"Nobody told me there'd be days like these/strange days indeed." - John Lennon (1940-1980. Yeah, it's been that long)
vol. viii, #18 May 6, 2002  
* Tembec to file damage suit against U.S. softwood ruling * Canadian Tire launches its upscale housewares line * Réno-Dépôt chief named to top 40 list of executives * Home Hardware contractor events build awareness, loyalty *Hudson's Bay mounts co-ordinated branding campaign


...Home Depot's Urban store - an exclusive pictorial...An insider's look at Home Depot: executive interview with John Herbert, former vice-president of EXPO Stores, now Managing Director of the German Retail Hardware Association...If you're not staying on top of the latest changes in hardware/home improvement retailing, then you're not staying competitive..... CLICK HERE to find out more!
Toronto, ON - With an eye on customers' demand for better quality and more design choices, especially in the kitchen, Canadian Tire Corp. has finally unveiled its "Persona" line. The new brand marks a significant increase in CTC's presence in small appliances such as toasters, hand mixers and toaster ovens, with an emphasis on sleek, contemporary designs and extended warranties. The line, which is overseen by Peg Hunter, general merchandise manager, housewares, Canadian Tire, was introduced at the company's dealer show last September. It's part of CTC's strategy to go more upscale with everything from designer décor items by Laura Ashley and paint by Pratt & Lambert to more expensive bicycles and higher-end patio sets. The Persona line includes dinnerware, glassware, flatware, table cloths and pot holders, specialty gadgets and utensils and cookware, including an eight-piece stainless steel copper bottomed cookset. According to Canadian Tire Retail president Mark Foote, the idea for the line draws inspiration from Target Stores in the U.S., which goes more upscale than its chief competitor, Wal-Mart. Besides being available in CTC stores Canada-wide, a selection of the dinnerware, cookware, small appliances and flatware are also being made available on CTC's website: www.canadiantire.ca.
St. Jacob's, ON - Besides more than 100 stores, Home Hardware Stores also picked up Beaver Lumber's expertise in selling to contractors when it bought the chain in the Fall of 1999. One of Beaver's important customer programs, its contractor appreciation events, has been adapted for Home's dealers. This past winter alone, Home has put on its "Pro Show" contractor appreciation events in Nanaimo, BC, Calgary, AB, Saskatoon, SK and Moncton, NB. In each location, the local Home Hardware dealers promote the event together and pull their respective trade customers to a local venue, such as a community hall. The Pro Show in Moncton was the first time for that city, and attracted almost 1,000 contractors and builders, who were bussed in from as far as four hours away. Not only do the events build sales of innovative products featured by exhibiting vendors, but they build awareness among the trades of the size and clout of Home Hardware. "Contractors don't necessarily realize how big Home Hardware actually is until they come out to these shows and see the kind of buying power we have," says Joe Jacklin, contractor communications and marketing manager at Home Hardware. About eight Pro Shows are held each year, usually in either the late Fall or Winter. "Next year, our goal is to have them all in the Winter, before the dealers come up to their really busy season," says Jacklin. Home has used the addition of the Beaver stores as part of its strategy to move beyond the image of a neighbourhood hardware store ("Home of the Handyman") and really leverage its strength as a chain with a strong network of home centres and building centres ("Help is close to Home"). With almost 400 of these stores, now all operating either as Home Hardware Building Centre (for home centre-type stores) or Home Building Centre (for more traditional yards), Home's building centre dealers represent the single largest buying group in the country.
Montréal, QC - Réno-Dépôt's president and CEO has only been on the job since last October, but Sylvain Toutant has already been distinguished as one of Canada's leading young business leaders. Toutant has been named to this year's Top Forty under 40, organized by Caldwell Partners and the Globe and Mail. It ranks winners on vision and leadership, innovation, achievement, community involvement and strategy for growth. More than 1,200 candidates were considered. Toutant started with Groupe Val Royale in 1987, when it was a chain of seven traditional building centres in the Montréal area. Five years later, Toutant was part of the team that re-invented the company as a big box chain, under the Réno-Dépôt name. It currently has 14 Réno-Dépôt stores in Québec and five Building Box outlets in Ontario. A sixth will open in Windsor, ON on May 18.
