers to expand their own business. Now, the concept is being re-invented as a value-added concept for big box stores.

The Studio by RONA stores were initially planned as a pilot project to analyze a possible expansion plan across Canada,” says Nadia Goyer, senior communications advisor for RONA. But after studying trends in the market, including the slowdown in the economy, the company revised those plans. “People are looking for various specialists and a wide range of products under one roof. This clearly showed that it was becoming imperative for RONA to adapt its offer to the constantly changing market.”


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World retail sales improve, but 2012 looks weak

NEW YORK — The world’s 250 largest retailers recorded sales growth of more than 5% in fiscal year 2010, according to the 2012 “Global Powers of Retailing” report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, in conjunction with STORES Media. The figures mark a substantial improvement on the previous year, when the group surveyed recorded weak growth of just 1.2%.

The report also found that profitability improved, with net profit increasing to 3.8% in 2010, up from 3.1% in 2009. While this performance has been impressive, retailers will have been concerned by the deterioration in the global economy over the latter half of 2011.

“The global economy is decelerating, with growth in 2012 likely to be slower than in 2011 in many of the world’s leading markets,” says Dr. Ira Kalish, director of consumer business for Deloitte Research. “The Eurozone crisis continues to drain investor and consumer confidence, while growth in the United States next year is unlikely to significantly reduce unemployment.”

Kalish, who delivered a similar message to delegates at last fall’s Hardlines Conference in Toronto, suggests there might be a “silver lining” for retailers. “One positive effect of slower global growth will be the continued dampening of commodity prices. For retailers, this means some improvement on the cost side of the ledger while retail price inflation in some economies presents an opportunity for improved profit margins, even in the context of slow top-line growth.”

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SPG International Ltd, part of the Geelong Sales Company, is a manufacturer of metal toolboxes and industrial storage systems.  Located in Drummondville, QC we have been manufacturing tool storage solutions since 1960.  We have an immediate opening for a:



Reporting directly to our Vice President of Sales & Marketing your main tasks will be to:

  • Grow sales in the US market, specifically the Automotive, Industrial and Tier 2 retail sectors;
  • Focus resources and energy into opening up new markets and accounts.
  • Be responsible for achieving sales objectives, and profit objectives for your assigned accounts
  • Contact and service your customers on a regular basis and effectively assess and understand their needs;
  • Maintain and improve our customer satisfaction levels;
  • Develop and coordinate a network of manufacturer agents throughout the US
  • Regular sales analysis of account base, providing clear and decisive plans for account and market growth
    • Participate in solution development and follow-up;
    • Participate in sales budgeting and marketing planning;
  • Identify market trends and implement sales initiatives;
  • Provide sales support which includes sales calls, sales & marketing planning;
  • Organize and attend industry trade shows and conferences;
  • You will work from a home office; candidate must have a designated area to conduct business – file records, etc.


  • Relevant academic training. Minimum of College degree;
  • 5 years experience performing similar duties;
  • Proven track record in the aforementioned market sectors
  • Possess strong presentation and communication skills;
  • Must be available to travel up to 50% of the time;
  • Strong practical knowledge of Office software;
  • Self motivated and energetic, people oriented and a team player;
  • Be able to set sales goals and objectives;

If you’re interested please send us your résumé with reference number: 01-012:

SPG International Ltd
Human Resources department
4275, St-Joseph blvd, Drummondville (Québec) J2B 1T8
Fax : (819) 477-0705, Email : rh@spg-toolbox.com


This well established Canadian entrepreneurial firm has weathered the storms of what retail suppliers have suffered and come out the better for it. With a national presence and representing top brands in a variety of categories, they’ve analyzed their bench strength and identified the need to add a key Toronto-based sales leader to their management team.

Reporting to the President, the National Sales Director will both develop and execute the company’s business strategy with P&L responsibility which includes:

  • Talent assessment, identifying development opportunities while providing leadership to the national sales team and their managers in identifying and implementing sales and marketing strategies
  • P&L responsibility including sales budgeting, forecasting and development of a strategic plan to improve efficiencies, increase sales and profitability and ultimately delight the customer
  • Collaborate on expanding sales channel distribution and both develop and deploy for national market expansion
  • Developing a customer feedback system to allow two-way interaction, satisfaction measurement and opportunities for improvement
  • Market analysis to identify underperforming products/categories to aid in focusing on profitable lines and products
  • Regular analysis of profitability, sales team performance, issues and forecasts

You’ve not only run a national sales organization but analyzed a team and put successful structure into place. Your experience includes analyzing revenue and profitability targets and then made it happen. Qualities others would use to describe you should include coach and motivator, relationship builder, customer focused, and strategic thinker. Character qualities must include integrity, trust, and receptiveness. Ideally you’ve pursued a business education and ongoing skills development as the company typically promotes from within.

Interested? Please contact Wolf Gugler in strict confidence, quoting NSD or apply on our web site at www.wolfgugler.com and click on the “Opportunities” page.

Wolf Gugler & Associates Limited, offices in the U.S. and Canada. 888-848-3006


Loxcreen Flooring Group is the leading supplier of residential and commercial floor mouldings and related products in North America - see http://www.loxcreen.com with head office in Mississauga, Ontario. The company is seeking a Marketing Manager with advanced technical skills responsible for managing the Marketing Department/Product Development of Loxcreen’s Canadian division with major brands “Bengard”, “Dura-Trim” and “Shur-Trim”. Competitive salary plus bonus, benefit package.

The Company requires a professional marketing manager with skills in strategic business development; an analytical and innovative problem solver in an engineering/technical product environment.

A major orientation of this position is new product development including product sourcing, costing, and vendor management. However, marketing skills and proficiency in product/brand/channel management, pricing, packaging, merchandising, advertising, and website development are also required.


  • Technical background in new product development required
  • Customer service oriented
  • Team player
  • Detail oriented, organized and disciplined, attention to accuracy
  • Excellent analytical ability
  • Able to work to deadlines and schedules
  • Self starter - able to work with little supervision


  • Post secondary degree/diploma in business and/or in manufacturing/engineering technology - e.g. industrial/ manufacturing/ mechanical engineering degree or Certified Engineering Technologist diploma.
  • Minimum of 5-7 years of experience in marketing/product development roles in a manufacturing environment.
  • Knowledge and experience in the building products industry with retail and commercial channels would be an asset.
  • Retail sales experience in effective presentations would also be an asset.
  • Advanced User of Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.
  • Background in graphic artwork/MAC experience would be beneficial.
  • Ability to travel in Canada and USA for client visits, trade shows. Must have valid passport/driver’s license.

Please submit résumé via email to Black Eagle Executive Search c/o Richard Simms at rsimms@blackeagle.ca



  • Experienced District Manager with a proven track record with several national chains. view this resumé Back to top
  • A relationship builder who passionately sells for profit through quality service view this resumé Back to top
  • 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
  • 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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