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March 19, 2012, Volume xviii, #12

“Never eat more than you can lift.” —Miss Piggy (Muppet, 1974- )



Menards continues infiltration of Canada

PORT HURON, MI — This border town across the St. Clair river from Sarnia, ON, may soon have a Menards big box store. Based in Eau Claire, WI, the giant privately owned chain is number three in North America after Home Depot and Lowe’s. It already has more than 260 stores in 13 states throughout the American mid-west, and has been expanding aggressively into markets in Ohio and Michigan in recent years.

But Menards has been selling aggressively into Canada for years. Southern Manitoba, and communities in Northern Ontario such as Fort Frances, are familiar with the Menards flyer, which is dropped heavily into those markets. Winnipeg-area customers are only an hour’s drive from a Menards store in Grand Forks, ND. But Canadian customers can also make orders by phone or online; they need only meet the delivery truck at the border to sign the papers to bring their orders in.

The Port Huron location would be the first to have direct access to the Southwestern Ontario market. According to the Port Huron Times Herald, Menards is buying a former school property. The local school board has approved the $3.4 million sale, and Menard Inc. is currently doing due diligence on the deal.

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“Lâchez pas la patate”: delegates challenged at AQMAT Congrès

MONT-SAINT-HILAIRE, QC — Faced with mounting international competition and shifting consumer spending habits, dealers and vendors at last week’s Congrès des decideurs were urged to stay the course and embrace the very techniques that are driving the big retailers.

The conference, presented by the Quebec building supply dealers’ association, AQMAT, was emceed by Richard Darveau, president and CEO of the association.

HARDLINES’ own editor, Michael McLarney, offered a forecast of modest sector growth in the year ahead, despite the strong start to 2012. With housing starts expected to be flat or down slightly, renovation spending is also expected to flag. On top of that, he pointed out that the influx of international retailers to this country will increase. “Even if they are not direct competitors to home improvement dealers, these retailers will affect this industry. They are raising the bar, and raising expectations of service and selection among Canadian customers.”

He pointed out that the U.S. mass merchant, Target, has yet to open a single store in Canada, yet its impact is being felt already. Efforts by companies such as RONA and Home Depot to better integrate the web into their sales efforts anticipate the sophistication of Target in this area. And Canadian Tire’s current pilot of an electronic version of its famous Canadian Tire money will help that retailer to go up against Target’s data-driven online sales efforts.

Specialty retailers, such as Lumber Liquidators and Princess Auto, have aggressive expansion plans that will likely eventually include Quebec eventually. “And even in this industry, La Coop fédérée has opened its first full building materials store, in Thetford Mines,” said McLarney.

“The future of this industry is in your hands; hang in there and make it your business to understand how retail is changing, understand how the internet will affect your customers and your business,” he urged the audience.

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There’s an app for that at Home Hardware

ST. JACOBS, ON — Home Hardware Stores Limited has introduced a mobile web site and new apps for smartphones. The mobile site has a store locator for the banner’s 1,100 stores. Customers can also search for some 60,000 products, get local prices, view the current flyer, and create a shopping list – all on their mobile device.

Home’s new free app provides customers with the ability to access Home’s mobile web site on their mobile device. The Apple app also offers a QR code reader and a measurement converter for customer convenience. The same functionality will also be added to the next versions of the Blackberry and Android releases.

“We realize our customers lead very busy lives so we wanted our customers to be able to conveniently access Home’s online tools from anywhere,” said Paul Straus, president & CEO, Home Hardware Stores Limited.

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Canadian retailers can get PayPal’s retail payment service

TORONTO — Canada is one of the first global markets to receive “PayPal Here,” the company’s in-store payment service.

Known for its online transaction services, PayPal began a bricks-and-mortar pilot with Home Depot in the U.S., which quickly rolled the service out chain-wide.

Businesses that have been restricted to cash-only sales can now process other forms of payment with PayPal’s service, a free thumb-sized card reader and app that interact with iPhones to provide a secure mobile payment system. The system will soon be available for Google Android devices, as well. PayPal Here also accepts major credit cards.

The service is priced at 2.7% for swiped card transactions and PayPal payments. The company adds that the card reader device and app are free, and there are no commitments and no hidden fees.

The program is being offered to select merchants during an exclusive release period. Canadian retailers interested in receiving the free card reader can register at www.paypal.ca/here.

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New products take centre stage at Vegas hardware show

NORWALK, CN — The search for new products will be made easier this year at the National Hardware Show, say the show’s organizers.

The show, May 1-3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will feature more than 1,000 new products and inventions in a special “Innovation Station” located off the main show floors.

“We know that retail and wholesale buyers are very interested in the latest products and line introductions, so we wanted to make it as easy as possible for buyers to see these products in one easy-to-shop location," says Sonya Ruff Jarvis, vice-president of attendee programs with the National Hardware Show. The Innovation Station area will house the New Product World display, which spotlights hundreds of new products.

Another feature of the show, the Inventor’s Spotlight, will give inventors the opportunity to pitch their business concepts and products to Kevin Harrington, investor Shark on the TV program, “Shark Tank," and Steve Rogai, CEO and co-founder of TVGoods.

Green Product World will allow retailers to keep up with the growing demand for environmentally friendly products and gather information on the latest in green, eco-friendly and sustainable products. (For more info on the show, click here.)

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Quebec association will take dealers to Vegas

MONTREAL ― The National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, being held this year from May 1-3, will be the destination for a mission organized by the Quebec building supply dealers’ association, AQMAT.

Association president and CEO Richard Darveau has organized a delegation of 12 vendors, six dealers, and two banner representatives. The association will have a booth at the show, a “Pavilion of Innovation,” that will showcase the products of the 12 Quebec vendors in attendance, and will feature the benefits of a new website from AQMAT. The site, called MyHomePage.com, is a consumer hub for information about DIY products and projects, and a source for new product ideas.

Darveau adds that the Pavilion will be featured at the Canadian Home Improvement Show in Toronto, Nov. 28-29.

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Position: Account Executive
Location: Western Canada ( flexible depending upon location of candidate: Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba)

This position will be responsible for selling and supporting retail store level opportunities. The primary focus on targeting line extensions, expanded Plan-O-Grams, Introduction of New Products, displacing competitive activity, securing incremental opportunities and overall store level support for the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This position will support both Regional and Independent businesses, as well as our National Account(s), at store level(ie. Home Hardware, RONA, TimBrMart, etc).


  • Minimum 3 yrs Sales and or Sales Related experience 
  • Experience and proven ability to conduct outside sales calls 
  • Must demonstrate strong communication skills both oral & written 
  • Must demonstrate problem solving skills and be able to effectively resolve conflict 


  • High School Diploma required; Bachelor’s Degree preferred 
  • Must be able to travel 95% of time  
  • Highly organized and extremely flexible to cover 3 provinces efficiently  
  • Hardware industry experience an asset 
  • Must be willing to work some weekends (Trade and Consumer Shows) 
  • Must possess Valid Drivers License

E-mail: laura.a.weaver@sherwin.com
No agencies, please.
We appreciate your response; however, only candidates under consideration will be contacted.



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  • 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
  • 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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