"You gotta have a swine to show you where the truffles are." - Edward Albee
vol. viii, #22 June 3, 2002  
* Hudson's Bay searches for hardlines partner * Drouin retires from Rona * Big boxes want to grow contractor business * Ace Canada forms private-label paint deal * Renovation spending expected to continue rising * Rona's big box sales up almost 20% in 1Q


Boucherville, QC —Henri Drouin submitted his resignation as a director and chairman of Rona Inc. last week. Drouin, 61, spent the past 26 years as a director of the company and the last 21 as chairman, all the time remaining a dealer with stores of his own. With his resignation, he has also sold his interest in his Rona store in Amos, QC. Drouin has been replaced by André Gagnon as chairman. Gagnon became a Rona dealer-owner in 1962 and remains chairman of H. Gagnon et fils (1975) Ltd., which owns all or part of four big-box Rona stores in Québec. He joined the company's board of directors in 1971 and served most recently as vice-chairman, co-chairman of the company's governance committee and vice-chairman of the board's executive committee. Speaking of Drouin at the company's annual meeting last week, Gagnon said, "He has worked in every way for the growth of Rona since 1977. He was part of all major decisions that have enabled Rona to become Canada's home renovation leader."
Toronto, ON — They're already doing it with fashion and cookware. Now they want to try it with hardware. Following the company's AGM last week, George Heller, president and CEO of Hudson's Bay Co., announced a licensing deal with Federated Stores in the U.S. to carry selected fashion brands made for Federated's stores in the U.S. The deal with HBC is similar to ones Federated is cutting around the world and includes INC women's fashion and Tools of the Trade cookware. But hardlines represent the fastest growing categories for HBC, so it's also in the process of looking for a partner to provide these products, says Heller. In the first quarter, Zeller's overall sales grew 1.1%, while its hardlines grew 7.3%. These products include décor, paint and seasonal — such as patio furniture. Heller says HBC has expertise in getting product on the shelves and getting it into the hands of its customers. That's its strength — so rather than "reinvent the wheel," why not partner with an existing hardlines company whose strength is in hardlines. While Heller would not be specific, he hopes to have a deal in place by as early as the end of this year.
Montréal, QC — Réno-Dépôt wants more contractor business, especially the smaller contractors and sub-trades. While the focus remains the DIYer, the contractor spends three dollars for every one by a consumer, says Paul Hétu, Réno-Dépôt's vice-president, marketing. And while the company's business is about 18% contractor at this time, he wants to see it get up to 25%. Réno-Dépôt is not alone in its pursuit of the fickle pro customer. In the first three months of the year, Home Depot in the U.S. put its pro package into 234 more of its stores. The program provides special services to the professional customer. By the end of the first quarter, Home Depot had 769 stores carrying the pro initiative. However, none of them is in Canada, where the company derives an estimated 25% of its business from contractors. However, even in Canada, the small contractor is important to Home Depot. "This is the business we're focusing on," says Anne Legault at the Home Depot on l'Acadie in downtown Montréal. The very fact that there are so many big boxes out there makes the pitch to contractors easier, Hétu notes. "As there are more big boxes, the 'hook and ladder' trades are more likely to come in, because the big boxes are now more convenient. We want to make sure they choose Réno-Dépôt," he says — or its Anglophone sister, Building Box. Among the ways the company is trying to do that is to make the contractor's visit as effortless as possible. Designated parking, with quick in and out via their own contractor desk, is combined with a strong in-stock position. "It's simple," says Hétu. "Time for them is money. We want them to be able to find what they want as quickly as possible."
Canadian Tire 33.08 18.50 31.30
Canfor 12.00 8.08 10.24
Emco 12.42 3.71 12.24
Goodfellow 11.90 8.00 10.60
Home Depot 52.60 30.30 41.69
Hudson's Bay 20.10 12.50 14.50
Lowe's Cos. 49.90 24.99 47.16
Sears Canada 25.00 12.50 24.55
Sodisco-Howden 2.50 0.75 1.66
Taiga Forest 12.75 7.40 12.50
West Fraser 44.42 26.13 37.95
When the 135,000-sq.ft. Rona Home & Garden Centre in Gloucester, ON opened its doors at 9:30 a.m. last Wednesday, more than 600 people were lined up to get in. The big box store is Rona's second in the Ottawa market, and its 40th overall (not counting the Rona Lansing in Scarborough, ON). The next Rona big box is scheduled to open in the Toronto area by the third quarter of this year.
