If the format looks incorrect or you would like to print this newsletter why not view the PDF version? This week's password is "table" please note our "fair play" policy still applies to printed and .pdf documents.
Michael McLarney, President & Editor mike@hardlines.ca Beverly Allen, Publisher bev@hardlines.ca John Caulfield, Contributing Editor Phone: 416-489-3396
November 17, 2008, Vol. xiv, #43
In This Issue

“There are many beautiful things, but the silent beauty of a flower surpasses them all.” —Sofu Teshigahara (Japanese floral artist and founder of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana, 900-1979)

RONA sales up, profits down in 3Q
BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — RONA, Canada’s largest home improvement retailer, had a 2.3% increase in its consolidated sales in its third quarter, to $1,381.7 million, from $1,350.5 million in 2007. Same-store sales, however, decreased by 2.3% in the quarter, reflecting a drop in consumer spending related to the decline in consumer confidence.Net earnings dropped 10.2% to $53.4 million. Excluding $6.4 million in extraordinary items, which included the cost of closing some stores, net earnings were $59.8 million, or 0.6% higher than the $59.4 million in 2007. Operating income was also down, by 5.0% to $115.5 million. Profitability was positively impacted by improved operating efficiency and lower inventory — both aspects of the company’s “PEP” program, an initiative to improve results through 2008. RONA performed well in many parts of the country — for example, in Quebec, investments in updating its Réno-Dépôt stores are paying dividends and same-store sales rose 2%, although the Ontario and Alberta markets have dragged. The company’s independent dealers in smaller markets across the country also fared well.


PRO dealers get chance to switch to Ace
MONTREAL — At its recent dealer show for Ace and PRO dealers, held here, PRO Retail Services personnel introduced the new programs that will support the Ace banner in Canada.That support includes management of the banners by a dealer development team from TIM-BR MART. In a meeting during the show, Josée Desrosiers, sales manager, and Steve Stremecki, vice-president retail services, for TIM-BR MART, outlined plans for the two banners. They talked about the thrust of TIM-BR MART’s involvement and Stremecki offered his company’s vision for the Quebec stores — one that invited them to embrace Ace. The PRO dealers in attendance were overwhelmingly positive about this option, and many of them will make the switch to Ace. However, PRO will continue to be supported, and there will be a PRO flyer in 2009. TIM-BR MART is reportedly making gains in Quebec, as the new TIM-BR MART recruitment team for that province, under Desrosiers, adds new members that will carry the Ace banner. Desrosiers’ team is also implementing the PRO and Ace store-branding program in conjunction with TIM-BR MART’s retail programs.


IRLY’s wholesale biz benefiting from TIM-BR MART alliance
SURREY, B.C. — The union of IRLY Distributors with the larger buying group, TIM-BR MART, has resulted in greater purchasing volumes for both sides, but IRLY has been taking advantage of a further benefit, one that is helping drive its wholesale business.IRLY joined TIM-BR MART last fall, but retains its own offices, store identity, and — most significantly — its own distribution centre. From that DC, IRLY not only supplies its own members, but has expanded its operations to provide fill-in lines to independents from other banners, as well through a division called Western Hardware. The alliance with TIM-BR MART has opened the door for Western to supply those TIM-BR MART-bannered dealers on a more consistent basis. Garry Anderson, executive vice-president and general manager of IRLY, says the alliance between the two groups has given IRLY the opportunity to “prove that we can do a good job for them.” He adds that the Western division has been able to buy better, “because of their volume on a lot of products.” Some of the lines that have been expanded under the new relationship include plumbing. “We just didn’t have the volume before,” says Anderson. “It just adds to the mix.” “The partnership is working great,” says Tim Urquhart, president of TIM-BR MART. “The IRLY truck is going out weekly and many of our dealers are now getting delivery.” Western started more than a decade ago selling to fewer than a dozen dealers. It now makes deliveries to more than 100 independents. Through its alliance with TIM-BR MART, Western Hardware is now a member of Independent Hardware Dealers Association (IHDA), along with Independent Lumber Dealers Co-operative. Urquhart says there is room to continue growing the relationship between IRLY and TIM-BR MART. “Everything is open right now.” 


Zellers, Target cater to cheap chic appeal
BRAMPTON, Ont. — Two recent reports indicate that Wal-Mart is not the only retailer hoping to cash in on the economic downturn. Target has begun a marketing campaign that plays on the latter half of its slogan, “Expect more. Pay less.” The notion of paying less will figure prominently in its promotions well into 2009. The Minneapolis-based retail giant has started a marketing campaign that will be dominant for the rest of this year and in 2009.The retailer’s biggest competitor is Wal-Mart, which sells on the basis of low prices. Target offers a more style- and service-oriented shopping experience than its larger rival — and is sometimes perceived as higher priced. Target’s latest efforts are designed to overcome this perception. Meanwhile, north of the border, Mark Foote, the new president and CEO of Canada’s home-grown discount mass merchant, Zellers, believes his company is well-positioned to capture cash-strapped consumers’ share of mind and wallet. According to the Globe and Mail, Foote reports that Zellers is already enjoying a lift in sales, as the Canadian economy has slowed right down. “As a value retailer, a bad economy is a good thing,” Foote was quoted as saying. He took over the top job at Zellers, a division of Hudson’s Bay Co., in August following the purchase of Hbc by the U.S. holding company that also owns Lord & Taylor. Like Target, Zellers faces its stiffest competition from Wal-Mart. Foote has had experience on that front, however. He was at Loblaw, the giant grocery chain, for two years previously, as it battled to ward off the effects of Wal-Mart’s incursion into grocery. Before that, he was president of Canadian Tire Retail.



