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 24, 2011, Volume xvii, #4

“Save a little money each month and at the end of the year you’ll
be surprised at how little you have.” —Ernest Haskins

Big box insights await dealers at LBMAO buying show

MISSISSAUGA , Ont. — While hundreds of building supply vendors will be on hand with show specials and new product ideas at the upcoming Canadian Home Improvement Show, the event will feature an added dimension: a powerful program of seminars and keynotes to help dealers make sense of business conditions in 2011.

The third Annual Johns Manville HARDLINES Dealer Conference will feature a keynote breakfast session on day two of the event, Feb. 11. Ted Tsiakopoulos, who leads Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s Ontario office, will give his insights into housing trends in the province – and the country.

Our second speaker, Doug Stephens, is a 20-year veteran of retail management, marketing, store design and franchising. His work and thinking have influenced many of North America’s best known retailers and brands, including Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Hudson’s Bay Company, Disney, Loblaw and Benjamin Moore. His presentation, “ Boom, Box, Echo: The End of Big Box Retail,” addresses the massive and rapid shifts in economics, demographics and consumerism that challenge the viability of the big-box business model.

Can the “stack-it-high and watch-it-fly” retail strategy succeed in satisfying the needs of a myriad of consumer segments – all with niche needs and preferences? Stephens promises to deliver:

  • insight into the major social and economic trends that are forcing even the most powerful big-box retailers to quickly reinvent their business models in order to survive;
  • a sense of who the new consumer is and why the big box will be challenged to meet their needs; and
  • A glimpse of what companies like Wal-Mart and Home Depot may look like in the decades to come.

For more information on the Johns Manville HARDLINES Dealer Conference at the Canadian Home Improvement Show, click here.

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 Some (not much) good news at Builders Show

ORLANDO , Fla. — The International Builders Show, the housing’s industry’s annual four-day get-together which ended last Friday, was a mixture of optimism about the future and realism about the housing industry’s prospects for this year. But industry watchers agree that they all hinge on stronger job creation than most economists are predicting.

With more than 1,000 exhibitors displaying products and services within 500,000 square feet of the Orange County Convention Center, IBS drew an estimated 60,000 builders, manufacturers and other industry officials. Many people on the floor of the show said they are starting to see signs of recovery in a housing industry that’s gone through more than four years of severe recession.

David Crowe, chief economist for the Washington D.C.-based National Association of Home Builders, conceded that new-home sales were dismal for most of 2010, even though they were up slightly for the year. Nevertheless, he’s predicting that sales will rise 21% in 2011, mostly on the basis of pent-up demand that could be unleashed if unemployment can be brought down. To meet anticipated demand, Crowe expects 575,000 homes to be started in 2011, and for starts to increase by 50% in 2012 to 860,000 units.

However, finding financing for residential acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) will continue to be tough, according to a panel of lenders and investors who spoke at the show. Tom Farrell, who directs the Home Builder division at Bank of America, the largest bank in the U.S., says his company currently is considering fewer than 10 AD&C deals nationwide. Private equity is available to builders, but it’s a lot more expensive to borrow. And builders must do a much better job explaining to investors why their projects will succeed in a still-fragile economy, said John Gaghan, director of residential investments at Grosvenor Investment Management in Philadelphia, which manages a $100 million fund for residential development.

Better news can be found on the remodeling front, which should continue rebounding through at least the middle of 2011. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University released its latest quarterly estimates during the show, at which it projected a 9.1% jump, to $125 billion, in first-quarter household remodeling spending. The Joint Center expects household spending to rise to $141 billion in the second quarter, and then level off through the remainder of the year. —John Caulfield

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Home Hardware launches corporate wellness program

ST. JACOBS, Ont. — Home Hardware Stores Limited has launched a wellness program for its corporate staff here. The program, called “Good for You!,” has been designed by La Capitale Financial Group.

“At Home Hardware, we believe in the importance of making a difference in the health and well-being of our staff,” said Paul Straus, president and CEO of Home Hardware Stores Limited. “Their health is paramount to their happiness and we want to create an environment that fosters and supports healthy living.”

Employees will get a questionnaire to gauge their interest in health and wellness needs. La Capitale will use the data to develop a customized program for Home Hardware, and will assist in hosting various health-related events, challenges and education for their staff. The wellness program will provide a full spectrum of health and well-being information, from fitness to healthy eating. The program will eventually be rolled out at Home’s other facilities in Burford, Ont., Wetaskiwin, Alta., and Debert, N.S.

And we have it on good authority that there will be yoga.

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 Retail shows signs of recovery world-wide

NEW YORK — More than one-third of the world's 250 largest retailers suffered a decline in sales in fiscal year 2009 as the global downturn led to more cautious consumer behaviour and a drying-up of available credit.

However, a new report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited suggests that the efforts of many companies to cut costs and adjust their inventory levels have paid off, with net profit across the top 250 retailers increasing from 2.4% in 2008 to 3.1% in 2009.

According to the 2011 Global Powers of Retailing report, profitability improved in every product sector and almost every region. Fashion retailers put in a particularly strong performance, increasing their profit margin from 4.1% to 7.6%. Regionally, the biggest increase in profitability was in Latin America, with the profit margin increasing from 1.4% to 3.3%.

Dr. Ira Kalish, Director of Consumer Business for Deloitte Research, part of Deloitte Services LP in the United States, said, “These figures demonstrate the efforts of retailers around the world to manage the bottom line. It will be harder to continue to boost profits through these measures, and instead retailers will hope economic recovery can put sales growth back on track.”

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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 Product Development/Marketing Manager responsible for managing the Product Development/Marketing department of Loxcreen’s Canadian division with major brands “Bengard”, “Dura-Trim” and “Shur-Trim”. Competitive salary plus bonus, benefit package.

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


  • Customer service oriented
  • Team player
  • Detail oriented, organized and disciplined, attention to accuracy
  • Excellent analytical ability
  • Willing to take ownership of position
  • Able to work to deadlines and schedules
  • Self starter - able to work with little supervision


  • Post secondary degree or equivalent ideally in business or related field
  • Minimum of 5-7 years of experience in product development/marketing roles in a management capacity
  • Technical background in new product development would be an asset
  • Knowledge and experience in the building materials and/or flooring industries with retail and commercial channels would be an asset
  • Advanced user of Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access
  • Background in graphic artwork/MAC experience would be beneficial

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



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.



  • 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

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