Rona Inc. recorded net earnings for the first-quarter of $3.8 million, up 34.8% from $2.8 million in the same period in 2001. Consolidated sales were $443.8 million, up 75% over 2001. The increase is due largely to the acquisition of Revy Home Centres in June 2001. Store for store, first-quarter consolidated sales in 2002 are 10% higher than the combined sales of Revy and Rona for the first quarter of 2001. Rona's sales are a combination of wholesale sales to its its affiliated dealers and retail sales through 130 corporately owned stores. While all store formats posted a sales increase over last year, the big box stores showed greatest growth, up over 19%. Ace Hardware Canada has found a source of paint domestically. Rather than ship paint from Ace's own factory in the U.S., the Canadian division has formed a private-label deal with Unichem in Montréal. Castle Building Centres Group has added the following new members: Mike's Home Centre Inc., Southey, SK and Greenwood Building Supplies, Lethbridge, NF. The takeover of House of Tools by Western Tool Supply has not materialized. The original deal would have the California-based chain buy Edmonton-based House of Tools for an undisclosed sum. The nine-store chain sells specialty tools to serious DIY and contractor customers. Like Western Tool, it has a strong web presence, through which it sells across the country. Do it Best Corp. in the U.S. introduced a number of new initiatives at its Spring market, held earlier this month. They included an on-line product catalogue, handheld palm unit and a new employee hiring program. The big focus, however, was the introduction of expanded merchandising programs for housewares. These included small appliances, storage and RTA furniture. LePage, division of Henkel Canada Corp., has changed its name to Henkel Canada Corp., Consumer Adhesives, and has a new corporate web site: www.henkelca.com . Headquartered in Brampton, ON, LePage's Ltd. was purchased by Dusseldorf-based Henkel Group in 1995. With Manco, it forms Henkel's North American consumer adhesives business. Bakor has unveiled a new visual identity, comprising a new logo and packaging. Over the next six months The new identity will be adopted on all of the Mississauga, ON-based manufacturer's consumer products and corporate communications. The new look was developed by Watt International. Sears Canada is putting a push on its décor oriented stores with the opening of its latest furniture, appliance and home improvement store in Toronto, this one near Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke. The newly expanded, 52,000-sq.ft. store is the first of five scheduled to open by the end of the year, giving Sears a total of 42. These specialty outlets offer furniture and major appliances, and this one includes a 4,000-sq.ft. Sears HomeCentral showroom.
Newly appointed to the board of directors of Rona Inc. is Louise Caya, a Rona dealer-owner since 1992 and co-owner of Rona L'express Matériaux de Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil in Québec. Caya, 36, is a business graduate of the Ecole des Hautes études commerciales de Montréal. She is a member of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec and has been a member of the CHSLD Coeur du Québec board of directors since 1999. (514-599-5100)
Renovation is expected to continue increasing throughout this year and next, says the latest housing report from Clayton Research. The total value of reno spending will advance about 4% in inflation-adjusted terms in 2002, and another 3% in 2003. Clayton expects the collective rise in spending in real dollars to be up about 10% over the next two years, bringing the total value of residential renovation spending to $24 billion this year. A large part of the increase is due to people hiring contractors, versus doing it themselves. (Peter Norman, vice-president of Clayton Research, will be a keynote speaker at our Retail Strategies Conference on September 12, 2002.- MM)
The Spring issue of Hardlines Quarterly Report 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 HELP WANTEDSALES 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 ***********************************************************************************   REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Moen Inc., Canada's leading supplier of faucets, plumbing parts and accessories, seeks a passionate sales leader for their Montréal office.The successful bilingual candidate will build upon strong relationships with major and national retail accounts — developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to provide superior service and support. Leading a group of dedicated sales professionals, the Québec manager actively participates in all facets of the business including sales development, program presentation, category management, promotions, and budget planning. Key requirements for this position include:
  • a minimum of 6 years in a regional sales management role
  • a passion for sales development and growth
  • a proven ability to coach and build teams with a strong customer service focus
  • a well developed network in the hardware retail industry in Quebec
  • knowledge of category management initiatives and national account management
  • a track record of superior performance in retail account management
The bilingual candidate will have superior business planning and presentation skills, and will enjoy a team environment. Candidates should possess a post-secondary education, computer literacy, and corporate reporting experience. This position offers an attractive salary and sales incentives, a benefits package and more. For those people interested in moving their careers forward, we invite you to explore this opportunity further by contacting Danek Anthony Inc. Please contact by phone or email: Don Dominczuk, 416/214-9938 or dondomin@uniserve.com ; Tom Carroll, 416/259-4994 or carroll4994@rogers.com *********************************************************************************** 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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