"The wise man doesn't give the right answers, he poses the right questions." - Claude Levi-Strauss (French anthropologist)
vol. viii, #11 March 18, 2002  
* Newfoundland retailer opens fifth store * Big box race heats up in Ontario, Québec * New products just part of the lure of Cologne Show * Loblaw's garden centres will become chemical free * BPB to acquire gypsum business of James Hardie * Urbanization of Canadian population continues

A grand opening on March 24 marks the fifth opening by Aylwards Home Hardware in Newfoundland. The store, in Gander, was taken over last year from an existing Home Hardware dealer and had a soft opening on December 3.

"We moved to Gander because Home Hardware hasn't had a store in that market for four years, and an opportunity came up for us to buy something," says Ron Aylward, general manager. The 12,500-sq.ft. outlet follows the purchase last year of an existing Home Hardware in St. Lawrence. Aylwards has additional stores in Placentia, Marystown and Grand Bank. Aylwards had sales of $8.5 million last year, but Ron Aylward expects the Gander store to lift that to about $10 million in 2002. He also sees the potential for future acquisitions: "Oh, yes, if any good opportunities come along, we'll take a look at them."
Spring is in the air, and so are big box openings in Ontario. Rona Inc. wil open a store in Gloucester – its second in the Ottawa market – in the third week of May. Réno-Dépôt is on track to open its next Building Box store in Windsor. It was originally to open at the end of May, but will, in fact, be open a week or two ahead of schedule. According to Réno-Dépôt CEO Sylvain Toutant, another three sites are currently under consideration in the Greater Toronto Area, for a planned total of 15 Building Boxes in Ontario before the end of 2004. Meanwhile, Rona now expects to open its Mississauga site for a Rona Home and Garden by September. Construction of the Kingston store, which was to have opened last summer, has been delayed and will begin construction sometime this year. But with the seeds of Western expansion sown by the acquisition of Revy, Rona believes there's room for more big boxes in the West, especially Alberta. Home Depot Canada, already well-ensconced in Southern Ontario, is putting a lot of focus on the Québec market in 2002. It plans to double the number of stores in that province to a total of 12 by the end of this year. One of those is in Gloucester, where Rona plans to open a Regional store later this year.
Loblaw's will stop selling chemical pesticides, starting in Spring 2003. The company wants to be chemical-free and has been in discussions with suppliers to come up with organic alternatives. Geoff Wilson, vice-president industry and investor relations for Loblaw's, says eco-friendly substitutes can work currently for about half their needs. But by Spring 2003 he anticipates organic alternatives for virtually all of the chemical pesticides currently carried in its 440 garden centres across Canada. "We believe, and so do our customers, that there is an abundance of alternatives out there" that can be used for domestic use, says Wilson. Both existing chemical-based pesticide suppliers and new, innovative companies are developing the alternatives Loblaw's is looking for. Using the slogan, "Chemical Pesticide Free by 2003," the switch will be coupled with a strong educational component that includes educational handouts to increase consumer awareness. "Lawn and garden is a growing segment and Loblaw's is a significant player in this sector," says Wilson.
