Click here for the blackberry or printable edition

ABC Widgets
Beverly Allen, Publisher
| Brady Peever, Client Services | Michael McLarney, Editor | | 416-489-3396 |

If this newsletter looks incorrect and has squares and arrows where
punctuation should be, click here to view it as a webpage.



March 1, 2010, Volume xvi, #8

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business.” —Henry Ford (American inventor and industrialist, 1863–1947)


Lowe’s will open three more stores in Ontario

TORONTO — Lowe’s Canada has confirmed plans to open three stores by the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. The stores, in Northwest London, Pickering and Vaughan, Ont., are part of the company’s previously announced plans to open 35-45 stores in North America this year.

The three sites are former Sam’s Club locations. In 2009, Lowe's began talks with Wal-Mart Canada to retrofit the sites, closing on the locations by the end of Lowe's fiscal fourth quarter 2009. The sites range in size from 103,000-117,000 square feet.

“Lowe's continues its commitment to the consumers of Canada to provide the very best in customer service and innovative products by adding locations in Ontario,” said Alan Huggins, president, Lowe’s Canada.

In December 2009, Lowe’s announced plans to open three stores in the Calgary region (CrossIron Mills, the Shepard Industrial Area-McKenzie Towne and in the Sunridge Industrial Area), with further plans to expand into Edmonton, British Columbia and Saskatchewan in the future.

Lowe's opened its first three Canadian locations in December 2007 (South Brampton, Brantford and Hamilton) and now operates 16 stores in Canada.

back to top Back to top

Home improvement giants end 2009 on positive note

ATLANTA & MOORESVILLE, N.C. — The last three months of their respective fiscal years gave officials of The Home Depot and Lowe’s Cos. hope that the economic downturn driven by a housing recession might finally be subsiding.

“The worse of the economic cycle is likely behind us,” said Lowe’s CEO and chairman Robert Niblock, after the home improvement retailer reported a 26.5% increase in net income, to $205 million for the quarter ended Jan. 29, 2010. Lowe’s revenue for the quarter inched up 1.8% to $10.2 billion.

Even though its quarterly sales were off marginally to $14.6 billion, Home Depot reported earnings of $342 million, compared to a net loss of $54 million for the same period a year ago. And where Lowe’s reported a full-year decline in its net income (see chart below), Home Depot enjoyed a nearly 18% increase in profit. In recent weeks, several Wall Street analysts have been recommended Depot’s stock over Lowe’s, a stunning turnaround from only a few years ago, when Home Depot’s financial ship was still listing and investors saw Lowe’s as the safer long-term bet.

“Despite the tough economic environment, we were able to make solid programs against our key initiatives in 2009,” said Home Depot CEO and chairman Frank Blake. He noted specifically that the company increased its overall market share by one percentage point; that its customer service ratings continued to rise; and that nearly two-thirds of its stores’ products are now being served by its Rapid Deployment Centers, massive distribution facilities through which the company is now managing more of its inventory.

Depot saw its number of customer transactions increase slightly in 2009, but the average ticket per sale fell by 6.9% to $55.61. (Lowe’s did not provide a transactional breakout of its sales.)


Home Depot


2009 Revenue (in $bil.)



Change from fiscal 2008



Same-store change



2009 net income (in $bil.)



Change from fiscal 2008



Store count



Source: company reports


back to top Back to top

RONA buys plumbing chain in Quebec

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — RONA inc. has acquired, through its commercial division, Noble Trade, the assets of Plomberie Payette & Perreault inc., marking the first foray by the division into RONA’s home province. The specialized plumbing wholesaler has a 20,000-square-foot distribution centre in Le Gardeur, Que., and two retail outlets operating under the Les boutiques Eaudace banner: one in Repentigny and one in Boucherville.

The transaction has been finalized pending certain conditions and is expected to close on March 1.

According to Michael Storfer, vice-president of RONA’s Commercial and Professional Market division, who came over to RONA with the acquisition of Noble Trade, the deal is the latest step in establishing RONA’s commercial business on a national level. “Besides breaking into a new geographic market, the acquisition enhances our existing product and service offer in the specialized plumbing market," Storfer said.

Claude Thibault and Alain Payette, co-owners of Payette & Perreault, will stay on to help RONA develop the Commercial and Professional Market division.

back to top Back to top 


Recruitment is focus for Sexton in anniversary year

WINNIPEG — Now in its 25th year, Sexton Group is looking for ways to expand its ranks, but on a strategic basis.

The group, which represents about 270 dealers across the country, is also looking at regional opportunities, and Central Canada remains the battleground for dealer recruitment. “The majority of our recruitment efforts are focused in Ontario now,” says Steve Buckle, vice-president of Sexton, even though, he adds, the majority of new members have been coming from the West.

But Sexton is already strong in Western Canada. Buckle says the group needs “critical mass” in Ontario. Atlantic Canada also offers some opportunities for expansion. “We’re growing in that market. We had six new dealers there in 2009, in addition to 19 in the West and eight in Ontario.”

Another five dealers are under consideration already for 2010, he notes, who are attracted by Sexton’s no-frills approach. "We have decided to focus on building the best vendor program for our members,” says Buckle, eschewing add-ons that can run up costs for independents who don’t need those extra services to be effective in their respective markets.

back to top Back to top


Farm hardware department adds to BMR services

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — Efforts to build credibility and win dealers have been paying off for Quebec-based BMR Le Groupe, the buying group and distributor. The reception from dealers, especially in Ontario, has been better as the BMR name grows and the company wants to build on that. “We’re going to be more aggressive in Ontario,” says Bill Miculescu, vice-president business development for BMR.

