July 21, 2014 Volume
“Money is like gasoline during a road trip. You don’t want to run out of gas on your trip, but you’re not doing a tour of gas stations.” —Tim O’Reilly (Irish-American tech guru and founder & CEO of O’Reilly Media, 1954- )
Summer Publication Schedule:
Please note that HARDLINES will publish July 28, then take some time off in August. There will be no weekly edition of HARDLINES on August 4, 18, or 25. The World Headquarters will remain open, however, during this time. The regular weekly schedule will resume September 1.
Top buyers from CTR, FCL among speakers at upcoming Conference
SPECIAL REPORT — Provocative insights. Progressive information. And, of course, networking at its best. The 19th Annual Hardlines Conference will offer all this and more over two action-packed days with top leaders of the home improvement industry.
This year’s Conference has been designed especially to help businesses play at the top of their game as the industry enters another year of slow growth. Vendors who wish to get face-to-face with top buyers will get their chance: Greg Hicks (shown right), senior vice president, merchandising for Canadian Tire Retail; and Tony Steier, home and building supplies director for Federated Co-operatives Limited, the giant Western farm and hardware co-op, are just two of the speakers who will fit that bill.
For delegates hungry to understand the latest trends in consumer habits, Jo Rossman, from the Association of Retail Environments, will talk merchandising; and Robert Howard of retail consultancy Kurt Salmon, will share the latest insights into why and how people shop today.
Other speakers include Ted Tsiakoupolos of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.; Vicki Hagel of Cook Street Castle in Victoriaville; Mark Thomas, co-founder of quinju.com; and Donald Cooper, the retail leader and business coach who has helped innumerable companies sell better.
This year’s “Profiles in Leadership” Series at the Conference welcomes Paul Beeston, president and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays and former president of Major League Baseball.
The 19th Annual Hardlines Conference has been developed to provide delegates, whether retailer or vendor, with “aha” moments for their own businesses. The lessons and strategies each delegate will take away from this event can only be learned in this type of face-to-face setting.
(For more information and to register for the 19th Annual Hardlines Conference, click here! —Michael)
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Newest TIMBER MART store called flagship for the banner
MUSQUODOBOIT HARBOUR, N.S. — The new TIMBER MART store that opened here two weeks ago is not only six times larger than the one it replaced, but it is a showcase for the latest merchandising, branding, and marketing initiatives available from TIM-BR MART Group.
Robert Taylor, president of Taylor Lumber Co., and his family have been serving Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore for almost three decades. When Taylor decided to expand the operation, he turned to TIM-BR MART Group for full support to make the change.
The elements and details in the new store include new-concept endcaps, merchandising innovations for the power aisle, and special attention to the contractor desk, with new signage and merchandising. All the elements work together to reinforce the TIMBER MART brand.
“This store really highlights what TIM-BR MART can offer for a dealer, in terms of merchandising and marketing,” says John Morrissey, vice president, building materials for TIM-BR MART Group. He works out of TIM-BR MART’s office in Dartmouth, N.S. “We redesigned our merchandising team and this was a chance for that team to work in a co-ordinated fashion.”
The expanded store also added a 4,000-square-foot garden centre, a kitchen showroom with full design services, a new home décor section, and expanded core hardware departments. “It really gives them to opportunity to be the one-stop shop in that community,” says Morrissey. “This is one of the nicest stores in Canada—period,” he adds.
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Lowe’s looks to integrate “smart home” technology
MOORESVILLE, N.C. — “Smart home” technology currently consists of a cacophony of apps and gadgets, but the general manager of Lowe’s Iris smart home division sees a more integrated solution at the end of the tunnel.
In an interview with Re/code, Kevin Meagher of Lowe’s Iris Home Security and Automation says that in the near future homeowners will be able to harmonize devices working on different platforms, while avoiding proprietary “walled gardens.” Meagher says that “no consumer wants to walk up to their house and open up one app to control their door lock, another to control the thermostat, another to control the lighting—that’s just crazy.”
While the temptation is for manufacturers to bundle their products more closely, Meagher says this puts off customers who want a system that works with the hardware they already own. Describing safety as an “overlooked” area, Meagher added that building on existing technologies, smart home systems will be able to keep homeowners in the loop about their children and elderly parents.
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ANALYSIS: How stores perform retail format
While hardware stores showed a drop in sales again this year, following a 2.6% drop last year, our research indicates that same-store sales by this format were positive, with low single-digit growth.
The decrease overall reflects the emphasis on building centres and home centres by the major retail groups such as Home Hardware and RONA. Many hardware stores, in fact, are expanding into building centres.
Sales by the country’s big boxes dipped slightly as RONA closed stores in 2013 and faced a further drop in sales by its Réno-Dépôt outlets in Quebec while that chain got a facelift.
(All data drawn from the 2014-2015 Retail Report: Complete Review & Analysis of Canada’s Hardware/Home Improvement Industry by the Editors of HARDLINES. Click here for more information and to order your copy of this amazing Report! —Michael)
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Turkstra Lumber is looking for an individual with industry experience, strong business acumen, an advanced knowledge of Excel and very strong negotiation skills for an opening in the Purchasing Department. Responsibilities include setting up and negotiating programs, sourcing product and maximizing profit. Please forward resume to email@example.com.
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