"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."— Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

LBM, hardware rank high in retail commodity sales for 2006

OTTAWA — Retailers had a good year in 2006, as all major commodity groups, including hardware and building materials, enjoyed strong increases. According to a new report by Statistics Canada, Retailers Competing for Market Share: 2006 Sales in Review, total sales increased by 6.4% from 2005, with total sales at retail reaching $390.6 billion. Sales of hardware and home renovation products (which include lumber and building materials) represented the fastest growing commodity category, rising by almost 10%. Overall, the hardware/LBM category was worth $27.3 billion in 2006, up 9.9% from the previous year. That represents an average of $836 for every single person in Canada. Within the commodity group, hardware and home renovation products were up by 9.2% to $21.5 billion, while lumber and "other building materials" were up by 12.2%, to account for the remaining $5.8 billion. While not taking into account all sales by stores within the hardware/home improvement channel, the Stats Can study gives a picture of sales within specific commodity groups. And even though the hardware commodity group does include lumber and building materials, including some lawn and garden products, it does not include household maintenance and cleaning products, a range of lawn and garden products, or kitchenwares and housewares. (Nor does this study include Canadian Tire's sales, which are tracked under general merchandise stores.) Taking into account all sales by retailers in the hardware/home improvement sector, the industry grew by almost 6% overall, reaching close to $39 billion in total sales, according to the latest report in our sister publication, Hardlines Quarterly Report (click here for more info on this important study! — Editor). According to the Stats Can study, new housing was the biggest factor driving the growth in retail sales. However, investment in renovation spending increased by 8.7%, to $32.0 billion last year, representing 40.1% of total residential construction investment in 2006.

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RONA's newest store boasts new-look store brand

LEAMINGTON, ON — RONA opened another new store here, the latest in several in the retailer's network to bear only the company name without being further delineated by store type. The move is part of an ongoing strategy to standardize the company's stores by naming new stores as they are built and renaming existing stores as they are renovated. The RONA Leamington store features a retail sales area of 52,000 square feet, approximately 23,000 SKUS, a 70,000-square-foot outdoor lumberyard with a 7,500-square-foot covered zone, and an 11,000-square-foot garden centre.

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IKEA launches plan to reduce bag use

BURLINGTON, ON —  IKEA Canada has unveiled a plan to reduce the 25 million plastic bags used annually by Canadian shoppers at its stores by 50%. Beginning in October, the retailer will charge shoppers five cents per plastic bag. All proceeds from the sale of plastic bags will be donated to Tree Canada, a non-profit partner that plant trees to help offset carbon dioxide emissions. IKEA will continue to sell, for $1, its signature blue bag, which can hold up to 60 kg and be reused.  "IKEA Canada sees social and environmental responsibility as a prerequisite for doing good business,"  Kerri Molinaro, president of IKEA Canada, said in a prepared statement. "Not only that, our customers are becoming even more environmentally savvy and expecting retailers to operate their businesses in a green way." The Canadian initiative follows enthusiastic consumer response to similar programs in the U.K. and the U.S. Research by IKEA Canada found that over 70% of customers supported an environmental alternative to help reduce plastic bag use.

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Hbc head office achieves green designation

TORONTO — Hudson's Bay Company's corporate head office here has become the first office tower in Canada to achieve a "zero waste" designation, quantified by an audit performed by C. D. Sonter Environmental Consultants. The company has also piloted zero waste products at two Hbc stores in the Greater Toronto Area and plans to introduce the program at an additional five stores and two other corporate offices by the end of August. "Achieving zero waste at Hbc's head office tower highlights our ongoing efforts to innovate in the area of environmental sustainability," Mike Rousseau, president, Hbc, said in a prepared statement.

