May 7, 2012, Volume xviii, #19
“About the time we can make the ends meet
somebody moves the ends.”
―Herbert Hoover (31st President of the United States, 1874–64)
National Hardware Show attracts independents
LAS VEGAS ― Canadian retailers, buyers, and vendors landed in Sin City this past week for the National Hardware Show and the NRHA Convention. The combined event managed to draw more than 20,000 people, with early estimates by show organizers that attendance was up slightly from the previous year.
While some vendors who were exhibiting might dispute that count, they nevertheless admitted that quality retailers and buyers came through the show floor, especially on day one. Those in attendance appeared to include a greater number of independents than ever before, as well. According to Sonya Ruff Jarvis, vice-president at Reed Exhibitions, which owns NHS, some 4,800 independent dealers were registered this year. Those independents enjoyed not just the benefits of new products on the show floor, but also the added attraction of a full ― free ― program of workshops hosted by the North American Retail Hardware Association. They also benefited from participation in a "Channel Leaders Club," which gave them VIP access to the show and to new product information.
While the U.S. economy continues to stumble, the mood overall was a positive one at this show, according to most attendees interviewed by HARDLINES.
Canadians were out in force again this year, as well. Two buyers from RONA, three from Kent, plus teams from Chalifour, Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, and other leading Canuck companies, were all walking the show.
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Lowe's Aussie buyers looking for vendors at NHS
LAS VEGAS ― At a meeting of the Worldwide DIY Council, a North America-wide trade association for DIY exporters, three buyers from Lowe’s new joint venture in Australia, called Masters, talked about their desire to connect with North American vendors during their visit to the National Hardware Show.
The Masters chain, a partnership with the country’s largest retailer, Woolworths, has grown to a dozen stores throughout Australia in just 35 weeks. That means the company is reaching the critical mass it needs to bring in container loads. James Allen, senior merchandising manager for hardware and garden, told HARDLINES, “We’re here to do business.”
As the number of Masters stores grows, so does the chain’s popularity. “We are becoming a real destination for tools,” said Allen, pointing out that the stores offer a range of entry level and high-end products, including well-known global brands, many of them new to Australia. As Masters gets bigger, its need for new suppliers is increasing. “The main reason I’m here is to see if I can get more support from North American suppliers,” he told the manufacturers in the room.
“We want to get more people involved. Each order means container load after container load.”
(If you missed that amazing meeting, you might want to learn more about the Worldwide DIY Council. Contact Jayne Seagrave, WDIYC president.)
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Lowe's Canada invests in kids with online building series
TORONTO ― Mag Ruffman, Canada’s original DIY celebrity (and long-time friend of HARDLINES), will star in a new online series in partnership with Lowe’s Canada. The Family Fun Projects pilot series, produced by Ruffman Entertainment Inc., will feature 20 kid-friendly building projects designed by Mag Ruffman for kids aged three and up. The first five projects are now live on lowes.ca/kidsvideos.
From chalkboard tables to hockey nets built with PVC pipe, Family Fun Projects gives families video instruction – plus free downloadable plans. “The videos are shot with real kids, not actors, and the plans are insanely detailed with tonnes of photos, because text without pictures makes learning frustrating, especially for kids,” says Ruffman, who also serves as series creator and producer.
Kids can learn clamping, gluing, sanding, driving screws, painting and taping. No worries, mom – adults do most of the cutting.
Ruffman and partner Daniel Hunter (executive producer) pitched the series to several television networks last year, but the liability issues around kids using tools became a barrier.
So they turned to Lowe’s Canada. “Lowe’s already conducts regular Saturday workshops for kids. They’re the only retailer that focuses on kids. They were quick to respond to our proposal and I’m really proud of this partnership,” says Ruffman, whose previous television series taught women and beginners to take on home repairs and build their own furniture.
Family Fun Projects will launch officially in mid-June when all 20 pilot videos are online.
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Home's new colour palette aims to simplify choices
BURFORD, ON — Home Hardware's own paint brand, Beauti-Tone, has partnered with Style at Home magazine to create the “Style at Home Country Colour Collection,” 50 shades that have been designed, says the company, to help take the guesswork out of finding the right paint colour.
While Beauti-Tone offers thousands of shades, the new collection, in nine palettes, is a “short list” of favourite colours to simplify the selection process. The colours were picked by Style at Home editor-in-chief Erin McLaughlin. The alliance with the home lifestyle magazine and the use of colour names such as Mugwump, Laval, and Beaudelaire, all reinforce an up-market shift for the Beauti-Tone brand by Home Hardware Stores.
“With thousands of colours to choose from, the decision can be overwhelming,” says Bev Bell, creative director, Beauti-Tone Paint and Home Products Division, Home Hardware Stores Limited. The new collection, she points out, aims to simplify that choice.
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Lowe's takes the competitive offensive
MOORESVILLE, NC ― Lowe’s is taking a number of strategic steps to improve its performance against its biggest rival, Home Depot. Lowe’s will invest in in-store technology and its online business in an attempt to win shoppers back.
“We recognized that a lot of our ills aren't just housing-related or macro-related; just some things we needed to fix ourselves,” Robert Hull, Lowe’s CFO, told Reuters.
Lowe’s online sales currently account for about 1% of total sales, but the company is hoping to increase that to 5% or even 10%. Lowe’s, which recently bought online home-goods chain ATG Stores, said more acquisitions have the potential to boost that business.
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Territory Sales Representative
Our client is a leader in supplying power tool accessories to retail lumber, home center, hardware and industrial accounts. To support their continued growth, the company is adding territory sales resources, in South-Western Ontario.
If you are a high-energy sales achiever, people oriented with exceptional communication skills and ready for the challenge of growing your own territory, please reply, promptly.
Ideal candidates will have a minimum of three years sales experience within the hardware industry, a sound track record of growing a territory and be comfortable with some overnight travel.
A comprehensive package including, salary, incentives, benefits and a company vehicle will be offered to the right individual.
Interested candidates should forward their resume to: email@example.com citing project # 4-25-2012.
Branch Manager - Halifax
Canada’s largest building products distributor requires a
Branch Manager at its Halifax Branch.
MUST HAVE - Min 5 years building products industry exp.
MUST HAVE - 3 years industry management exp.
MUST HAVE - knowledge of distribution & sales of branch
Selling commodity/building products an asset
Excellent communication skills, professional appearance
Travel within territory, relationship building abilities
Computer literate & thrive in entrepreneurial environment
Key Responsibilities: Maintain/develop client base & generate new business; Ensure maximum sales revenues, meet & exceed sales target; Oversee all aspects of Branch operations within budget; Oversee maintenance of property, buildings & equipment
SUBMIT COVER LETTER, RESUME & SALARY EXPECTATION TO:
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: May 15, 2012
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