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May 6, 2013, Volume xix, #18

“Ignorance is bold, knowledge reserved.” Thucydides (Greek historian and military leader, c. 460- 395 BC) ______________________________________________________________________

Special Report: RONA takes Réno-Dépôt “back to its roots”                 MONTREAL — A key part of RONA’s strategic planning as it continues to turn its business around is its re-positioning of the Réno-Dépôt banner in Quebec. That re-positioning is in fact more of a return to Réno-Dépôt’s roots, says the company. The only chain that was not ultimately subsumed into the RONA brand (it was so well-entrenched in Quebec that RONA knew better than to eliminate it), Réno-Dépôt has always had a strong appeal for contractors and heavy DIYers. But over time, Réno-Dépôt’s differentiation from RONA’s other big boxes was eroded. “It’s about going back to the core competency of Réno-Dépôt,” said RONA’s Dominique Boies. In an interview with the company’s CFO (and then acting CEO), earlier this year, he made clear Réno-Dépôt’s need for a new direction. “We must go back to case quantities, job lots. They want the product in stock. They don’t want to wait.” The re-positioning of the 18-store chain involves reducing SKUs and increasing depth of inventory to ensure those out-of-stocks don’t occur. However, the reductions mean fewer lines, and even fewer brands, which has some of Réno-Dépôt’s vendors concerned about their own fates. Karim Salabi is executive vice president of marketing for all of RONA’s stores across Canada. He provides an update on what’s going on with Réno-Dépôt—and some assurance for vendors: “You might have 30 different types of a product, but only seven SKUs that really sell well. So make sure you have those seven in stock at all times.” For vendors selling into Réno-Dépôt, it will mean more volume for fewer lines. “But instead of taking the whole line we’ll take the products that appeal to the Réno-Dépôt customer—the contractor and the heavy DIYer. Those are the focus of Réno-Dépôt.” In addition, a separate buying team has been created to manage the Réno-Dépôt inventory. Some of the members of this team came from within the RONA ranks; others were new hires. The Réno-Dépôt buying team has been separated from RONA’s other head office teams within the Boucherville, QC, head offices, and it is dedicated solely to stocking Réno-Dépôt’s shelves and managing its strategy. “We want to be thinking differently, buying differently, and merchandising it differently,” says Salabi.

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______________________________________________________________________ IN MEMORIAM: Bob Mondy passes away   WINNIPEG — We must sadly report that Robert G. (Bob) Mondy passed away on May 1. Bob played a major role at Sexton Group, when owner Ken Sexton brought Bob on as general manager when the group was founded in 1985. Bob was instrumental in the growth of the Sexton Group and an icon in the industry until he retired in 2009. A man who combined fairness and kindness in both personal and professional matters, he was also a great friend and supporter of HARDLINES.

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Allroc parent’s profits up on smaller revenue   CALGARY — Superior Plus Corp., the diversified business with divisions in energy, chemicals and construction materials, enjoyed an improvement in its gross profit in the first quarter, even as overall revenue shrank. Revenue dipped to $1.05 billion from $1.07 billion, while gross profit was up to $253.1 million, from $238.1 million. Its Construction Products Distribution division operates the Winroc banner and utilizes its Allroc business for distribution in Canada. Gross profit was slightly higher than a year ago, going from $44.0 million to $45.1 million as improved average selling prices and modestly higher average sales margins offset reduced sales volumes. Revenue from gypsum specialty distribution (GSD) was up, reaching $123.5 million from $121.1 million; however, gypsum sales were lower as a result of reduced sales in Canada. This was due in part to a reduction of branch locations as a result of restructuring activities completed throughout 2012. The company has been rationalizing its points of sale, and exited the Atlantic market altogether last year. A slowdown at the beginning of the year in new housing starts and general construction also affected sales negatively. The reduction in Canadian sales volumes was offset, in part, by higher U.S. sales volumes, as the market there sees some improvements in house construction. Gypsum sales margins benefited from improved board pricing and the withdrawal from less profitable markets. Commercial and industrial insulation (C&I) sales volumes were modestly lower than in the first quarter of 2012, slipping to $63.0 million from $63.1 million. The company blamed its “end-use markets,” calling them “challenging.” In addition, volumes were impacted by severe winter weather conditions in parts of the U.S. East and Midwest, which had an impact on the timing of various construction projects. Superior expects business conditions in 2013 for its Construction Products Distribution business to be similar to 2012, with slightly improving conditions in the U.S. and lower residential construction in Canada. Superior continues to see difficult market conditions in both the residential and commercial segments in Canada and the U.S, although the U.S. residential market continues to show signs of improvement.

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Sears to unveil franchise program at Vegas show HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL — Sears is at this year’s National Hardware Show this week featuring a new franchise program for its Hometown and Outlet Stores. Calling it a “mini-showroom” franchise opportunity, Scott Nichols, director of franchise business development for Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc., is exhibiting at booth 3437. The “mini-showroom” allows hardware and related retailers to insert a small showroom with appliances into their existing store. Each showroom is equipped with an internet kiosk where employees can show customers products, price match with other retailers, and place special orders. While the program will available in the U.S. to start, the company is reportedly looking to roll it out in Canada in the future. Sears also offers franchising opportunities through its Sears Appliance & Hardware Stores and Sears Outlet models. “We’re also excited about the new, smaller hardware store franchise opportunity we will be offering to existing owners of either hardware franchisees or independent store owners,” Nichols added.

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Product Showcase


Classified Ads

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 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 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 for more details. If interested, please forward your resume only. WD-40 Company (Canada) Ltd. P.O. Box 220 Etobicoke, Ontario M9C 4V3 Fax: (416) 622-8096 E-mail: We thank all applicants, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted  


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