Hardlines Weekly Newsletter
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March 14, 2011, Volume xvii, #11

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” —Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark Twain
(American author and humourist, 1835-1910)

IRLY sells distribution business to TIM-BR MARTS

CALGARY — TIM-BR MARTS Ltd. has taken another important step in establishing a truly national hardware distribution network, through its Chalifour Hardware division.

The latest move is the acquisition of the distribution facilities of IRLY Distributors by TIM-BR MARTS. IRLY, a regional buying group based in Surrey, B.C., IRLY has just 46 members. But it also has its own hardware and building materials distribution, making it a unique model for Canada. (TIM-BR MARTS aside, the only other buying group with its own dedicated distribution is BMR in Quebec.)

The purchase includes the lumber, building materials and hardware inventory assets of IRLY and its members.

“This acquisition gives TIM-BR MARTS Ltd. a powerful coast-to-coast distribution network,” says Tim Urquhart, president and CEO. He says there was a gap in Chalifour’s distribution network, which is being filled by the IRLY deal. “This arrangement addresses that need.”

The merger solidifies an existing agreement between the two groups, whereby IRLY and its dealers were already members of TIM-BR MARTS and already share in the purchasing strength and programs of the giant group. The existing agreement included IRLY supplying hardware to TIM-BR MART dealers in the west through its own IRLY distribution centre; this merger brings the IRLY distribution business directly into Chalifour Canada.

IRLY had already begun promoting its wholesale business aggressively to dealers outside of British Columbia, touting its logistics capabilities at the WRLA’s Prairie Showcase back in January. At the time, IRLY said it was working to complement the distribution provided by Chalifour in Central and Eastern Canada.

The addition of the Surrey DC will also give the group access to its ever-growing import programs, with container loads coming directly from China. “I t will allow our import program to grow, since we can land goods and ship to our dealers and customers quickly and efficiently,” Urquhart says.

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 Lumber Liquidators opens first stores in Canada

TORONTO — yet another American retailer has entered Canada, this time without the fanfare of the likes of Lowe’s and Target.

Instead, Lumber Liquidators has quietly opened two stores in the Toronto area – at 470 Norfinch Dr. and 1400 O’Connor Dr. A third store will open March 18 on Steeles Ave. at Tomken Rd.

Overseeing the Canadian expansion is Tyler Greenan, the company’s vp store operations and its fifth longest-serving employee.

While so many other retailers are hurting in the U.S., Lumber Liquidators is in a solid growth mode. Specializing in hardwood, laminate and specialty flooring, it has more than 200 stores in the U.S. It intends to open 40-50 more stores this year, with 35-40 of them in the U.S. and the remainder in Canada – its first international market. While we’ve yet to confirm other locations, insiders suggest that at least some of them will be within the Golden Horseshoe that stretches from Niagara to Kitchener-Waterloo and to Oshawa west of Toronto.

Up to a dozen outlets may be slated then, for this year. With net sales in 2010 of $620.3 million – up 14% from the previous year – and profits which were down 2% to $26.3 million, it anticipates net sales in 2011 to exceed $700 million.

Lumber Liquidators was founded in 1994 when Tom Sullivan, now chairman, began selling surplus building materials at heavily discounted prices. Two years later the company identified an opportunity to sell hardwood flooring at “liquidator” prices. Lumber Liquidators began working directly with vendors and mills to provide customers with flooring assortments at everyday low prices.

Lumber Liquidators claims to be the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in the U.S.

 (Lumber Liquidators is just the latest U.S. retailer to come north. Click here to see the latest HARDLINES TV segment featuring our take on this important trend.)


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Home Depot Canada leadership turned over to an American

TORONTO — Barely a month after taking over the helm of The Home Depot Canada, Aaron Carmack has left, “taking an extended leave of absence to attend to a personal illness,” says the company. He’s been replaced by Bill Lennie as president of The Home Depot Canada. (According to a release, Carmack will assume a different leadership role within the organization when he returns.)