National Account Manager

Here we grow again!

Graham & Brown Limited supplies some of the largest and most well known retailers around the world with innovative home enhancement products designed to meet our consumers' needs. In Canada, the company sells its’ Wallpaper and Art products through well recognized retailers like Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Home Outfitters, Lowe’s and Kent.

Rapid growth in Canada requires us to seek a candidate to fill the position of National Account Manager to manage and grow several of these key National customers. This senior role is an excellent opportunity for a highly motivated, experienced and enthusiastic individual looking for career advancement in a fast paced, entrepreneurial environment.

Key Responsibilities

- Exceed sales & profit targets by growing current products & introducing new products. - Develop & implement a Business Plan for target accounts. Present to retail buyers. - Achieve results through strategic Category Management with assigned accounts. - Work & communicate effectively with all support functions - Monitor & report on sales & profit by account as well as forecasts & inventory. - Manage account expenses to ensure that activities are carried out on Budget. - Analyze & report on POS with customers utilizing their in-house reporting systems.


- 10+ years experience as a National Account Manager selling consumer goods to National accounts in the Hardware/Home Improvement/DIY segment

- Experience working in the Canadian DIY market

- University or College graduate - A proven track record of partnering with retail buying teams to drive sales - Experience working with retailers & their POS reporting systems (i.e. Retail Link, Dart) This is a senior sales role within Graham & Brown. We offer a generous compensation package commensurate with this senior position that consists of a base salary, bonus program, car allowance and comprehensive benefit plan. The company is located in Oakville just off the QEW at Trafalgar Rd. Interested applicants should submit their resumes along with compensation expectations to gary.gill@grahambrowncdn.ca. No phone calls please.

Senior Product Manager

Task Tools is a highly respected entrepreneurial leader in the manufacturing and distribution of power hand tools, accessories, abrasives and leather goods. For the past 5 years, the company has achieved its strategic objectives and enjoyed double digit growth in the retail channel. Growth has been a catalyst for recruiting a creative, forward-thinking Senior Product Manager who can lead a team and drive product innovation, implement effective marketing strategies and act as a liaison between customers, sales and manufacturing. Determining what the consumer needs, developing it and marketing it, is mission critical. You are an experienced product manager with a tremendous depth of marketing expertise. Your success has been built within the retail channel. Your strategic, forwarding-thinking mindset, entrepreneurial style and commitment to teamwork make you a valued and respected manager. Explore by contacting Tyler Cheyne or Kataneh Sherkat at 604-685-0261 or apply online at www.rayberndtson.ca/en/careers/8038.


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 $2.75 per word for three weeks in the classifieds. To place your ad, call Brady Peever at 416-489-3396 or email: brady@hardlines.ca
To ensure you receive your HARDLINES newsletter each week, please add bev@HARDLINES.ca to your address book.

Did your email system make this newsletter unreadable? You can read it online instead. call us to find out how.

Publishing Details: HARDLINES is published weekly (except monthly in December and August) by HARDLINES Inc. 360 Dupont Street Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5R 1V 9 © 2008 by HARDLINES Inc. HARDLINES™ the electronic newsletter www.HARDLINES.ca ; Phone: 416.489.3396; Fax: 416.489.6154 Michael McLarney - Editor & President - mike@HARDLINES.ca Beverly Allen, Publisher - bev@HARDLINES.ca Brady Peever - Circulation Manager - brady@HARDLINES.ca The HARDLINES "Fair Play" Policy:Reproduction in whole or in part is very uncool and strictly forbidden and really and truly against the law. So please, play fair! Call for information on multiple subscriptions or a site license for your company. We do want as many people as possible to read HARDLINES each week - but let us handle your internal routing from this end! Subscription:$285 (Canadian subscribers add $14.25 GST = $299.25 per year/ GST #13987 0398 RT).Secondary subscriptions at the same office are only $46 (Canadian subscribers add $2.30 GST = $48.30).Ask about our reduced rate for branch offices.You can pay online by VISA/MC/AMEX at our secure website or send us money. Please make cheque payable to HARDLINES.


