May 20, 2013, Volume xix, #20
“If you think your boss is stupid, remember: you wouldn’t have a job if he was any smarter.” — John Gottman (American psychologist and relationship counsellor, 1942- )
Cold weather impacts RONA’s first-quarter results
BOUCHERVILLE, QC — RONA's first quarter saw revenues dip 0.5% to $929.4 million, a decline of $4.6 million from the same quarter last year. Same-store sales were up 9.5% in the distribution segment and down 3.0% in the retail and commercial segment. RONA attributed much of the net loss of 19 cents per share on costs associated with repositioning its Totem and Reno-Depot stores. However, cost cutting, which included widespread layoffs and the renegotiation of major agreements, enabled the company to save $17 million.
Armed with a new management team, the company will be looking to reduce losses as the fiscal year continues.
Seasonal sales were down 28% in the first quarter, as RONA—and the entire industry—had to cope with an extremely cold winter at the beginning of the year, a sharp contrast to the unseasonably mild weather during the same time in 2012. At the time, that warm spell gave dealers a much-needed positive start to the year.
(l-r): Robert Chevrier, executive chairman of RONA; and Robert Sawyer, the new president and CEO.
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RONA will hold on to its remaining big boxes
BOUCHERVILLE, QC — RONA says it will not sell off any more of its big box stores. However, it would not reveal just how it intends to improve sales at these stores, as many of them, especially in Southern Ontario and British Columbia markets, are underperforming.
Five big boxes were closed under a new strategic plan developed under the aegis of RONA CFO and then-acting CEO Dominique Boies. At the AGM, Boies said, “Sales volume was redeployed to nearby stores, to two proximity stores and to five satellite stores which opened in recent months.”
Now, with a new executive chairman, Robert Chevrier, running the board and Robert Sawyer installed as new president and CEO, a major re-tuning of that strategic plan appears to be under way.
At its annual general meeting last week, RONA executives would not specify how they intend to turn the remaining big box stores around. However, Sawyer told HARDLINES that the changes being made to its big boxes in Quebec, particularly with its Reno-Depot chain, may offer some clues as to what’s in store for other parts of the country.
The large-surface format offers a significant point of sale for driving RONA’s distribution business. However, Chevrier insisted the move had more to do with maintaining multiple store formats and having “the right size for each market.” These big boxes, he added, do indeed generate retail sales and serve as the anchor for the hub-and-spoke model that includes proximity and satellite stores all working to serve a market.
Selling off any big boxes—Chevrier admitted that RONA could likely find a buyer for “five to six big boxes”—would diminish the presence of the RONA brand among consumers. “We have to look at the entire retail landscape.”
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Home Hardware’s five-year plan pays record dividends
TORONTO — At a breakfast seminar hosted by the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturers Association last week, Home Hardware’s executive vice president and COO Terry Davis shared details about where Home Hardware started and how its strategic plan focused the company for more aggressive growth.
Walter Hachborn, co-founder of Home Hardware, had a vision of what a group of independents could do and that focus remains true 50 years later, from the trademark red jackets to requiring private-label paint to compete. Davis outlined that the goal of Home’s 2008-2012 strategic plan was aggressive growth spurred by a visit by RONA’s then-CEO Robert Dutton to Home’s head office in St. Jacobs, ON, in 2007. Dutton proposed a merger between the two companies in the hopes of forging a giant all-Canadian retail network.
The idea was rejected by Home Hardware’s board, but it also planted the seeds for a strategic plan for aggressive growth. That plan resulted in the creation of a dealer development team and an incentive program to convert stores to the Home banner. The current strategic plan is to move the second 20% of its stores to the level of sales that the first 20% are currently experiencing. Davis explained that he has expectations of what Home stores should look like and they’re trying to get them all to that standard.
The strategy seems to be working. Home Hardware even had its best year ever in 2012—when many stores saw falling sales. Davis concluded by telling the CHHMA members that Home Hardware set records a week earlier for the highest number of lines shipped out of St. Jacobs—and the most lines shipped in the company’s history.
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Atlantic Building Materials Show: how timing is everything
MONCTON, NB — What does it take to put on a trade show? Besides the usual challenges of mounting a show—encouraging vendors to offer real show deals and then getting dealers out to take advantage of those deals—the Atlantic Building Materials Show must also contend with the vagaries of weather.
It’s almost become a certitude that a storm will sock in show participants at the end of the Atlantic show, which is held in February each year, forcing them to stay an extra day or two in Moncton. That’s the main reason the show is being moved to February 5 and 6, a Wednesday and Thursday in 2014, instead of the traditional Thursday and Friday.
“You can pretty much guarantee in Atlantic Canada that you’ll get snow around then,” says Don Sherwood, head of the Atlantic Building Supply Dealers Association, which owns and operates the show. Moving the show one more day away from the weekend gives participants another travel day to get home for the weekend, he says.
But the success of the show hinges on other factors beyond ABSDA’s control. Come January and February, there are a number of shows in the home improvement industry. TIM-BR MART Group has its show February 21-22 in Toronto, while Orgill has its show February 27-March 1 in Orlando, FL. “We’re trying to give space between us and the TIM-BR MART show. We’re hopeful that we can attract the TIM-BR MART members in Atlantic Canada.”