Canadian Tire 28.20 18.50 27.85
Canfor 12.60 8.08 10.82
Emco 9.55 3.35 9.30
Goodfellow 10.25 8.00 10.25
Home Depot 53.73 30.30 48.92
Hudson's Bay 20.10 12.50 15.30
Lowe's Cos. 48.88 24.99 44.84
Sears Canada 25.00 12.50 20.55
Sodisco-Howden 2.63 0.75 2.05
Taiga Forest 12.75 6.80 12.75
West Fraser 43.10 26.13 41.75
Environmental concerns were prevalent in product innovations at this year's International Hardware Fair/DIY'TEC, held March 3-6 in Cologne, Germany. Those innovations were reflected in the sheer variety of products represented: of the 3,525 exhibitors at the show, fully 2,546 were from outside Germany. Industry commitment got a symbolic push, at least, at the large stand of the German association of hardware retailers, BHB. Virtually all the materials used in the booth's construction - everything from decking to hardwood meeting tables - were made from materials from certified forests. (The stand was even handing out chewing gum made with treacle from certified forests in South America). The message is getting through to vendors. Tramontina featured a full line of hammers with certified wood handles. "The aim has been to realize that by buying this kind of product, it will not destroy the world," says Felisberto Yorges, director of Tramontina Garibaldi. He points out that companies like B&Q in the U.K. are committed to sell only certified forest products. In fact, Castorama and OBI have similar commitments in France and Germany, as do Home Depot and Lowe's in the U.S. A number of companies have been going to the Cologne show one year, and the National Hardware Show in Chicago the next. Bosch and Black & Decker have led this movement and neither was at Cologne last year. Interestingly, B&D was not featured at the show again this year - but DeWalt was. It took up a huge exhibition space, reminiscent of years past. But both Bosch and B&D were more sober, less glitzy in their presentations. Some products that caught our eye: Compact fluorescents - but really compact, with cf chandelier lights from Megaman … Heavy duty fluorescent work lights from Velalamp Italy … Four-LED halogen flashlight from Acculux with 10 hours of operation. When it's time to recharge, just pull off the plug cap and plug the connectors into any household socket, without the need of a separate charger … Lenharz featured a quality line of re-usable paint pads for corners, edges and wall application, plus a compact wallpaper application system, complete with glue/water trough, cutter measuring device … Bondex was demonstrating paint designed especially for painting women's breasts - at least that's what it looked like from the demonstration. Any actual benefits of the product, unfortunately, were lost on most passersby … A block safe with alarm that can be opened by remote control from SimonsVoss … Air cushion cleaner for outdoor patios and decks, from Karcher for use with its power washers. The dates for next year's show, which has been renamed Practical World, are March 9-12, 2003.
London, England-based BPB plc has signed an agreement to acquire the U.S.-based gypsum business of James Hardie Industries for US$345 million, making it the third-largest producer in North America. The acquisition comprises three gypsum wallboard plants, two adjacent gypsum mines, a joint treatment plant and a gypsum grinding and packaging facility. The sale is subject to U.S. regulatory issues and is expected to close by May, 2002. The North American wallboard market represents over 50% of the world market; this acquisition represents almost 7.5% of the U.S. market. BPB's North American operations are headquartered in Toronto. BPB plc is headquartered near London, England, and has annual sales of over $2 billion. TruServ Canada Co-operative Inc. will open four new V&S Options stores by May 1, 2002. They are in Almonte and Barry's Bay, ON, and Morden and Sundre, MB. The first V&S Options store opened in Picture Butte, AB in September 2001. Doman Industries has announced that it did not make its scheduled March 15, 2002 semi-annual interest payment on its outstanding 8.75% US$388 million senior unsecured notes maturing 2004, blaming a soft market, uncertain pulp prices and the potential for a big hit from softwood tariffs. The company has 30 days to make payment before defaulting. Wal-Mart Stores will assume a 6.1% stake in Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu Ltd. and will pay six billion yen (US$46 million) for the stake with an option to take majority control. Both companies will continue to look for acquisitions in Japan. Hudson's Bay Co. will add 16 more Home Outfitters locations across Canada this year. This will bring the total number of these kitchen, bath, bed and home décor "superstores" to 38, each averaging 34,000 sq.ft.
Stats Canada's new housing price index rose 0.3% in January from December. Year over year, this index of contractors' selling prices for new homes was up 2.9%. The largest monthly advance occurred in the Ottawa-Gatineau census metropolitan area (+1.3%), mainly due to higher material and labour costs and an active market. Following closely were Halifax (+1.1%) and London (+1.1%). Results from Canada's latest census reveal that the population has grown only 4.0% since the last census in 1996. The census counted 30,007,094 people in the country on May 15, 2001. Growth was strongest in Alberta (+10.3%), Ontario (+6.1%) and British Columbia (4.9%). Concentration of population in urban areas continues, especially in four urban regions: the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario; Montréal and environs; British Columbia's Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island; and the Calgary-Edmonton corridor. In 2001, 51% of Canada's population lived in these regions, compared with 49% in 1996.
