vol. viii, #26 July 2, 2002

* Home Depot on the lookout for smaller properties * Branding, effective hiring techniques, spotlighted at executive conference * Wal-Mart continues to battle with labour * Australian retailer follows Rona's big box lead  

"I don't want to make money. I just want to be wonderful." - Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962)


Toronto, ON - Home Depot in Canada is looking for smaller sites to launch neighbourhood stores here in Canada. Annette Verschuren, president of the Canadian division, checked out a pilot store in Brooklyn, NY at the suggestion of her boss, Home Depot CEO Bob Nardelli. She liked what she saw. Taking some lessons from its now-defunct Villager's Hardware concept, the Brooklyn store is the first of Home Depot's so-called urban neighbourhood stores. Another is scheduled to open on Staten Island, NY in September. Designed as convenience-oriented fill-in stores between full-sized Home Depot outlets, the urban outlets offer about 70% of the 45,000-50,000 SKUs found at a regular Home Depot. Many building materials categories, such as flooring and faucets, are sold mostly on a special-order basis, with deliveries made from a nearby full-sized store. Assortments of other products are tightened up, while products that cater to home maintenance and organization, such as cleaning and storage, have been expanded. "The store in Brooklyn is doing amazingly well," Verschuren says. "I'm really excited by it." Verschuren wants to start immediately to develop urban stores in Canada, and is eagerly on the lookout for appropriate real estate, especially in Toronto and Vancouver, ranging from 60,000-80,000 sq.ft. Ideally, she says, she wants existing retail sites with 150-200 parking spaces. "It's amazing, the opportunities for downtown space," she adds. She's also considering developing smaller stores that will fit into new, smaller markets. The smallest so far is Owen Sound, at the bottom of the Bruce Peninsula in Central Ontario. But she sees an opportunity for a smaller footprint for traditional stores, something Home Depot has resisted so far. Already, stores slated for small communities, including North Bay and Thunder Bay, ON and Lethbridge, AB - all for next year - are problematic, given the population size and demographics. "I have to make a decision in places like North Bay," Verschuren says. "Do they get a 60,000 or a 90,000-sq.ft. store. While a smaller one will ensure a quicker return on investment in a small community, it may also leave Home Depot vulnerable. "I don't want to put a smaller store in one of those locations, then have a competitor put in a bigger store." Despite the potential for smaller footprints, Verschuren remains committed to Home Depot's current expansion. "Brooklyn is really a good idea, but I'm still going on with a very aggressive big store program." She still expects 120 of them in Canada before she's done, and will end this year with 89 across the country. There are currently 83 in place. Nor will Home Depot move ahead with its Expo format in Canada for at least a year. Expansion will continue in the U.S. of the large, upscale décor-oriented Expo stores for the next couple of years, but plans for Canada have yet to be firmed up.
Melbourne, Australia - Mitre 10 in Australia plans to take on Bunnings Building Supplies, currently the sole big box retailer in Australia, with large-format stores of its own. The dealer-owned co-op has 900 members in Australia and New Zealand. They operate under three different Mitre 10 banners — Handy, Solutions and Home & Trade — which are convenience hardware, traditional hardware and building centre stores respectively. Mitre 10 appears to be following the lead of Rona Inc., a fellow member of the international association of co-op retailers, Interlink. According to New Zealand Hardware Journal, Mitre 10 will develop the new stores with individual dealer investment with the hope of attracting additional interest from outside investors.
World Headquarters, Toronto, ON — Controlling the high cost of staff turnover and profiting from the power of your company's brand are just two of the breakout sessions confirmed for the Seventh Annual Hardlines Marketing Conference. The Conference, which will be held September 13, 2002 in Toronto, will feature a day long series of presentations from key retail executives from across North America. These front-line insights will be rounded out by a series of three concurrent breakout sessions. Learn how to leverage effectively your banner or your brand name through a sound branding strategy, in the presentation by Brandid. This Toronto-based brand consultancy and design studio specializes in consumer packaged goods. Delegates will learn how to define a brand, create a strategy and develop tactics to maximize your ROI. Wolf Gugler, of Wolf Gugler & Associates, and self-appointed dean of home improvement executive search, will be joined in another breakout by Brenda Dumont, an executive search consultant who started Canadianretail.com, an online recruitment service specializing in the retail sector. Both will provide tips on recruiting smart to keep turnover down, and insights into how to get the best out of your team. Using strong corporate communications increase sales is the topic of the third breakout. Good PR has typically been the strength of U.S. retailers. It's just one more part of the business that any company needs to sharpen in order to compete effectively. The seminar will provide some tips that will help retailers and vendors alike to increase their sales. Now in its seventh year, the Hardlines Marketing Conference attracts almost 200 senior executives and managers from the retail and supply sides of home improvement retailing. Other speakers booked for the day include Greg Thomas of Alliance International LLC, Paul Ingevaldson of Ace Hardware and David Ford of the Council of Forest Industries. For more information, call us at 416-489-3396, or check out hardlines.ca/html/conference_upcoming.html.
