June 2, 2014 Volume
“The time is always right to do what is right."
—Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
(American, activist, humanitarian, and civil rights leader, 1929-68)
Home Depot Canada previews Father’s Day specials
TORONTO – Last week, Home Depot hosted a Father’s Day themed event to preview a new approach to the holiday. As Home Depot continues to woo the two polarities of female shoppers and contractors, Father’s Day is an excuse for the retailer to get back to its core, serious DIY customers. The Father’s Day promotion, coined BYOG—Buy Your Own Gift—encourages dad to pick his own gift.
The event focused on four different types of gifts for dad: outdoor tools, grills, tools, and technology, with many products, including the tools, now on sale leading up to Father’s Day. In technology, many gadgets for the home were featured, including a Bluetooth radio and a Weiser deadbolt lock that is controlled through Bluetooth.
With the arrival of warm weather, there was an emphasis on grills, with a large range of options from small condo sized electric grills to barbecues with all the bells and whistles. (One model from Brinkmann even features five burners and a smoker.) Home Depot is also carrying Canadian made grills.
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Watch for Réno-Dépôt strategy to roll out in other provinces
BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — RONA spent most of last year re-focusing its Réno-Dépôt stores in Quebec on a more contractor-oriented product selection and customer. With early indications revealing positive results from the new concept, the company is now looking at how—and where—to expand the winning formula.
The company insists the Réno-Dépôt stores are working and all 16 stores will be completed by the end of June. From there, the company has plans to roll out aspects of the Réno-Dépôt strategy to other markets, but wouldn’t put a timeline on that expansion. Luc Rodier, executive vice president, retail for RONA, says, “We’ve been very pleased with the results so far,” countering the suggestion that the company has not talked enough about the new concept because it’s not matching expectations.
The first Réno-Dépôt conversion was in January and has been trending positive since the beginning, says Rodier. “We’re very, very pleased with the results so far. Pretty much everything we’ve touched is working,” he stresses, adding that core categories like plumbing and a new lighting department have been successes. “Customers are reacting very well to it.”
The stores have seen the re-introduction of products that had been abandoned in recent years. Seasonal has been strong, he says, and a wider selection here has resulted in good sales increases. “We’ve added more consumable, as well—cleaning supplies and paper products—and it's adding to the basket.”
Now RONA is evaluating other markets to take the Réno-Dépôt concept to. Most likely it will start with Ontario, where its big-box stores have been under-performing in a number of major markets around the edges of the Greater Toronto Area and through Southwestern Ontario.
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Doug Keeling, Castle’s LBM buyer, share tips for vendors
TORONTO — Some of North America’s top buyers shared their secrets recently at a Hardlines “Meet the Buyers Breakfast.” Playing host to a roomful of hardware and home improvement vendors, the buyers explained how vendors should approach them and outlined how best to get prepared for that all-important first meeting. (See also our May 24 issue. —Editor)
Doug Keeling, buyer for LBM, floor coverings, and paint at Castle Building Centres Group, talked about the importance of working with vendors on behalf of the buying group’s dealer members. “It’s not about hammering out the best price. It’s about us partnering with a vendor to develop a relationship that increases our members’ profitability.”
Because of the regional sensitivities of commodity pricing, Keeling says his role focuses on programs, not price. “Our difference versus the other groups is that I don’t negotiate price. I’ll negotiate programs and try and get the best rebate possible for you, but you have to work hard with our dealers to deliver the best price.”
Because Castle has no warehousing of its own, he advised single-SKU vendors to go through distribution.
Click here to watch an excerpt of Doug’s presentation
at the Hardlines Meet The Buyers Breakfast Seminar!
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Do it Best gets first online-only member
LAS VEGAS — Bob Taylor, president and CEO of Do it Best Corp., the co-op dealer group based in Fort Wayne, Ind., shared an interesting fact during a recent discussion of the group’s growth.
