|In This Issue
“He who speaks the truth must have one foot in the stirrup.”
— Armenian proverb
|Lowe’s Canada finalizes four more sites
|TORONTO — After months of speculation about the next openings by Lowe’s in Canada, HARDLINES has confirmed the location of the stores that will open in fiscal 2008.Lowe’s Canada, which already has seven stores, stretching from Brantford to the west of Toronto to Newmarket in the east, will open next in Windsor, Barrie, Belleville, and Whitby, ON. These are not expected to open much before the end of this year, and possibly even into January 2009 (Lowe’s year-end is Jan. 31, 2009).
Lowe’s first confirmed its plans to expand into Canada three years ago. That expansion was originally led by Doug Robinson, an American who had previously run the erstwhile Beaver Lumber chain. Robinson left Lowe’s suddenly for personal reasons in August 2007 and was immediately replaced by Don Stallings, formerly a regional vice-president of operations in Lowe's south central division, based in Houston .
Lowe’s Canada is hiring for the new stores now, and expects to recruit about 115 people for each one.
|Hudson's Bay Co. acquired by U.S. equity firm
|TORONTO & NEW YORK — NRDC Equity Partners and True North Retail Investments, an affiliate of The InterTech Group Inc., have completed the acquisition of Hudson’s Bay Co.Hudson's Bay Co., established in 1670, is North America's oldest continually operating company. It operates department stores (the Bay), mass merchandise (Zellers), specialty home enhancement (Home Outfitters), and discount (Fields) formats, with more than 580 retail outlets and nearly 60,000 staff.
Hbc was purchased, and taken private, back in 2006, by billionaire inventor Jerry Zucker. He fell victim to cancer and passed away in April, at the age of 58, leaving operation of the enterprise largely in the hands of his widow, Anita.
Under its new owners, Hbc will be added to NRDC’s other retail operations, Lord & Taylor, Fortunoff, and Creative Design Studios, under a new holding company called the Hudson’s Bay Trading Co. NRDC will pump US$500 million into the new combined company, which will comprise more than US$8 billion in retail sales, 75,000 employees, and 55 million square feet of retail space in both the U.S. and Canada.
Richard Baker will serve as CEO of the Hudson's Bay Trading Company and will become the 38th governor of the Hudson's Bay Co. NRDC had been a minority owner in Hbc, in partnership with the Zucker family, and Baker has been a member of the board since 2006.
| Backgrounder: how NRDC’s U.S. banners will fit with Hudson’s Bay
|TORONTO — The new owners of Hudson’s Bay Co., NRDC Equity Partners, intend to use the acquisition as a stepping stone for the launch their U.S. retail banners here in Canada. Lord & Taylor, an upscale specialty department store chain, is expected to launch 10-15 stores here. Identifying a gap in the Canadian retail landscape between The Bay department stores and the upscale Holt Renfrew, Lord & Taylor is considered an ideal banner to fill that gap. It already has 47 stores in nine states and the District of Columbia.Lord & Taylor stores will be located in “prime locations through existing Hbc real estate properties or within existing flagship Bay stores,” according to a prepared release. That does not mean that any existing Bay stores will be eliminated — at least, not for now. Rather, Lord & Taylor, as well as Fortunoff, NRDC’s specialty jewelry and home furnishings store, could become “stores within a store” in The Bay, and/or operate adjacent to Bay outlets as free-standing retail operations.
Creative Design Studios, the design and manufacturing division that’s also owned by NRDC, will expand its offerings in Hbc stores. These include the Peter Som collection, Kate Hill, and Context for women, plus the Black Brown 1826 men’s brand.
All the banners will be operated under a single holding company, the Hudson’s Bay Trading Co. The strategy of HBTC is to increase focus on The Bay department store business, with more emphasis on the customer, by offering better brands and better service.
Zellers will get a face-lift, too, with more branded apparel, improved customer service, and the planned rollout of new 125,000-square-foot prototype stores. The Home Outfitters home-enhancement chain will continue to offer its range of brands in kitchen, bath, and bed home furnishings.
| UFA acquires sporting goods chain
|CALGARY— UFA Co-operative Ltd., the farm and hardware co-op, has taken another step in its aggressive expansion into the retail sector with the acquisition of Wholesale Sports of Calgary.Wholesale Sports is a privately-owned sporting goods chain that’s been in business for more than 30 years. Since 2005, the company has grown its business by about 110%. UFA will operate Wholesale Sports as a wholly-owned subsidiary, relying on the same staff and vendors as in the past. UFA has taken on the company as part of an overall strategy to provide a wider range of products and services to its existing – and loyal – co-op customer base.
“UFA is a co-operative committed to fulfilling our mission of serving the people who live, work and play in rural communities,” says Dallas Thorsteinson, president and CEO of UFA. “The Wholesale Sports acquisition advances our strategy, while diversifying UFA’s business. We recognize that our ability to serve our traditional, core agricultural members and customers depends, in part, on diversifying beyond our traditional businesses.”
UFA’s 2007 revenues were more than $1.8 billion, ranking it among the 40 largest Alberta companies in terms of revenue, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers and Alberta Venture magazine. Estimated sales by its 35 farm and hardware outlets, plus one building supply yard in Fort McMurray, are estimated at more than $350 million, according to the HARDLINES Who’s Who.
|Home Hardware turns in mid-year report card
|ST. JACOBS, ON — Home Hardware Stores Ltd., one of Canada’s Top Four home improvement retailers*, has been defying conventional wisdom that warns of a slowing economy with strong results during the first half of the year.“Home dealers and staff across Canada have been working hard to grow our market share, seek out opportunities for growth, and ensure our customers are receiving the superior customer service that sets us apart from the competition,” says Paul Straus, vice-president and CEO of Home Hardware.