The group currently has both a building materials banner program and one for hardware dealers. Both those banners have a flyer of their own, in addition to other retail support programs, including a specialty décor department, a contractor program, plus a new farm hardware department called Agrizone. 

The new department features 1,300 products, from greases, lubricants, nozzles and other mechanical maintenance products and equipment to work clothes and boots, farm fences, shovels, pitchforks and haymaking accessories, now grouped in one specialty department.

The department, which helps members position themselves with rural agro customers, also gives BMR a way to compete against specialists in that field. La Coop fédérée, for example, has been aggressively, and successfully, rolling out its hardware and building materials programs, under the Coop banner for members and Dismat for non-members who want to participate only as wholesale customers.

“This product diversification fits perfectly into our growth strategy and enables us to meet the needs of our regional and rural customers more effectively,” said Yves Gagnon, BMR president and CEO.

back to top Back to top



Hitachi Power Tools is seeking a Junior National Account Executive based in Mississauga.

The successful candidate will possess:

  • A minimum of 3 years experience in a territory sales role
  • Strong organizational skills with ability to plan and manage territory
  • Strong communication, presentation and business relationship building skills
  • A self-starter with ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Knowledge of trades (i.e. construction, electrical, woodworking) an asset

Please visit our website at for more details. If interested please forward your resume and cover letter to

We thank all applicants, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted.



Hardware Buyer, Surrey, BC
IRLY Distributors

This position will be responsible for the procurement of hardware inventory and maintaining pricing, quality, lead times and shipment of all hardware products and related products. Interested applicants will have working knowledge and experience within the industry and have a strong business sense of future trends and opportunities.

If you are interested in joining our fast paced and growth oriented team, send your resume and cover letter, along with salary expectations to:  NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.



Outside Sales Representative, Surrey, BC
IRLY Distributors

We are looking for an experienced Sales Representative to sell our hardware and building materials products and programs.  This position will be based in the Okanagan and will also service the east and west Kootenays.

Candidates must have previous “on the road” sales experience within the lumber, building materials and hardware industry.  Excellent customer service skills and an aptitude for building relationships is a must.

If you are interested in joining our fast paced and growth oriented team, send your resume and cover letter, along with salary expectations to:  NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.



Maxtech Consumer Products Limited, in Waterloo, ON is a leading supplier of Hand Tools & Power Tool Accessories to major retailers in Canada, USA & Europe. The company has a reputation for designing new & innovative products & has nearly 100 patents. Maxtech has offices in USA, Germany, India & China. We are searching for a talented, energetic individual with drive, passion, and a proven track record, to join our growing organization as:

Manager Product Development & Quality

A strong strategic thinker with proven Project Management & leadership abilities.

Responsible for all techno-aesthetic & quality activities of the company including development of new products to meet functional & quality aspects.

Establish quality systems to meet Maxtech & customer requirements.

Must be well versed with Maxtech’s patent portfolio to incorporate them in development of new products.

Lead a team of engineers, designers & Quality personnel.

Travel within North America, Europe & Asia.

Product development & quality experience preferably in hardware products /retail industry.

Past experience working with vendor’s facilities in Asia would be an asset.

Must possess at least 3 years Management experience in a similar role

Please apply by submitting your resume to



Looking for that perfect candidate?
Save time and money using online adveritsing
It's cheaper than print and you connect directly with qualified candidates.

Only $2.99 per word for 2 weeks.

Have your ad right here this time next week!

Click here or call 416-489-3396 to place a classified ad Back to top

Place a classified with Hardlines and we will give your new hire a complimentary subscription to the newsletter for a full year!


back to top Back to top


  • Business Manager with U.S. & Canadian experience with retail & industrial customers seeks a new opportunity. view this resumé Back to top
  • An experienced merchandising executive possessing passion, vision, and a strategic approach to delivering bottom-line. view this resumé Back to top
  • Results oriented sales professional with a strong record of achievement in strategic and tactical roles. view this resumé Back to top
  • Senior sales/marketing leader with experience in all classes of trade wishing new hardlines career. view this resumé Back to top
  • Very Experienced Business Unit Manager, great passion for generating sales and building relastionships.view this resumé Back to top
  • Worked through my career within the manfucaturer, wholesale and consumer goods industries. view this resumé Back to top
  • Senior Sales Manager with vast experience in retail and wholesale sales growth in Canada. view this resumé Back to top

Click here to post your resumé Back to top

Featured Product: Hardlines Retail Report

This important research is a marketer's best friend. 157 powerpoint slides and it’s not available anywhere else.

How did Canada’s top home improvement retailers weather the economic storm of 2009?

And more important, what’s in store for 2010?

Find out in our latest “Retail Home Improvement Report": The Annual Report on Canada’s Retail Hardware/Home Improvement Industry”, 2009-2010 Edition. This in-depth Report is a comprehensive study of the growth and trends driving Canada’s retail home improvement industry.

What you'll learn in the new Retail Report:

  • How independent dealers are regaining market share
  • Which single store format is on the rebound
  • How buying groups are changing their marketing strategies

Use Hardlines research to plan your growth in 2010.

Click here for more information or to purchase this product Back to top

back to top Back to top

Connect with us!