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American Standard sells bath/kitchen division

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — In another sign that an era in the home improvement industry's history may be coming to a close, American Standard Companies, once a brand name synonymous with bath fixtures, is selling its bath and kitchen business unit to Boston-based Bain Capital Partners for $1.76 billion. Bain is one of three private equity firms that paid $10.3 billion to acquire Home Depot's HD Supply division, which includes Hughes Supply, one of the largest plumbing distributors in North America. American Standard's move was not a surprise, as the corporation now wants to focus entirely on its HVAC business. The company intends to change its corporate name to Trane, its primary brand for air-conditioning systems. But it also intends to keep the American Standard brand alive on certain products. Earlier this year, American Standard sold Venestra Washroom Systems, which had been part of its bath and kitchen unit. And on July 31, the company will spin off its vehicle-control systems business into a publicly traded company called Wabco. The bath and kitchen business that Bain is buying did $2.4 billion in sales last year from 54 production facilities that employ 26,000 workers in 23 countries. That business unit lost $18.4 million in 2006, versus a $102.2 million gain in 2005. Its brands include Ideal Standard, Armitage Shanks, Porcher, Jado, Ceramica Dolomite and Vidima.

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B.C. coastal foresty workers strike

VANCOUVER — Loggers and sawmill workers belonging to the United Steelworkers have begun a strike that has stopped work at 31 companies that are members of the Forest Industrial Relations (FIR) and Island Timberlands. According to a report in the Globe and Mail, the union wants to restrict the companies' right to impose 12-hour shifts, and is demanding more pay for Sunday work. FIR's final offer included a 2% pay increase this year and a 3% increase in June 2008, along with an offer to give workers "more input" into shift scheduling. Both sides are negotiating under highly competitive market conditions, which include a rising dollar and falling housing demand.

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Hardlines Marketplace

Don't miss the products and services on the Hardlines web Marketplace ( https://hardlines.ca/html/marketplace.html ) And check out Hardlines Classifieds on the web ( https://hardlines.ca/html/classifieds.html )


Associate Account Manager

Location:         Montreal based Territory:        Quebec province Description:
  • Responsible for developing sales in a specific territory.
  • Prospecting new business with existing and new accounts
  • Making weekly calls to existing and new customers for the purpose of selling Wood care products (Minwax - Thompsons Water Seal)
  • Typical accounts include 2 step distributors, dealers and direct accounts.
  • Must be bilingual - Oral/written. Job requirements :
  • Five years sales experience in the retail trade, preferably hardware/paint
  • Able to travel at least 80% of the time
  • Good self discipline, self-directed, aggressive, excellent selling skills
  • Must have strong problem solving skills, excellent communication skills.
  • Computer knowledge (word, excel, powerpoint)
  • Possess a valid driver's license. (company vehicle supplied)Those interested please submit your resume to: frank.defabritiis@sherwin.com

Marketing Manager

Due to their growing success, our Client, a premier provider of quality products for construction and industrial applications needs to add a Marketing star to assist in continuing their category leadership. Reporting to the General Manager and working in concert with the National Sales Manager, you'll manage and direct the new product development process for products sold through home centres, construction trades and industrial distribution. This involves true project management including competitive tracking and sales analysis, working with the U.S. Marketing team for product development and becoming the "corporate authority." You'll spend time in the field with the customer and end user to research and identify new product opportunities and then make that happen from a trade marketing perspective. New product launches, qualitative and quantitative research and satisfying the needs of all channel distribution partners qualify you for this excellent career opportunity. Bilingual E/F skills would be advantageous. GTA location. Please contact Wolf Gugler (wolf@wolfgugler.com) or Lesley Fulton (Lesley@wolfgugler.com) in complete confidence, quoting Marketing Manager-Construction. Wolf Gugler & Associates Limited .Web site: www.wolfgugler.com. (888) 848-3006.


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  • Do your executive search, find new lines or get new reps in the Hardlines Marketplace.
  • Only $2.75 per word for three weeks in the classifieds.
  • To place your ad, call Brady Peever at 416-489-3396 or email: brady@hardlines.ca