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Michael McLarney, President & Editor mike@hardlines.ca Beverly Allen, Publisher bev@hardlines.ca John Caulfield, Contributing Editor Phone: 416-489-3396
June 30, 2008, Vol. xiv, #26
In This Issue

“When I see an adult on a bicycle I do not despair for the future of the human race.” H.G. Wells (English writer, 1866-1946)

RONA initiates recycled paint program in Ontario

BOUCHERVILLE, QC — RONA inc. is finally launching its used paint recovery program into its stores in Ontario, beginning July 1. The program, which has run in Quebec for 10 years, was held up in Ontario by legalities.

 RONA is the first retailer to recover paint in Ontario following the passing of a new Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program Plan. The MHSW program is being implemented by Stewardship Ontario, an industry organization that developed the plan, in conjunction with Waste Diversion Ontario, an organization set up by the provincial government to oversee waste diversion programs in Ontario. “This new program … will help ensure that consumer products such as leftover paints and solvents are collected so they can be reused and recycled,” said Glenda Gies, executive director of Waste Diversion Ontario in a prepared release. “RONA is playing an important role by accepting leftover paint at their Ontario retail locations.” From collection points at all RONA stores (except its Botanix garden centres) across Ontario, the old paint and containers are then sent to its Boucherville distribution centre. From there, the old paint is sent to Peintures récupérées du Quebec, which manages the program under its “Boomerang” paint brand. About 80% of the old paint is reconditioned and put back on the market. Leftover latex and alkyd paint, stain and varnish are all accepted in the recovery and recycling program.


Going green can be good for business
WORLD HQ — Going “green” poses a challenge for dealers and vendors alike to develop products that address consumers’ desire for a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. But the green ethos also impacts how those products are manufactured, how they are marketed, and what kind of retail environment they are sold in.A recent webinar hosted by HARDLINES addressed some of the concerns the industry is facing as it seeks more sustainable practices. From the standpoint of sustainable retail operations, companies like Home Hardware and TruServ Canada have launched “green” lines of products, responding effectively to consumer demand for eco-friendly alternatives. Companies that take these steps pro-actively have a definite advantage, and can avoid a “me-too” appearance. Just being green isn’t good enough to guarantee a sale, says one of America’s top buyers of green products. Elizabeth Lawrence, merchandise manager for Gardener’s Supply, the largest catalogue seller of garden products in the U.S., told Webinar attendees that innovative materials must strike a balance with aesthetics to create winning green products. Lawrence has been traveling the world for years in search of environmentally aware companies that can provide products made from materials, such as certified hardwoods from developing countries, that will meet her rigorous standards. She can’t always determine for herself the provenance of many of these products and materials, and noted a number of agencies, such as FSC, which perform third-party testing and certification. Lawrence added that many of the relationships she established years ago remain strong today. But sustainable products aren’t restricted to the garden and yard. Johns Manville Canada took that pro-active approach years ago when it reformulated its batt insulation to eliminate formaldehyde in it. That step is proving a powerful one for the company, as more and more architects are looking to spec “green” products to meet ever-tightening standards and codes for green building. According to Gino Allegro, Canadian regional sales manager for JM Canada, “Green will become a true measured standard. It’s not just going to be the flavour of the month.” Missed the Webinar? You can order a copy on CD-ROM. Click here for more info!


Home Depot U.S. will recycle CFLs
ATLANTA — Home Depot has launched an in-store recycling program for compact fluorescent bulbs, the first of its kind by a major retailer in the United States. (The company’s Canadian division initiated its own bulb recycling program last November).Customers will now be able to bring expired, unbroken CFLs into any of Home Depot’s 1,973 stores in the U.S. An associate behind the stores’ returns desks will receive the bulbs, whose recycling will then be managed by an environmental management company that will coordinate CFL packaging and transportation to a recycling center. Ron Jarvis, the retailer’s senior vice-president of environmental innovation, said in a prepared statement that 75% of the households in America live within 10 miles of a Home Depot store. Last year, Home Depot’s stores sold 75 million CFLs, a 50% increase over 2006 sales. Home Depot has also started changing out the bulbs in its stores’ lighting departments to CFLs, a move that should be completed by this fall and is expected to save the company $16 million in energy costs annually. Even before this move, Home Depot had ordered its stores to reduce the number of lights that were illuminated in fixtures in those departments to cut down on energy.