Toronto, ON - An initiative to enable Canada's top buyers to share their insights with the vendor community has struck a nerve in the wake of intense retail consolidation - the event has sold right out. With five companies comprising almost half of all retail home improvement sales in this country, the need to know how to reach their buyers effectively and professionally was identified as more critical than ever by the team at Hardlines. Hence the establishment of the first-ever Meet the Buyers Seminar, which will be held May 15 in Toronto. Another event, being planned in Montréal for sometime in late Fall of this year, is already getting registrations. (More details to come on this one! - Michael)
Toronto, ON - One day after the U.S. ruled to impose crippling penalties on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S., Tembec Inc. has announced it will file a $200 million damage claim under the rules of NAFTA. Under Chapter 11 of NAFTA rules, says the company, a company is entitled to monetary damages "when international norms are not respected and Canadian companies are not treated fairly and equitably." According to a CBC story last Friday, Tembec CEO Frank Dottori regards the U.S. action as nothing more than a ploy to reduce the market share of Canadian softwood. "The United States is contemptuously disregarding the principles of free and fair trade embodied in NAFTA in supporting this course of action. The action is tantamount to expropriation of our markets. This is a violation of the Free Trade Agreement and we are seeking compensation," he was quoted as saying. In future appeals, Dottori expects that bi-national NAFTA panels will find the imposition of countervailing and anti-dumping duties do no comply with U.S. law. In Tembec's case, those duties will total 29%, slightly higher than the 27.22% average across the industry.
Canadian Tire 31.85 18.50 30.85
Canfor 12.60 8.08 10.25
Emco 12.09 3.35 11.25
Goodfellow 11.90 8.00 11.45
Home Depot 53.73 30.30 46.50
Hudson's Bay 20.10 12.50 13.65
Lowe's Cos. 48.88 24.99 43.61
Sears Canada 25.00 12.50 24.20
Sodisco-Howden 2.63 0.75 1.82
Taiga Forest 12.75 7.35 12.00
West Fraser 44.42 26.13 40.50
Matériaux À Bas Prix (Bargain Building Supplies) will open its 12th store on May 9, this one in Laval, QC. The independent chain has flourished by offering low prices on both new and used building materials. It has 10 stores in Québec and two in Ontario, with total sales of about $18 million. Shades of Wal-Mart! Loblaw Cos. has announced it will expand its President's Choice brand to include everything from hardware, paint, home office supplies and even gasoline as it searches for ways to expand its market share in a mature grocery industry. (And ready itself for a possible takeover down the road by Wal-Mart? Just wondering - Editor) Loblaw wants to increase sales by 8-9% annually over the next five years. In Western Canada, as much as 35% of its superstores are already devoted to general merchandise. Appliances were the fastest growing category for Lowe's Cos. last year, with sales up 30% in 2001 to US$2.5 billion. Appliance sales rose US$582 million and made up 11% of the company's $22.1 billion in total sales last year. Hudson's Bay Co. has taken steps to consolidate its brand among its three banners, The Bay, Zellers and Home Outfitters, and present them as different parts of one company serving customers through "multiple lifestyle formats." Discrete credit card and rewards programs are now combined under the HBC brand, a strategy that will translate on the company's web presence, www.hbc.com, as well. A strong economy and a mild winter were factors that gave Emco Ltd. a net income of $3.8 million, compared with a net loss of $4 million for the same period in 2001. Sales for the quarter were $273 million, an increase of 6%. The Zellers Friends of the Family Fund has made a donation of more than $2.2 million to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The funds, which will help fund research in cystic fibrosis, were raised through Zellers employee and customer efforts. Wal-Mart continues to do battle with unions. This time, it will stand trial in more than 15 locations in Texas, and California to face federal complaints by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union for violating workers' rights. In an effort to curb complaints of safety violations, workers in College Station,TX were reportedly told that any fines imposed for these violations would adversely affect their store bonuses. In Lake Elsinore, CA workers who sought union representation were allegedly subjected to threats of job loss by company officials.
