Hardlines Weekly Newsletter


January 26, 2015 Volume xxi, #4

“The measure of a man is what he does with power.” —Plato (Philosopher and mathematician of Ancient Greece, 428-348 BCE)


WRLA show has strong start at new venue in Calgary

CALGARY — Dealers from Western Canada, along with vendors from across the country, headed to Calgary last week for this year’s trade show by the Western Retail Lumber Association. The show has a new name this year, as the Prairie Showcase moniker gets replaced by a more inclusive “WRLA Buying Show.”

But more significantly, the show’s new location at the BMO Centre in Calgary’s Stampede Park, after years in Saskatoon, marks an attempt to draw a wider range of dealers, while settling in a city that can accommodate the show’s expanding attendance by both dealers and exhibitors.

And if attendance was any indication, the relocation of the show could be considered a success. With more than 270 exhibitors on hand, the event managed to draw at least as many dealers as last year, although attendance from Saskatchewan fell even as dealer representation from Alberta and British Columbia was up.

The show was preceded last Tuesday by a number of dealer meetings by buying groups including Castle, TIM-BR MART Group, Windsor Plywood, and Sexton Group. In fact, Sexton used the event to celebrate its 30th anniversary with a reception later that afternoon. (Sexton also sponsored the show’s closing night party featuring country star Paul Brandt.)

In the evening, the show kicked off officially with a meet-and-greet at the Hyatt Regency, sponsored again this year by Castle.

Traffic was generally brisk on day one of the show, and even though day two was slower—typical of any trade show—yellow dealer badges still abounded throughout the hall. Most of the exhibitors that HARDLINES spoke with expressed satisfaction—and some relief—that attendance by dealers was strong enough to justify their investment in the new location. Again, as with any show, there were disgruntled detractors, but even Saskatoon-based vendors the we spoke with expressed satisfaction in the move.

Certainly, some were concerned about the higher costs attached to the show, such as for lunches and parking, further exacerbated by the overall higher costs of doing business in Calgary versus Saskatoon, including more expensive hotels. However, these negatives were offset by the ease of getting around the city, the efficiency of move-in and move-out of the show itself, and the unseasonably warm weather, which saw temperatures remain in the low double digits.

The evening’s 125th Anniversary Gala, sponsored by Jeld-Wen, hosted almost 1,000 dealers and vendors, again at the Hyatt Regency. The evening paid tribute to Martha Konantz, president and CEO of North American Lumber, who received WRLA’s 44th Annual Industry Achievement Award. This award recognizes members of the WRLA who have contributed to their business, the industry, and the association.

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AQMAT Awards Gala attracts Quebec Industry

QUEBEC CITY — An estimated 1,000 people gathered at the storied Chateau Frontenac on Saturday for the third annual industry Gala Reconnaissance. The event was hosted by the Quebec industry association, AQMAT, and emceed by association president Richard Darveau.

Throughout the evening, a series of awards was presented to both vendors and retailers, with finalists representing every major banner and supplier operating in the province, including Bélanger, BP Canada, Duchesne, Richelieu, EAB Tool Company, TIM-BR MART Group, RONA, Home Hardware, BMR, Wallboard Trim & Tools, Garant, RDTS, Metrie, Boni, and Insulofoam.

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Power tools, playing figure large in Canadian Tire’s spring push

TORONTO — Seasonal products continue to be a big part of Canadian Tire’s sales growth, and a recent preview of its spring lines featured 400 new items, of which 140 will be Canadian Tire exclusives.

Power tools are among the lines getting a push this spring. The Maximum brand, which was launched last year, is being expanded. “It’s more of a trade-professional brand,” explains David Demelo, senior category business manager for power tools and paint. “It’s for someone who might make their living working with these tools. That’s who Maximum is aimed at.”

Tool boxes will feature more “soft storage,” tool pouches with carrying straps and pockets for ease of finding tools.

Automotive accessories will feature an exclusive line of car organization products, including the “Glove Box,” a car seat cover that comes with a front and side seat organizer. Trunk organizers include storage boxes with mesh dividers.

For children, Canadian Tire is rolling out bicycle accessories such as a water pistol that attaches to a bike’s handlebars, tool kits with large and small sized gloves for “Mummy and Me,” and a wood and plastic play fort that is fully pre-drilled, pre-stained, and pre-cut.

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Target Canada managers to get cash payouts

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Target Canada’s retreat from Canada continues to be plagued by controversy. In the latest news surrounding the imminent closing of 133 stores here, Target’s top managers will reportedly receive big payouts at the end of their tenure. Meanwhile, some 17,000 sales staff will be without jobs—or severance of their own.

According to the CBC, up to 26 senior and operations managers will receive an average of $30,000 each on top of their regular salaries. Another 520 store managers will get about $11,000 apiece. In each case the bonuses are based on eight to 12 weeks of salary. The total payout equals $6.5 million.

Throughout all this, Target’s rivals will be circling to pick up the leftovers of its business – and its leases, according to Report on Business. The chain’s liquidation of the inventory at its 133 stores is sending competitors scrambling, and thriving banners like Walmart, Loblaws, Canadian Tire, and Costco are the likely contenders to snap up some of the former Target properties.

Struggling players like Sears are expected to face even greater pressure in the battle for the approximately $2 billion in sales Target is leaving behind.

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Classified Ads


Automotive Account Manager

Position Responsibilities:
This position will be responsible for growing top line sales, profit and
market share for our Automotive business in Canada. Key accounts include
Canadian Tire, NAPA and other regional business. This position will be
responsible for the following:

  • Strategic planning, development, and implementation of business plans to expand and develop new business opportunities.
  • Achieving results through strategic category management, sales models & proformas.
  • Building & executing customer programs
  • P&L and Budget Management
  • Negotiation of yearly account agreements
  • Manage line reviews

Experience Required:

  • 3+ yrs of sales experience with Major Accounts Retail Management
  • 2+ years experience Managing P&L (and financial support tools)

Preferred Experience:

  • Knowledge of Automotive Retail Segment (or related hardware segment)
  • Knowledge of Canadian Tire and/or NAPA

Education Required:

  • Bachelors Degree required or equivalent experience required

To apply, go to: http://careers.sherwin-williams.com/jobs/18890