Canadian Tire 33.08 18.50 31.20
Canfor 11.70 8.08 11.15
Emco 12.42 3.71 12.69
Goodfellow 11.90 8.00 11.50
Home Depot 52.60 30.30 36.73
Hudson's Bay 20.10 12.50 13.57
Lowe's Cos. 49.99 24.99 45.40
Sears Canada 25.10 12.50 23.90
Sodisco-Howden 2.25 0.75 1.52
Taiga Forest 12.75 7.49 n/a
West Fraser 44.42 26.13 41.30
Forestry giant Abitibi Consolidated is feeling the pain from the recently imposed softwood lumber tariffs on U.S.-bound timber. Three sawmills, all in Québec's Saguenay-Lac St-Jean region, are slated to close indefinitely in July. Other facilities in Québec and British Columbia will also be affected. A total of 700 workers will be affected by those moves, which chops Abitibi's annual lumber production by about 20%. For the three-month period ended May 31, 2002, Richelieu Hardware's sales reached $70.0 million, up 18% over the previous year, including 14% from internal growth. EBITDA rose 19% to $9.4 million. Sales in the first six months of the year were up 17% the same period in 2001, reaching $123.9 million. Net earnings for the first six months grew by 27%, rising to $8.4 million. Lost or stolen Home Depot gift cards will be replaced at no charge, following complaints to the Attorney General's office in New York State. The issue came to light after a woman lost a card with almost US$2,000 in credit left on it. She had been told the company had no policy to return or replace the card, unlike regular credit cards. Wal-Mart workers are feeling beleaguered by the demands of the job - after they've punched out for the day. Company policy forbids it, yet many staff and managers have reported an "unwritten policy" of demanding extra unpaid work from staff to cut costs. Most full-time workers earn less than US$8.50 an hour, or about US$17,680 a year. Wal-Mart has already settled with one group of 67,000 workers in Colorado.
Exchange-A-Blade has announced the appointment of Andy Moncreiff as sales manager for Ontario and Atlantic Canada. An experienced and well respected sales executive, he brings with him many years of experience in our industry. (519-679-6760)
Home sales may be slowing down, but they're still setting records, says the Greater Toronto Home Builders' Association. There were 5,093 new homes sold last month, 38% over May 2001 and the highest May on record. Freehold homes, which include single, semi-detached and town homes, made up 65% of the market, while condos accounted for the balance. The federal and Alberta governments will contribute $67.12 million each to facilitate the development of affordable housing in high need areas of the province. The sixth deal the feds have signed in as many months, the funding will be used for provincially designed programs that support affordable housing for low-income families and individuals with special needs. Gross domestic product surged ahead 0.8% in April. With a temporary hold on softwood duties to the U.S. during that time, wood product manufacturers pushed up production 8.7%, resulting in record output levels. Capacity utilization rates of the wood product manufacturers ran at 85.5% during the first quarter. Sawmill producers provided the single largest push in April, as production surged 12.8%.
The success of several companies that already enjoy a high profile in the hardware/home improvement sector was evident in their movement up the Globe and Mail ROB magazine's Top 1000 list, which was published today. Canadian Tire moved up from 85 to 57 on the chart, while West Fraser Timber went from 94 to 72, Nu-Gro Corp. climbed from 369 to 343, Viceroy Homes leapt from 546 to 374 and Sico Inc. jumped from 420 to 325.
"He's not interested, but thank you very much." - a call back from the office of Robert Dutton, CEO of Rona Inc., after this intrepid reporter called to see if he wanted to buy the bankrupt White Rose stores and turn them into Botanix outlets.
The Spring issue of Hardlines Quarterly Report, available now, features: The Three Billion Dollar Club — find out which home improvement retailers dominate the Canadian scene...Who's winning the big box war? Big box expansion in Canada..... CLICK HERE to find out more!
