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March 28, 2011, Volume xvii, #13

“Advertising may be described as the science of arresting human intelligence long enough to get money from it.” Stephen Leacock (Canadian humourist, author and economist, 1869-1944)

RONA opens new-look Réno-Dépôt store

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — RONA inc. has opened a new Réno-Dépôt store, this one in the Méga Centre in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que. The new 102,000-square-foot store carries 37,000 SKUs and is RONA’s 17th under the Réno-Dépôt banner. It represents an investment of close to $25 million and about 140 jobs.

“This store is one of a new generation for Réno-Dépôt,” says Mario St-Louis, RONA's vice-president of retail for Quebec. "It offers all the advantages that make the banner so popular, including competitive prices and a wide selection of products in each category, all in a shopping environment that is enjoyable, customer-friendly and efficient.” The new Vaudreuil-Dorion store, built to meet LEED criteria (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), also represents the latest concept for Réno-Dépôt stores. The central aisle is lined with boutiques offering various decoration and finishing products. These include flooring, doors and windows, kitchens, bathrooms, paint, interior decoration, and storage. The storage boutique, a fast-growing category for RONA, is located near the entrance to the store. It features a selection of storage items for the garage, kitchen, basement, and closets.

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 Canadian Tire launches new ad campaign

TORONTO — Canadian Tire has launched a consumer campaign designed to position the company as Canada's destination for all the small jobs facing homeowners. The ads feature the slogan, “Bring it on.” They replace the campaign, “For Days like Today,” that was in place since 2008.

The new campaign features Canadians saying “bring it on” to the everyday realities of everything from repairing a yard ravaged by winter, barbecuing in the rain, camping with the family, painting a drab den or spring cleaning the house or car. The campaign launched last week with a 60-second television commercial followed by a series of shorter, product or seasonal-specific commercials, as well as print ads. A social media component will encourage the conversation through mobile devices, and Facebook. According to the company, it spent six months doing focus groups and surveys to understand what its unique selling proposition for Canadians is. Canadian Tire’s ultimate competitive differentiator, it turns out, is its perception as “a core provider of the tools, products, and services necessary to living everyday life in Canada” — and all the weather and barbecue and traffic and great outdoors that Canadian life entails. Canadian Tire used this insight to create this latest campaign. (Click here to see the latest ad from Canadian Tire.)

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Habitat ReStores find footing post-recession

TORONTO — A discount and remainder retailer that represents a good cause is Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore outlets. With almost 60 of them across the country, they have gradually gained a presence in home improvement retailing. In fact, during the recession, sales in these stores grew on average by more than 10% while traditional hardware and building centre dealers suffered negative sales for the first time in two decades.

While best known for great — albeit fleeting — deals on everything from overstock floor tiles to used kitchen cabinet sets, ReStores are getting more imaginative in marketing themselves, as well. Take Toronto, for example. It’s the country’s largest ReStore operation (each region has its own Habitat for Humanity chapter and the ReStores operate discretely within those chapters). The stores were represented at the National Home Show in Toronto back in February, with a booth designed by Melissa Davis of the Your Designer Friend. Best known for her appearance on the last couple of seasons of “Income Property” on HGTV, Davis has supported ReStores for the past five years. She even gave seminars at the show on how to use ReStore materials in the home. Despite the growing awareness, however, the ReStores are feeling the crunch of reduced consumer confidence post-recession. And as large renovation activity has slowed, the stores’ ability to recover materials from worksites has become a challenge. “Recovery has been up and down for ReStores in general, says Derek Harney, vice-president of ReStore operations for Habitat Toronto. “We’ve had some up weeks and we’ve had some really disappointing weeks. It’s quite a contrast to this time last year.” That is not preventing Harney from expanding, however. Toronto ’s fourth ReStore will open next week, and represent the first in Toronto near the downtown area. It will be located in Toronto’s east end, in the so-called Studio District at the bottom of Carlaw Ave. A $10,000 kitchen will be the centrepiece of the grand opening.

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 Hardware takes the spotlight at Asia-Pacific Sourcing

COLOGNE , Germany — The fourth edition of Asia-Pacific Sourcing closed in Cologne on March 11, after hosting 5,100 trade visitors from 70 countries. Representatives from Europe’s leading retailers attended, including Bauhaus, Praktiker, Obi, Hornbach, toom, Globus, Max Hauri and Brico Depot, along with buyers from major supermarket chains such as Metro, Netto, and Woolworth. They came to see almost 600 exhibitors from 13 countries.

“Asian products, ordered in Cologne, marketed all over the world – the Asia-Pacific Sourcing concept was very well received by the market participants”, says Oliver P. Kuhrt, executive vice-president Koelnmesse GmbH, which owns the show. “In particular, the large level of participation from abroad underlines the significance of the trade fair as an international hub for global sourcing between Asia, Europe and North America.” Under the heading “Best of China,” this year, for the first time, new products in various categories from the hardware segment were shown in a special presentation area.

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 Quebecers more pessimistic in 2011

MONTREAL — After stabilizing in 2010, the confidence index of Quebec consumers is down 8% from the same period last year. The drop has been attributed to pessimism associated with the province’s financial situation. The survey, prepared by Groupe Altus for the Retail Council of Quebec, addresses Quebecers’ buying behaviours and intentions for the next 12 months.

This survey reveals that 75% of Quebec households see their financial situation as having improved or remained stable in the past 12 months; this situation is nearly unchanged compared with the same period last year. Again this year, the increase in the cost of living is perceived as the main factor in the deterioration of households’ financial situation. Nearly half (46%) of Quebecers believe that this is a good time to purchase big-ticket items, compared with 50% in winter 2010. The survey also shows a slight decline in intentions to make major purchases. Finally, automobiles rank first among major purchases planned, overtaking household appliances, which topped the list last year.

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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:


  • 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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