June 21, 2010, Volume xvi, #25
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” —Aristotle (Greek philosopher, 384 B.C.-322 B.C.)
RONA captures Halifax market with Piercey’s acquisition
BOUCHERVILLE , Que. — RONA inc. has made good on its promise to make at least one more major acquisition this year. The giant retail and wholesale company has acquired Piercey’s, a chain of five building centres based in Dartmouth, N.S.
Fulfilling the prediction made by RONA CEO Robert Dutton during the release of the company’s first-quarter results last month, the company has picked up one of Atlantic Canada's leading dealers, owned by the Bragg Group. The Piercey's stores range in size from 17,000-69,000 square feet and include two big boxes. They are located throughout the Halifax market, serving a contractor and builder trade, with about 25% of its business going to retail.
The chain has estimated sales exceeding $50 million, with more than 150 employees and a large fleet of delivery trucks.
It’s also one of the few true independents in the Canadian market. It was not even a member of one of the country’s LBM buying groups. Although its size would make it a prime candidate for a group like Independent Lumber Dealers Co-operative, which represents some of the nation’s largest and best dealers, it historically resisted any outside affiliation. (And in this case, Central Supply, also Halifax-based, is already an ILDC member.)
Like most of RONA’s retail acquisitions to date, the Piercey’s stores will all be converted to the RONA banner over time. "It’s like adding critical mass in Halifax,” says Daniel Richard, a spokesperson for RONA. “We’re really getting the RONA name out there.” He adds that Piercey’s, which is strong with its back-end sales, offers a good opportunity for RONA to add products to the front end.
RONA is financing the deal mainly by selling treasury stocks. The remaining portion will be financed by RONA's cash on hand. The deal is expected to close on June 21.
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Home Hardware’s paint factory cuts ribbon on expansion
BURFORD, Ont. — Home Hardware’s paint factory, which manufactures the dealer-owned co-op’s own line of Beauti-Tone paints, as well as caulking, cleaning products and other chemicals, held a family day this past weekend, complete with barbecue, face painting and balloon clowns. Knowing my weakness for balloon clowns, Beauti-Tone General Manager Darrin Noble sent me an invitation, (which I readily accepted — Michael) . The event also served to officially announce a 55,000-square-foot expansion for the facility.
Paint is a major category for most hardware stores and many building centre dealers, so the establishment of its own 180,000-square-foot paint facility in 1979 made sense for Home Hardware. (It was also following in the footsteps of one of Home’s fellow co-ops, Chicago-based Ace Hardware Corp.) Before that time, Home had contracted Sherwin Williams to make Beauti-Tone under private label.
Other products were added along the way: caulking in 1985, drywall compound in 1986, and the Natura line of eco-friendly cleaning chemicals in 2003. Natura has since become one of the company’s fastest growing lines, with sales increasing by 10 times since 2006, and new products being introduced on a regular basis.
The latest expansion reflects the growth in Home’s various paint and chemical product lines. “The new property we’re developing prepares us for expansion for another 10 years out,” says Noble, “and it allows us to double our capacity.” He adds that the company has enough land to accommodate further expansion in 10 years time, as well.
Noble is shown here (right) with Doug Parsons, sales and marketing manager for Beauti-Tone Paint and Home Products, in front of a range of Natura products inside the paint factory.
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JELD-WEN receives Energy Star Award
WINNIPEG — Door and window manufacturer JELD-WEN was honoured with the 2010 Energy Star Award for Sustained Excellence for making products that are consistently energy efficient. The award is given by Natural Resources Canada and underscores JELD-WEN’s commitment to promoting Energy Star certification.
The manufacturer has created a number of ways to keep consumers informed about energy efficient products. These include communicating through its own website (www.jeld-wen.ca) and retail websites such as www.eco-reno.ca, and creating a contest – “Make Your Home a Star” – which gave Canadians the chance to win $50,000 to carry out energy efficiency renovations and improvements on their homes.
While past winners of the Energy Star Award include Hydro-Québec and Whirlpool, JELD-WEN earned an additional Energy Star Award for Sustained Excellence.
In 2007, JELD-WEN, which has eight factories in Canada, became the first door and window manufacturer here to be licensed by the Government of Canada to promote the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program.
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AFA announces new DC in B.C.
LANGLEY, B.C. — AFA Forest Products Inc. has announced it will open a new distribution centre in Kelowna, B.C., on Sept. 1. According to a letter from company CEO Al Jack, the new location marks the latest step in AFA’s strategy to expand its reach and product offerings, and it “furthers AFA’s commitment to our industry, vendor partners and customer base alike.”
The new DC is being erected at 1165 Gordon Dr. in Kelowna and will have a team dedicated to service, sales, customer support and promotional activities throughout the region.
Expansion by AFA in recent years includes the acquisitions in Atlantic Canada of Lighthouse Lumber in August 2007 and Breton Distributors in October 2008.
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Walmart launches banking in Canada, introduces credit card
MISSISSAUGA , ONT. — Just two weeks after receiving federal approval to create its own bank in Canada, Wal-Mart Canada has launched Walmart Canada Bank.
Walmart tried for years, without success, to launch its own bank in the U.S., but gave up in 2007 following intense lobbying by the banking industry there.
The first product from the newest subsidiary of Wal-Mart Canada Corp. is a rewards credit card in partnership with MasterCard. Purchases made with the card will earn users “Walmart Rewards” that are earned in dollar equivalents, not points, to simplify the redemption process for cardholders.
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Ikea to phase out incandescent bulb sales
BURLINGTON, Ont. — Ikea Canada will begin to phase out the sale of incandescent light bulbs in its Canadian stores starting Aug. 1. The retailer wants all incandescents out of its stores by Jan. 1, 2011, ahead of the federal government ban set to take effect in 2012.
Ikea claims it will be the first Canadian retailer to completely phase out incandescent light bulbs, reflecting the company’s commitment to environmental and sustainable practices. A similar phase-out program has been launched by Ikea in the U.S., as well. Although government regulations aren’t as rigorous there, a ban on 100-Watt incandescent bulbs will come into effect in 2012.
Ikea will increase its alternative bulb offerings, including compact fluorescent bulbs, LED lamps and halogen lamps to meet the expected increase in consumer demand.
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Category Product Manager - Toronto
This well-established, successful Toronto-based Canadian company is thriving and looking to grow their retail hardware category share. This new position reports to the National Marketing Manager and involves leading the category strategy efforts, defining and launching new products and securing new product designs. You’ll also be involved in sourcing (including offshore), pricing and competitive analysis, all of which are important parts of this role.
Ideally you’ve developed and promoted multi-sku consumer products and can demonstrate five years' plus business intelligence in both your creative and analytic abilities in new sku or line development. Familiarity with key customers such as Home Depot, Canadian Tire and Rona would be beneficial. Your experience may be on the vendor or retail side. Post-education in marketing or business is strongly preferred.
Please respond to Wolf Gugler quoting PM-Toronto. You may also apply online on the” Opportunities” page at www.wolfgugler.com. Phone: 888-848-3006. SKYPE: hdhntr53
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