****HARDLINES MARKETPLACE**** Check out Hardlines Classifieds on the web: https://hardlines.ca/html/classifieds_new.asp POSITIONS SOUGHT GENERAL MANAGER - ATLANTIC Come Build with Our TeamE Every great venture begins with great leadership and with great leadership, a winning team sets records. CanWel, one of Canada's leading national distributors of building materials and related products, seeks an individual with outstanding leadership skills and drive to spearhead their Atlantic Business Unit as General Manager. Based in Dartmouth, NS you will lead a seasoned team and direct the strategic/business initiatives critical for success in this market place To further investigate, please contact Chris Schulz at 902-423-1657, cschulz@StaffingStrategists.com www.canwel.com NATIONAL SALES MANAGER/ MANUFACTURER’S AGENT AVAILABLE Well respected, successful senior national sales executive available immediately to help you grow your key accounts. Skill set includes marketing manager and multi-line manufacturer's agent credentials. I have the skills to grow your sales to key accounts, with extensive experience servicing Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Sears, Home Hardware, Rona, Réno-Dépôt and all Canadian hardware buying group accounts. 10+ years experience successfully marketing brands. Let’s talk about how I can make your business grow. Reply in confidence c/o bev@hardlines.ca (put “Box 375” in subject line). *********************************************************************************** HELP WANTED AGENT WANTED: Kempston Canada Ltd.., a router bit supplier, is looking for an agent with pioneering spirit to build B.C. and Alberta territory. Please reply to national sales manager by fax: 905-513-7924 or email: sales@kempston.ca GENERAL MANAGER - ATLANTIC: Come Build with Our Team! Every great venture begins with great leadership and with great leadership, a winning team sets records. CanWel, one of Canada's leading national distributors of building materials and related products, seeks an individual with outstanding leadership skills and drive to spearhead their Atlantic Business Unit as General Manager. Based in Dartmouth, NS you will lead a seasoned team and direct the strategic/business initiatives critical for success in this market place. To further investigate, please contact Chris Schulz at 902-423-1657, cschulz@StaffingStrategists.com www.canwel.com REGIONAL SALES MANAGER: We are a Canadian company in the decorative accessories business with established customers in Canada and the USA; searching for a seasoned bilingual professional to help manage and grow the business in Canada with a focus on the Quebec market. This candidate will build upon strong relationships with major and national retail accounts — developing and implementing; sales development, category management, promotions, and forecast/budget planning. This position offers an attractive salary and sales incentives, a benefits package; based on experience, knowledge, and ability to succeed in sales. Please forward your interests c/o bev@hardlines.ca (Put “Box 400” in subject line). *********************************************************************************** ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT The Lumber and Building Materials Association of Ontario (LBMAO) is seeking a dynamic individual to fulfill the role of Association President. The ideal candidate should have strong LBM Industry ties, general management experience and the proven ability to work with a volunteer Board of Directors. Closing date for applications is July 12th, 2002. Resumes can be submitted to: Mr. Paul Sutter, Chairman of the Board, LBMAO, 5155 Spectrum Way, Unit 27, Mississauga, Ont. L4W 5A1 ************************************************************************************ SALES PROFESSIONALS, BRAMPTON CanWel, one of Canada's leading distributors of building materials to the retail and industrial markets, is poised for growth. We are looking for motivated professionals to join our Sales Team at our Customer Service Centre. For the following opportunities, we are seeking results-driven and sales-oriented individuals with excellent communication, interpersonal and negotiation skills. Familiarity with the building materials industry would be beneficial. ACCOUNT MANAGERS You will apply your 3-5 years of sales experience and outstanding customer service skills towards managing a specified customer base in Ontario; maximizing profits; creating new sales opportunities. INSIDE SALES REPRESENTATIVES As part of our inside sales team, you will work closely with the Outside Account Managers/support staff and deal directly with customers to provide full service/sales support. You have: 1-3 years' sales experience; strong organizational skills; excellent administrative duties. FLOORING SPECIALIST You will apply your 3-5 years of sales experience with hardwood, laminates and engineered flooring along with your outstanding customer service skills towards managing a specified customer base in Ontario; maximizing profits; creating new sales opportunities. In return for your contribution, a competitive salary/benefits package is offered. Please forward your résumé, indicating the position title, by July 5, 2002 to: Human Resources, CanWel Distribution Ltd., 15 West Drive, Brampton, Ontario L6T 3T5; email: michele_white@canwel.com; fax 905-457-3668. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those selected for interview will be contacted. *********************************************************************************** SALES REPRESENTATIVE — QUÉBEC REGION Henkel Consumer Adhesives, formerly LePage, Division of Henkel Canada Corporation, is a leading consumer adhesive and sealant company looking for an individual who enjoys a fast paced environment and thrives on exciting challenges. We are currently conducting a search for a Sales Representative in our Québec region who can contribute to our continued success. Applicants should have experience in dealing with the big box stores. Have excellent communication and presentation skills and demonstrate customer relationship building and interpersonal skills. Must be fluently bilingual, written and spoken and have at least 1-2 years experience as a Sales Representative in the hardware channel. Interested applicants are invited to fax their resumé in confidence to (905) 459-2791 or e-mail to: stickwith.thebest@Henkel-Americas.com ************************************************************************************ SERVICES OFFERED MARKETING "AUDIT" Get an independent assessment of your marketing programs. Assess your brand strategy, dealer programs and creative execution. Guaranteed to produce new ideas towards building a greater competitive edge. Cjohnston@synmark.net , phone: 905-849-4850. Building brand equity through strategic and creative programs that register. *********************************************************************************** LOOKING FOR REPUTABLE, FOCUSED REPRESENTATION? NORAL MARKETING the manufacturers’ rep agency that knows the Canadian retail customer! Visit http://www.noralmarketing.com or call Al Vanderveen at 519-439-6800 ext. 201 ********************************************************************************** SELL YOUR COMPANY - OR BUY ONE - WITH HARDLINES CLASSIFIEDS! DO YOUR EXECUTIVE SEARCH, FIND NEW LINES OR GET NEW REPS IN THE HARDLINES MARKETPLACE. ONLY $18 PER LINE FOR THREE WEEKS! TO PLACE YOUR AD, CALL US AT 416-489-3396 OR EMAIL: bev@hardlines.ca
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