Last year, Do it Best signed its first online member. The group allowed in an e-retailer that has no bricks-and-mortar presence. He sees further expansion of his traditional retailers into e-commerce, as well. “The opportunity on the retail side is very, very real, with the potential for bricks-and-mortar stores to do ship-to-store.” Dealers can reap a margin on the sale, with no inventory cost.
However, traditional retail has been slow to recover in the U.S. “I talk to many of our dealers, who report that their numbers are still not at the level they were at in 2008. But I ask them where they’ll be in five years, and they say they’re going to double their business in that time."
Expect that online member to grow faster than that, however. At the end of the first quarter, “he was only up 83%.”
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ANALYSIS: U.S. retailers rethinking Canadian strategies
TORONTO — The abrupt departure of Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel is just the latest chapter in an unfolding story of the race by U.S. retailers to move into Canada. However, Steinfahel’s resignation came amidst fallout from a data breach at the company’s U.S. stores and, perhaps more significantly, over continued poor performance by its Canadian operation.
The news will demand major action from the company, analysts told Report on Business, including possible store closures. Some observers are even musing that the entire Canadian venture could be closed if it cannot make significant gains.
“I assume with a new CEO, everything will be on the table,” said Faye Landes of Cowen and Co. in New York.
Target isn’t the only retailer to have trouble translating its success south of the border into Canadian results, the Associated Press reports. Regulatory differences and, recently, a slower Canadian economy have made their impact on its rivals as well. Big Lots closed its 78 Canadian stores, citing heated competition in the bargain business. Best Buy also saw several closures, while even Walmart Canada’s sales have suffered. It just announced layoffs of some 750 people, including the removal of a layer of store managers. Nordstrom has delayed the introduction of its discount Rack banner until 2017.
A significant challenge is the cost-consciousness of Canadian shoppers, who are used to watching price changes over the border and have been disappointed by higher costs at Canadian locations of U.S. chains. In addition, the appeal of shopping during a cross-border expedition, or the fun factor related to shopping while on vacation, is missing from a routine visit to Cloverdale Mall to get clothes for the kids. The rules of retail are tougher in Canada, as some U.S. players are learning—the hard way.
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Retail National Accounts Sales Manager, Toronto based
A brand champion selling to home improvement retailers and mass merchants, this Canadian subsidiary is pursuing additional business and would be the perfect home for a sales driven, customer-intimate sales leader who wants responsibility for the strategic management of key Canadian national accounts. Specific duties will include:
- Development and management of senior level relationships with key retailer personnel including merchants, directors and buyers;
- Development and execution of a comprehensive plan to drive sales and profitability, including detailed tactics required to meet strategic objectives;
- Field analysis and recommendations on key trends, competitive activity, and general marketplace activity;
- Overcoming problems and finding satisfactory customer resolution;
- Assisting in the facilitation of corporate projects and initiatives including, but not limited to, new products, pricing, promotions, and training programs.
This is an excellent career opportunity with a market leader in a collaborative, cohesive environment. Interested? Please forward your resume quoting NAM-Toronto to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note all responses will be forwarded directly to our client for their review and action. If there are any companies that you do not wish your resume forwarded to, please indicate those in your email and we will exclude your application.
Wolf Gugler Confidential Recruitment Advertising, a division of Wolf Gugler Executive Search. www.wolfgugler.com. 888-848-3006. Offices in Canada and the U.S.
- Key Account management: the ability to provide input into new category ideas or solutions. Also able to solicit and understand Customer feedback and make appropriate recommendations to further increase penetration, sales and profitability.
- Current or past successes in a retail national accounts role.
- Possess the skill set to analyze product category for competitive positioning and marketing or promotional opportunities.
- Resourceful; innovative, can find information when the answer is not known.
- Self-driven, competitive, team oriented, wants to be the “Category Captain”.
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National Sales Manager
We are positioning for our next level of growth and require an experienced National Sales Manager – Retail to drive our sales growth with retailers nationally.