The Hardlines Retail Report
THE ANNUAL RETAIL REPORT IS HERE: How big is the industry? How fast has it grown in the past decade? What are our forecasts for growth in 2008 and 2009? What's the lowdown on the key retail players? All this and so much more. In handy PPT format, featuring more than 140 slides, 30 charts, graphs and maps and tons of other cool stuff! Click here to order your Copy today — Beverly
TORONTO — Canadian Tire has opened two stores, one in Welland, Ont., and another in Orleans, Ont., that are the first of the retailer’s “Smart” store format. This concept features significant changes that leverage Canadian Tire’s “heritage” businesses and product mix, as well as a Mark's Work Wearhouse. The stores will also be the first to feature grocery items. The stores, which feature high walls and ceilings, reintroduce the “racetrack” layout and feature an expanded sporting goods department.BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — RONA inc. is serious about its goal of becoming the industry leader in sustainable development. Environmental spokesperson Dr. David Suzuki will speak at its upcoming Spring Tradeshow. The show is also RONA’s first outside of its home province of Quebec. The 63rd edition of the show will be held in Toronto at the Metro Convention Centre Nov. 21-23. It will showcase 2,000 new products and 300 exhibitors under the theme, “Building Canada's Future”. BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Profits were up 10% for Wal-Mart in its latest quarter, as cash-strapped consumers turn to the world’s largest retailer for low prices. Profits reached $3.14 billion, or 80 cents a share, for the three months ended Oct. 31. That was up from $2.86 billion, or 70 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. OAK BROOK, Ill. —Ace Hardware Corp. reported an 18.1% increase in net income, to $26.4 million, for the three months ended Sept. 27, on wholesale sales of $969.2 million that were down 0.8%. Through the first nine months of its fiscal year, Ace generated wholesale sales of $2.9 billion, down 3.5% from the same period a year ago, and increased its profit by 7% to $70.6 million. Same-store sales were flat in the third quarter, during which it activated 23 new stores and cancelled the memberships of 54. At the end of its latest quarter, Ace members operated 4,564 outlets, compared with 4,633 at the end of 2007. Sales in the U.S. saw declines in the tools, paint sundries, and housewares categories. HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp., through its wholly-owned subsidiary SHLD Acquisition Corp., has acquired 326,700 common shares of Sears Canada Inc. on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Sears Holdings now beneficially owns and controls 77,683,290 common shares, representing approximately 72.2% of the outstanding shares of Sears Canada. They were purchased for an average price of $16.37 per share. This acquisition represents 0.3% of the outstanding shares of Sears Canada. Sears Holdings says it may acquire additional common shares of Sears Canada in future, depending on general market and economic conditions, prices and volumes of shares available, and other factors. MOORESVILLE, N.C. — In both the U.S. and Canada, Lowe’s has begun its holiday advertising campaign. South of the border, it’s one that focuses on the in-store shopping experience. Using the tag, “Let’s holiday”, Lowe’s has gone for a “warm-and-fuzzy” approach, rather than focusing on price (something that remains an appealing hook for Wal-Mart’s shoppers). The ad campaign in the U.S. is by BBDO. Lowe’s spent $425 million on ad spending in the U.S. in 2007 and $274 million up to August of this year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. CHICAGO — For October, Grainger reported that daily sales grew 4% vs. October 2007. Sales were negatively affected by approximately two percentage points due to foreign exchange. Grainger Branch’s sales were up 5%, while the Canadian Acklands-Grainger division was down 3%.


At T.S. Simms & Co. Ltd., Paul Pettersone has been appointed as Ontario sales representative. He brings with him more than 25 years of sales experience in the Canadian hardware industry.
Housing starts seasonally adjusted fell 4.2% from September to October, reflecting declines in both single-detached and multiple starts. Urban multiples declined in October by 6.0% to 115,300 units while urban single starts decreased 1.1% to 69,300 units. However, year to date, estimated actual starts fell by only 1.6%. (CMHC)Quebecers intend to spend at Christmas, though not with the same fervour that they did in 2007. A new study by the Retail Council of Quebec reveals that 71% of households will spend as much as last year, although that’s down from 81% last year, while 64% of respondents will spend more than last year, down from 69% in 2007. The survey shows that Quebec households expect to spend an average of $644 this year (vs. $681 in 2007); 59% of that amount will be spent on gifts ($380) and 41% ($264) on receptions, meals and beverages.
The CHHMA’s annual Industry Cocktail in Montreal will be held Dec. 2 at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum — the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History in Old Montreal. The Museum features artifacts from the First Nations of the Montreal region and depicts the story of how the French and British regimes influenced the history of this territory. You can register at www.chhma.ca under "CHHMA Events". A block of rooms has been reserved at the Marriott Chateau Champlain.
Sales professional - established relationships with key clients in the hardware, building materials, and paint industries, team player, superior business development skills, competitive, enjoys challenges.

Click here to download this Resumé

Hardlines Products
Hardlines Quarterly Report (New Report out now!) Hardlines Retail Report (Just released!)Hardlines Hot Product ShowcaseHardlines TV Free daily news updates

Did you know you can have this newsletter sent to someone else in your office for only $3.83 a month per person?

Click the link below to spread the news to your whole office!

click here to add additional subscribers now!