Canadian Tire exhibited for the first time at Canada Blooms, a giant garden and flower show held in Toronto March 13-17. The company featured a "children's garden workshop" where free stuff was given out. CTC also had a booth where they sold 18 garden products.
"This year, 2002, is going to be a pit stop. It's important for our staff to take a breath as we manage our acquisitions. It's a key goal for us." - Sylvain Morissette, communications director, Rona Inc., on the challenge of absorbing the company's acquisitions over the past two years.
****HARDLINES MARKETPLACE**** Check out Hardlines Classifieds on the web: https://hardlines.ca/html/classifieds_new.asp BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY MERGER OPPORTUNITY: Medium sized distribution co. with proprietary products and lots of dreams seeking merger with similar company to make a bigger impact in Canada and the US. We have vendor numbers for most of the biggies, and some products that are going to grow exponentially in the next two years. Together we may be better. Send us your thoughts in strictest confidence to Box 318, Hardlines, c/o bev@hardlines.ca (Put "Box 318" in subject line.) (010402) *********************************************************************************** HELP WANTED REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, WESTERN CANADA: RONA REVY INC. has an opening for the position of Regional Development Manager for Western Canada, reporting to the Vice President of Development and Operations. 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If you are interested, please forward your cover letter and resume to Terry Crofford, tcrofford@revy.ca or fax to 604-882-6382. *********************************************************************************** SALES PROFESSIONALS, BRAMPTON BASED: CanWel, one of Canada's leading distributors of building materials to the retail and industrial markets, is poised for growth. We are looking for motivated professionals to join our sales team at our Customer Service Centre. For the following opportunities, we are seeking results-driven and sales-orientated individuals with excellent communication, interpersonal and negotiation skills. Familiarity with the building materials industry would be beneficial. NATIONAL KEY ACCOUNTS MANAGER: Reporting to the General Manager and providing a focused approach to key accounts and buying groups you will be responsible for developing specific programs, budgeting and planning. We envision you as having 3-5 years' sales experience and outstanding customer service skills. ACCOUNT MANAGERS: You will apply your 3-5 years of sales experience and outstanding customer service skills towards managing a specified customer base in Ontario; maximizing profits; creating new sales opportunities. INSIDE SALES REPRESENTATIVES: As part of our inside sales team, you will work closely with the Outside Account Managers/support staff and deal directly with customers to provide full service/sales support. You have: 1-3 years' sales experience; strong organizational skills; excellent administrative duties. In return for your contribution, a competitive salary/benefits package is offered. Please forward your résumé, indicating the position title, by April 8, 2002 to: Human Resources, CanWel Distribution Ltd., 15 West Drive, Brampton, Ontario L6T 3T5; email: michele_white@canwel.com; fax 905-457-3668. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. (010402) *********************************************************************************** TERRITORY SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Progressive sales agency, representing brand leaders in the hardware/ industrial and electrical industry, requires an experienced and enthusiastic sales representative to maintain and grow existing accounts, and also establish new accounts in Ontario. Responsibilities include calling on industrial, electrical and contractor supply accounts, and end-user calls, with some over-night travel. Territory covers Oakville to Kingston area. Ideal candidate requires a minimum of 3 years field sales experience in the hardware/industrial industry. The person is self-motivated to achieve goals with an aggressive approach to promoting product lines, and implementing sales and marketing programs. Should have a working knowledge of computers. We offer a competitive salary and benefit package including car allowance and expenses. Please forward your resume via e-mail to bobciupa@sprint.ca or mail to McCullough Sales, Attn: Bob Ciupa, 4325 Steeles Ave. West, Suite 214, Toronto, ON M3N 1V7. We thank all applicants in advance and advise that only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. (180302) *********************************************************************************** NORAL MARKETING: LOOKING FOR A REPUTABLE, FOCUSED REPRESENTATION? NORAL MARKETING - the manufacturers' rep agency that knows the Canadian retail customers! 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 $16 PER LINE FOR THREE WEEKS! 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