Carl Grittner, former president of Revelstoke Home Centres, and one of the industry's really nice people, has been inducted into the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturers Association's "Industry Hall of Fame." Grittner retired after the Revy was taken over by Rona Inc. last year. The official presentation of the award will take place on May 28th at the CHHMA's annual Western Golf Tournament at the Furry Creek Golf & Country Club in Lions Bay, BC. (Call the CHHMA for more info: 416-282-0022) At CanWel Distribution Ltd., Sarah Mastrangelo has joined as inside sales representative in the Brampton, ON office. Prior to joining CanWel, she spent five years as branch administrator at Cameron Ashley Building Products. In her new position, she is focussing on box store accounts … Navindra Hansraj has joined CanWel as assistant manager inside sales, also in Brampton. Prior to joining CanWel, he was inside sales representative with Weyerhaeuser for more than six years. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a BA in Political Science and Sociology. In his new position, he will be main inside contact for key accounts. (905-457-8500)
Department store sales in March were down 0.4% from February, but up 8.4% over March 2001. Sales in the first quarter were 4.8% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2001. This is the largest quarter-over-quarter advance since the third quarter of 1999. In the first quarter of 2002, businesses and government spent $7.2 billion on non-residential building in Canada, says Statistics Canada. That's up 0.7% from the fourth quarter of 2001 and up 3.4% from the first quarter of 2001. Americans are loosening their purse strings, which is helping turn the economy around, says the U.S. Commerce Department. Consumer spending rose 0.4% last month to $7.29 trillion after a 0.6% in February. Manufacturers saw inventories level off and 25% of them expect to ratchet up their output in the months ahead, says the April Quarterly Business Conditions Survey from Statistics Canada. The transportation equipment, primary metals and wood product industries are particularly upbeat.
"If all these big boxes keep lowering prices, how come everything isn't free already?" - Roger Ashby, morning DJ on Toronto radio station CHUM-FM chattering last Friday.
****HARDLINES MARKETPLACE**** Check out Hardlines Classifieds on the web: https://hardlines.ca/html/classifieds_new.asp BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES PREQ. REBATES, GMROI, FOIDS - these are powerful concepts in your work. Asset allocation, diversification, Sharpe ratio - and these are key concepts in investing your money to "retire in style." Call or email me to arrange a confidential portfolio review and see how we can work together to grow your hard-earned savings to "higher plateaus." Mark Flor, BEng., MBA - Investment Advisor, BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. (member CIPF), Tel. 416-359-7649, Email: mark.flor@nbpcd.com ***********************************************************************************   AGENTS, REPS WANTED: W. H. Maze Company, (Maze Nails). This Illinois based manufacturer of specialty nails is seeking a sales agency in Canada. Targeted markets for Maze Nails include lumber yards, building contractors and the manufactured housing industry. Tom Koch, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Maze Nails, will be in the Toronto vicinity for business appointments the week of May 13th, 2002. He will also be attending the "Meet the Buyers Breakfast Seminar", sponsored by HARDLINES on May 15th. You can learn more about Maze Nails by visiting their website at www.mazenails.com. If you would like to meet with Mr. Koch, please contact Jeffrey Johnson of the State of Illinois Canada Office at (416) 695-9888. The email address is illinois@iltrade.toronto.on.ca . *********************************************************************************** HELP WANTED REGIONAL SALES MANAGER: Exchange-A-Blade Ltd., a national manufacturer and distributor of power tool accessories, is looking for a Regional Sales Manager for the Ontario/Atlantic Region. We are seeking a results oriented, sales professional with excellent communication and interpersonal skills, capable of mentoring and growing market share through a team of franchise distributors. The ideal candidate will be a self motivated, team player with experience in the hardware and home improvement industry. Please forward your resumé via email to: mrichardsen@exchangeablade.com or by fax to M. Richardsen (604) 526-1413. *********************************************************************************** NORAL INSTORE: Don’t leave your products’ display management to chance! Let Noral Instore take care of your instore merchandising. Visit http://www.noralmarketing.com or call Al Vanderveen at 519-439-6800 ext. 201 ********************************************************************************** SELL YOUR COMPANY - OR BUY ONE - WITH HARDLINES CLASSIFIEDS! DO YOUR EXECUTIVE SEARCH, FIND NEW LINES OR GET NEW REPS IN THE HARDLINES MARKETPLACE. ONLY $18 PER LINE FOR THREE WEEKS! TO PLACE YOUR AD, CALL US AT 416-489-3396 OR EMAIL: bev@hardlines.ca
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