As for the Orgill show, its dates are still very close to the ABSDA’s, but Sherwood says there is only so much room on the calendar. Moving the show back into March puts it up against too many school breaks and buying group trips. “We have to continue. We can’t move our date.”
And yet another challenge raises its head as Sherwood looks for the best timing for the show. The Winter Olympics start on February 7. “We don’t want to be on during the Olympics. That’s a tough time,” he adds.
(For a complete list of upcoming industry events, click here. —Michael)
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Sears Canada introduces new Hometown Store format
ORILLIA, ON — Sears Canada has opened a new-concept Hometown store in Orillia. The company’s format for independent owners in smaller markets sells major appliances, mattresses, furniture, fitness, and seasonal goods such as barbecues, patio furniture, and outdoor power equipment. At 25,000 square feet, this new location is the largest independently owned and operated Sears in the country.
According to Sears, this new format store has an updated visual presentation, less cluttered merchandising, and a wider selection of merchandise at everyday low prices. To broaden its reach with customers, the store carries a large selection of Sears Whole Home furniture and mattresses.
The new format reflects Sears’ renewed focus catalogue and online merchandise sales, with a pick-up desk in-store that features new signage and marketing to attract additional customers and drive revenue. The merchandise pick-up desk gives customers access to Sears Canada’s multi-channel shopping and gives them the opportunity to order an array of Sears products not typically found in Hometown stores.
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Sales Management Role – Montréal, Québec
PrimeSource Building Products, Inc. is the largest purveyor of fasteners in the world and one of the largest distributors of building materials. With 42 distribution centers throughout the U.S. and Canada, we’re always looking for our next employee who will make a positive impact in this growing industry.
We currently have a great opportunity available for an experienced Bilingual Sales Manager at our Montréal location. The ideal candidate must have 3-5 years sales management experience and possess demonstrated skills in selling, teaching & managing a sales staff. Building materials industry experience is a must.
The job requires some travel within the distribution centre's trading area. Excellent communication and presentation skills are required. Must be a self-starter with an entrepreneurial nature who is willing to handle multiple projects and priorities.
If you are a proven leader who welcomes the opportunity to work in a challenging and financially rewarding environment, we want to meet you.
Qualified candidates may submit their résumé and cover letter to StrotjohannK@primesourcebp.com
ONLY CANDIDATES OF INTEREST WILL BE CONTACTED
Directeur des ventes - Montréal, Québec
PrimeSource Building Products, Inc. est le plus grand fournisseur de fixations dans le monde et l'un des plus grands distributeurs de matériaux de construction. Avec 42 centres de distribution à travers les États-Unis et le Canada, nous sommes toujours à la recherche de notre prochain employé qui aura un impact positif dans cette industrie en expansion.
Nous avons actuellement une excellente opportunité disponible pour un directeur des ventes bilingue à notre succursale à Montréal. Le candidat idéal doit avoir 3-5 ans d'expérience en gestion des ventes et posséder des compétences démontrées dans les ventes, l'entrainement et la gestion de personnel de vente. L’expérience dans l’industrie des matériaux de construction est un pré-requis.
Le poste nécessite quelques déplacements à travers le territoire desservit par le centre de distribution. Excellentes aptitudes de communication et de présentation sont nécessaires. Doit être un personne autonome avec un esprit entrepreneurial qui est prêt à gérer plusieurs projets et priorités.
Si vous êtes un leader reconnu qui accueille l'opportunité de travailler dans un environnement stimulant et très attirante financièrement, nous voulons vous rencontrer.
Les candidats qualifiés peuvent soumettre leur curriculum vitae et lettre de motivation à StrotjohannK@primesourcebp.com
SEULS LES CANDIDATS d'intérêt sera CONTACTÉES
National Accounts Manager
WD-40 Company (Canada) Ltd. is seeking a National Accounts Manager based in Toronto to service National Accounts. The successful candidate will possess 5- 10 years experience in the Consumer Packaged Goods or Hard Goods industry. Must have experience calling on major retailers in mass and hardware channels and be proficient with Wal-Mart Retail Link. Automotive and industrial channel experience an asset. Strong organizational, communication and presentation skills. Strategic account planning, development and implementation. Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, be a self-starter. Highly proficient with Microsoft Office applications.
Candidate will be eligible for salary, bonus, company car, profit sharing and other company benefits. Please visit our website at www.wd40.com for more details.
If interested, please forward your resume only.
WD-40 Company (Canada) Ltd.
P.O. Box 220
Fax: (416) 622-8096
We thank all applicants, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted
- Award-winning sales professional skilled in relationship-building in order to continually enlarge sales territories view this resumé
Professional with over 25 years of experience in Sales, Marketing, Merchandising and Administration view this resumé
Marketing professional with over 10 years experience looking to secure a new full-time position. view this resumé
- A Sales Professional with over twenty years of experience.view this resumé
- Experienced District Manager with a proven track record with several national chains. view this resumé
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