Lennie, who was most recently senior vp of merchandising, international and sourcing, was already providing operational and strategic direction to Canada. He was also the guy who was put in place to take over the Asia portfolio when Annette Verschuren exited that role back in May 2010.

At the time, Tiziana Baccega, manager, public relations and external affairs for Home Depot Canada, told HARDLINES that “Annette’s involvement with The Home Depot Asia began in 2007, with the mandate to get the company’s Chinese business up-and-running. With that goal accomplished, the next step in the evolution of the Chinese business involves transferring day-to-day responsibilities to Bill Lennie, The Home Depot’s senior vice-president of merchandising, international and sourcing.” As head of the company’s international sourcing operation, Lennie was already making regular visits to China.

His career at The Home Depot began in 1992, when he joined as a merchant for millwork and building materials. In 2002, he was promoted to senior vice-president of décor. He left the company in 2006, spending time at Dick's Sporting Goods as senior vice-president of merchandising, hardlines, before returning to Home Depot in 2009.

(What does Bill Lennie’s appointment mean to Home Depot in Canada? Click here to see the latest HARDLINES TV segment featuring our take on this management change.)


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 Winter keeps McDiarmid focused on retrofits, training

WINNIPEG — The cold winter pervading Western Canada has many dealers waiting out the weather before business picks up in a meaningful way – and McDiarmid Lumber is no exception. “We're looking at gaining solid traction heading into the spring,” says Michael Ryz, vice-president operations for the 15-store chain.

While not sitting back (business remains steady despite the cold winter – and the giant dealer is actively knocking on doors to generate business), it is using the slow season to focus on retrofitting existing stores and renewing its staff training initiatives.

“We’re half-way through one retrofit right now. Then, in the fall, we’ll have two more to do, which we expect to be completed by Christmas or early January.”

On the training side, McDiarmid is a member of the North American Retail Hardware Association Canada. Ryz says there’ll be a push on NRHA training for employees before the spring arrives.

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Loxcreen Flooring Group, Canada’s leading manufacturer of floor transition mouldings, is seeking a Regional Accounts Manager based in Southern Ontario to be responsible for sales to regionally based customers across Canada including distributors, co-ops and retail accounts.

Reporting to the Director of Sales & Marketing, responsibilities will include direct account management, working with commissioned agents, achieving sales targets, trade shows, travelling across Canada to meet with customers, contributing to the development of sales programs and providing a supporting role with mass merchant key account initiatives.

Key competencies include proven ability to generate new business and effectively maintain customer relationships, strong communication and presentation skills, good analytical skills, self discipline and detail oriented.

Qualifications must include minimum 5 years sales and account management experience in the home improvement industry and having worked with sales agents; previous experience in hardware/building materials/flooring categories; ability to travel; work independently; proficiency in Excel, Word and Powerpoint.

Respond by email to: hr.search@loxcreenflooring.com



  • Develop relationships with current and prospective customers to expand the business
  • Promote products through telephone contact and occasional customer visits and presentations


  • College or University degree
  • 3-5 years inside sales or similar experience is required
  • Self-motivated, assertive, driven, and reliable
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment
  • Excellent verbal and written English communication skills (bilingualism considered a valuable quality)
  • Prior experience in the wholesale lumber industry considered a great asset. In addition, any education and/or experience in additional areas considered an asset (such as managerial, accounting, or human resources)

This is a great opportunity for an eager, reliable, and customer service oriented candidate!

Full-training will be provided to a dynamic person looking to develop and expand their sales career.

Please forward your resume to info@pastwayplaning.com

We thank all candidates for their interest however only those selected for an interview will be contacted.



  • A conscientious, highly motivated manager with a results-oriented track record in developing new business. view this resumé Back to top
  • A goal oriented sales director that has superior management skills, customer oriented, with in depth knowledge of the industry and the ability to achieve results. view this resumé Back to top
  • National Field Sales Manager with twelve plus years in power tools and hardware sales/merchandising. view this resumé 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
  • 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

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