Price slashing still can’t spur U.S. home sales
WASHINGTON — Production builders continue to offer new homes at bargain-basement prices. But their efforts haven’t gotten buyers off the fence and back into the market.The stockpile of new homes for sale in the U.S. grew to a 10.9-month supply in May, versus a 7.8 month supply in the same month a year ago. The U.S. Census Bureau reported last week that the seasonally adjusted annual rate of new home sales fell by 40.3% in May to 512,000 units. This descent occurred despite a 5.7% dip, to $231,000, in the median price of a home for sale that month. One glimmer of hope can be found in the 16.9% drop in the number of new homes for sale, to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 453,000 units in May. Most builders have all but stopped building “spec” homes (i.e., homes that don’t have buyers), and, in markets like southern California, have reduced their inventories of unsold homes to around three months’ supply. However, two big problems loom over the housing industry: foreclosures and the credit crunch. There are more than one million foreclosed homes on the market right now, many of them owned by banks that are doing anything they can to get them off their books. In Sacramento, CA, for example, an interested buyer could purchase a 1,600-square-foot house on a 5,500-square-foot lot — which during boom times might have sold for $300,000 — for under $90,000, according to Greg Paquin, president of The Gregory Group, a consultant and market tracker there.



MASCO CANADA LIMITED, is one of Canada's largest distributors, manufacturers, and marketers of residential and commercial plumbing products with facilities in London, St. Thomas, Brantford, and Mississauga. Our brands include Delta, Waltec, Brasscraft, and Master Plumber to mention a few. Masco Canada Limited is the Canadian plumbing division of Masco Corporation, one of the world's largest manufacturers of brand name consumer products for the home and family. We have the following immediate opening: MASCO CANADA – RETAIL SALES DIV., MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO RETAIL ACCOUNT MANAGER

General Description: Reporting to the Director of Sales, Home Centre Channel, Canada Primary Responsibilities:

  • Main MCPG Contact with several large retail customers
  • Sales plan development for all product lines (Budget).
  • Achieve account sales targets.
  • Promotional planning and new product listings.
  • Daily management of product lines and SKU maintenance.
  • Implementation and execution of strategic plans.
  • Agency co-ordination on service criteria with assigned customer base.
  • Product forecasting.
  • Monitor and analysis of POS results by account.
  • Plan-o-gram development and implementation.
  • Support Director of Sales, Home Centre Channel, on special projects as required.

Secondary Account Responsibilities:

  • Competitive and market analysis.
  • Monthly reporting on account activity.
  • Planning and attending customer trade shows
  • Cross departmental business development.

Project Teams or Special projects:

  • New store setup captain on assigned customer base.
  • Market study on new opportunities.
  • Develop and implement new sales opportunities within the assigned customer base.

The successful candidate will have extensive product knowledge and customer relation skills gathered over 3 to 5 years of National or Regional account experience within the Home Improvement sector, along with a post secondary education are required.

Excellent communication skills are required. Advanced level Microsoft Office skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

Bilingual would be a major asset

If interested, please forward your resume to:recruiting@mascocanada.com or FAX 519-659-1531



TIM-BR MART Northeastern Ontario Dealer Development Manager

TIM-BR MART has an immediate opportunity for a Dealer Development Manager to serve the northeast region of Ontario. This position leverages a strong combination of retail, communication and collaboration skills. From a broad perspective, the role is to serve as the conduit between independent retail Dealers and TIM-BR MART.

Specifically, responsibilities include working with independent retail Dealers to help them strengthen their bottom line and benefit from various programs and services available through TIM-BR MART. An understanding of the independent retailers’ business model, the ability to lead and educate Dealers and their staff, and collaborate with peers across the country to share best practices are imperative. The landscape of the building materials industry is constantly evolving. The consumer is more informed, the competition is more sophisticated, and the independent retailer needs constant innovation and relevance to stay competitive. Understanding how retailers, contractors and homeowners think and make decisions and an appetite to stay on top of trends and the competitive landscape are vital to this role. Travel and the ability to both use and teach technology tools are necessary. TIM-BR MART is one of Canada’s largest co-operative building material buying groups. Owned by its members, which represent over 650 locations, $2 billion in purchases and $3.6 billion in retail sales, TIM-BR MART is the buying group of choice for independent retailers, commercial dealers and manufacturers. We do this by combining volume to purchase at the lowest cost, understanding the needs of our Dealers, and providing a menu of value-added services. Email resume in confidence to: careers@timbrmart.ca