The primary functions of this role are to Manage, Lead, and Develop our team of sales reps and agents nationally selling Doorware and Bathware though Canadian retailers, and to develop, qualify, and implement strategic and tactical selling plans for Doorware and Bathware though Canadian retailers. You have experience in managing, leading and developing a sales team selling to Canada’s leading home improvement retailers. For complete details and to apply, visit our website.
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Business Development Manager
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick
& Prince Edward Island
Castle Building Centres Group is an industry leader among Buying Groups in the Lumber and Building Materials segment in Canada. We are currently seeking to add a position in the Atlantic region.
You are a highly motivated individual with strong relationship and communication skills that can manage and develop our future growth in the Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island markets. This position requires an individual who is familiar with the Lumber and Building Supply industry, willing to travel, accustomed to working remote from Head Office and currently residing within the Maritimes.
Reporting to the President, you welcome the opportunity to work with a dynamic group of independent LBM dealers while planning and executing our future growth initiatives. Providing continual communication to our Members while understanding their needs is fundamental to your success. Sound computer and presentation skills; combined with good administrative qualities are imperative.
Castle Building Centres Group offers a comprehensive compensation package including full benefits.
All submissions will be treated with complete confidentiality. Please forward your resume in confidence to:
Castle Building Centres Group Ltd.
100 Milverton Drive, Suite 400
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TORBSA is a Shareholder-owned Canadian Buying Group of independent building material dealers established in 1966. The Group’s focus is to offer the independent business, whether it is a Commercial or Specialty Dealer or Lumber Yard, a transparent, low-cost, and relationship driven choice. It is the Group’s collective buying power that allows us to develop, negotiate and facilitate opportunities to grow the Shareholders’ businesses.
Business Development Manager
Under the supervision of the General Manager, the Business Development Manager will be responsible for growing TORBSA Limited’s presence across the Canadian marketplace. As the Business Development Manager, your duties will also include the facilitation of selected communications and job responsibilities, as outlined below:
- Promote mission and values of the organization
- Solicit, establish, and maintain business relationships with prospective independent building material dealers to generate growth of the group across the Canadian marketplace
- Aid in the support of existing shareholders
- Research sources for developing prospective shareholders and further information to determine their potential
- Participate in trade shows and conventions related to the building or construction sectors
- Assist in the management of various marketing programs and special buys of products that are pooled purchases available to all member companies
To Apply: Please forward current Resume and Cover Letter to email@example.com . Indicate Job Title in subject line.
We will accept resumes for this posting up to May 25th
- Undergraduate degree required - preference given to studies in engineering, sales & marketing
- 10 - 15 years of direct work experience in the building material supply sector
- Excellent organizational, strategic, planning and implementing skills that will benefit each member as well as the Group as a whole
- Strong presentation, communication and written skills are considered a valuable asset
- Ability to speak French is an asset
- Must be computer literate
- Ability to become proficient in the management and modification of the Group’s website
- Excellent negotiation skills are highly desired
- Knowledge of building materials and the building material industry is a strong asset
- Knowledge of buying groups and how they function in our marketplace essential
- Must possess a willingness to travel relevant to the growth aspirations of TORBSA
- Proven abilities to develop and maintain excellent internal and external relationships with the staff of TORBSA, the members of the Group and all vendors that make TORBSA the success it is
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Fusion Products Limited
Inside Sales Support Associates
Fusion Products Ltd. is a leading supplier of solar garden lighting to the Canadian marketplace, with head office in Mississauga, Ontario. The company is seeking two positions: both are Inside Sales Support Associates. One position requires a bilingual (French and English) candidate, and the other position requires an English candidate—both preferably with experience in the hardware industry.
Each Inside Sales Support Associate will focus on Home Improvement retailers in specific regions to promote Fusion products, develop new business, support agents, provide product knowledge to retail associates and work industry trade shows. Must have proficiency in Microsoft office including power point. Competitive compensation package offered.
To apply for this exciting employment opportunity, please send your resume and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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