While retail sales information will not be available until the end of the year, the company confirms that shipments are up year-over-year. Straus points to activity within Home’s four distribution centres across the country, which, overall, are achieving fill rates exceeding the target of 95.3%. During the week of July 7, the Atlantic distribution centre in Debert, NS, processed a record number of pick lines in one week and total weight shipped year-to-date is up 16.6%. The central DC in St. Jacobs recorded the highest pick line day for a Tuesday in history on July 8, and the western DC in Wetaskiwin, AB, has been offering record high fill rates all spring and summer, says Straus.
Demand orders, a special-order service available to Home Hardware customers, has also been making gains. So far this year, orders are up 7.4%, and in June alone, they were up 15.0%, representing almost $2.2 million in demand orders last month.
“We are confident that the remainder of 2008 will bring new opportunities for growth as we look for innovative ways to remind Canadians that ‘help is close to home’,” Straus concludes, riffing on the company’s slogan.
(Based on data in the latest edition of our sister publication, Hardlines Quarterly Report. For more info on the report, click here. )
|Canadian Tire unveils smaller, rural format
HEARST & DEEP RIVER, ON — Canadian Tire opened the doors of its first two “small market stores” today in these northern Ontario communities. The stores are the first of four test locations planned for 2008 and feature an 18,000-square-foot Canadian Tire store, 5,300-square-foot Mark's Work Wearhouse offering, a 7,000-square-foot Garden Centre, and will eventually have gas bars onsite.
With two stores now open and another two scheduled to open in Athabasca and Cochrane this fall, the small market store is designed to provide customers in smaller towns with a one-stop shopping experience, in outlets that will range 14,000-18,000 sq.ft. in size. “We have identified approximately 100 communities across Canada that we believe to be potential sites for this concept,” says Mike Arnett, president, Canadian Tire Retail.
The new small market stores will replace traditional Canadian Tire stores in some markets, and will represent new locations in others. They are expected to generate $5-$9 million annually.
OnSpeX opens new global HQ and testing facility
|CLEVELAND, OH — OnSpeX, the testing and product evaluation arm of CSA, held a grand opening last week for its new state-of-the-art testing facility. The 25,000-square-foot lab will serve as global headquarters for the company’s existing North American operations in Atlanta and Toronto, and for its testing facilities in Shanghai and Shenzhen, China.The Cleveland facility specializes in performance evaluations of mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and gas products. The lab also performs product comparison tests and verifications of stated claims by manufacturers. One of the goals of the new operation is to keep timelines for hardlines product evaluations to a minimum, providing flexibility to work with suppliers on either a project or a full program basis.
OnSpeX’s newest facility is set up to test both domestic and globally sourced products and it coordinates services needed to evaluate products manufactured in China. It is also designed to meet the increasingly complex evaluation needs of ever-more complex products that serve multiple functions. “Many of today’s at-home products serve more than one purpose,” says Sue Dempsey, vice-president and general manager of OnSpeX. “For example, a gas grill may also come with accessories including sinks, refrigerators, and even lights.”
She also notes that consumers are demanding products that are energy efficient, and OnSpeX can measure and test for that, as well.
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Colonial Elegance is looking for a Sales Agent for Northern Ontario. The ideal candidate will sell and promote all of Colonial Elegance’s products to building supply dealers across Northern Ontario.
The territory is already established and has great earning potential. The position includes selling and servicing existing accounts prospecting and adding new clients within the building supply industry. The agent will report to the Sales Director for Ontario.
Commission based position
Please forward resume to
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3800 Du Tricententaire Blvd
Fax 514 640 1744
Email : email@example.com
- Strong communication skills both written and verbal
- Working knowledge of Microsoft Office ie Excel Word Power Point Outlook
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HOME IMPROVEMENT BUYER REQUIRED!
DirectBuy, a successful buying group with over 150 locations in North America,
requires an intermediate to senior buyer for its Home Improvement division.
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Better Living Products is a dynamic, successful organization that continues to grow internationally and is looking to expand our sales team. Located in Woodbridge, Ontario Better Living Products is an international manufacturer and distributor of bath & shower organizational products to the retail trade, and pioneers of the original award-winning shower organizer The Dispenser TM.
Our plans to introduce a whole new range of European designed unique and innovative products to North America has opened up immediate positions in our sales and marketing department. We are currently seeking to fill the following positions:
National Account Manager to assist us in achieving our aggressive growth plans by managing specific accounts and channels within Canada and the USA. The successful candidate will possess 3-5 years account management experience and demonstrates exceptional interpersonal, communication and analytical skills. Experience with Mass Merchandise retailers is preferred. This is an intermediate position.
Sales Assistant to support us with administrative duties, trade shows, sales analysis, forecasting, planograms, direct marketing campaigns, new product launches and other sales & marketing related projects. Excellent communication and proficient computer skills is required.
Both positions will be based at our world-wide corporate headquarters in Woodbridge, Ontario. We offer competitive wages, benefits and a fun working environment. Please submit your resumé and salary expectations to Camillo Caperchione, Executive Vice President, Better Living Products, Telephone: 905-264-7100 Fax: 905-264-3690 Email: email@example.com
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