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: camillo@dispenser.com



Sales Representative

Can-Save Position: Sales Representative (Ottawa & Kingston area) Location: Eastern Ontario, Start Date: Immediately Company Information: www.can-save.ca Can-Save, a progressive building materials distributor – specializing in specialty building products, doors, and kitchen and bath cabinets, has an immediate opening for an Outside Sales Representative for its Eastern Ontario territory The successful candidate will:
  • Have a proven successful sales call background in the building materials industry; Lumber yards, Big Box Stores. etc. (minimum 3 years experience)
  • A keen interest to analyze, develop and carry out sale’s strategies so as to aid customers in growing their business.
  • Must have consultative, front-line experience working with customers in a sales capacity.
  • Ability to navigate and utilize Customer Relationship Management software
  • Excellent communication and business relationship skills.
  • Must be a team player able to work with a variety of disciplines and organizational functions.
Travel within the region and participation in trade show events will be required. We offer a competitive remuneration and benefit package. If interested please forward, via e-mail, your resume and salary requirements to the attention the Human Resources manager at hr@can-save.ca We thank all applicants, however only those chosen for an interview will be contacted. Can-Save is an equal opportunity employer.



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Who are Canada’s leading home improvement retailers? How big is the industry they operate in? And who are the top few that control the lion’s share of the market? Find out in the latest issue of our sister pub, HQR! Includes our incredible Who’s Who Directory, now free to all HQR subscribers!

Click here to learn more and order the HQR.

NEW YORK — Facing a slower year ahead, Lowe’s intends to “localize” its offerings. According to Reuters, in hard-hit markets such as California and Florida, the retailer will focus on maintenance sales; in more buoyant markets, such as Texas and Oklahoma, more emphasis will be put on installed sales and special orders. It’s also looking for ways to cut costs, for everything from shopping bags to extraneous in-store signage. Lowe’s sales fell 18% in the last quarter.TORONTO — After a test in Ontario, Canadian Tire is rolling out its “Gas Advantage” MasterCard to more provinces across the country, starting July 1. The program is intended to give cardholders instant savings at Canadian Tire gas bar pumps with, it says, “a simple swipe of the card”. Introduced in Ontario in 2006, the Gas Advantage MasterCard instantly rolls back the price of gas by up to 10 cents off a litre. RICHMOND, BC — London Drugs employees, partners and customers across Western Canada successfully utilized the company’s comprehensive recycling programs and reduced waste going to landfills by 40% over the past year. At its 34th annual zero waste conference last week, the Recycling Council of B.C. recognized London Drugs for its environmental initiatives and achievements. LONDON — U.K.’s Carbon Trust has launched a new standard that measures the actual improvements companies are making to get greener. The country’s leading DIY retailer, B&Q, is one of the 12 companies so far to be awarded the standard. They had to pay as much as £12,000 apiece for the honour, and must commit to decrease carbon emissions by at least one tonne annually, or an average of 8% over three years. ROCKFORD, IL — It’s bigger, cleaner, and carries “more stuff”. That’s the verdict of shoppers at one of two experimental Kmart stores in this northern Illinois town, where Sears Holdings is testing new concepts in search of a turnaround strategy for its beleaguered discount department-store banner. The upgrades include installing price scanning stations, painting the perimeter walls in bright colours, improving sightlines with lower racking, and moving departments around for better adjacencies, e.g., the toy department is now beside kids’ clothing. Sears Holdings has 1,382 Kmart stores. TORONTO — Hudson's Bay Co. presented a cheque for $700,000 to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation from funds raised by last year's Think Pink Campaign. The annual Think Pink campaign raises funds during the month of October through the sale of various products in each of the Bay, Zellers and Home Outfitters locations.
Wade Bondrowski has been appointed sales director, United States, for Montmagny, QC-based Mercier Wood Flooring. He will lead the U.S. sales team and the company’s development of the U.S. territory. Bondrowski has been with Mercier for four years and has 22 years of experience in the hardwood flooring industry.Bev Hiltz has retired from Masco Canada after 18 years with the company … Rob McKay has joined the company, moving over from McDonald Sales. He assumes the position of retail store support manager for RONA.


The housing market in Canada, although slowing, is not likely to suffer anywhere near the kind of tumble that occurred in the U.S., says the deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, Sheryl Kennedy. In a recent speech, she noted that this country does not have an excess supply of housing, and capacity is actually at historic lows in most Canadian cities. (Bank of Canada)


North Americans are choosing to eat at home more than in the past as food and fuel costs keep rising. According to Jenn-Air’s latest Kitchen Design Forecast, a new study of registered Canadian designers, this trend creates an opportunity for homeowners to invest in their kitchens. The study notes that investing in quality appliances is the number-one consideration consumers should make. In fact, 40% of registered interior designers recommend that their clients purchase appliances rather than other kitchen design elements such as flooring, fixtures and countertops.
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