November 21, 2011, Volume xvii, #44
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” —Martin Luther King, Jr. (American clergyman and civil rights activist, 1929-1968)
HOLIDAY PRINTING SCHEDULE: Please note, Faithful Reader, that we will publish HARDLINES just once next month. There will be an issue on Dec. 12, but no issues on Dec. 5, 19, or 26. We are in the office up to Christmas, working on the Annual Market Share Report and the next issue of HHIQ. Back to our regular weekly schedule on Jan. 2, 2012. —Michael
Lowe's and Home Depot see sales rise, profits mixed
MOORESVILLE , NC — Despite the slow economy in the U.S., the world’s two largest home improvement retailers managed to squeeze out higher sales in the latest quarter. However, the number-two player, Lowe’s Cos., suffered a drop in profits, while Home Depot was up in both sales and earnings.
Lowe’s had third-quarter net earnings of $225 million, down 44.3% from the same period a year ago. For the nine-month year-to-date, net earnings decreased 12.1% to $1.52 billion. Store closings and discontinued projects had a negative impact on the earnings. Sales for the quarter, however, actually increased 2.3% to $11.9 billion from $11.6 billion in 3Q 2010. For the nine-month period, sales were up 0.6% to $38.6 billion. Same-store sales for the third quarter increased 0.7% but were down 1.0% year-to-date.
Home Depot, on the other hand, saw its profits rise in the third quarter. Net earnings hit $934 million, up 12% from $834 million in the same period of fiscal 2010. For the third quarter of fiscal 2011, diluted earnings per share increased 17.6% from the prior year.
Sales for the third quarter reached $17.3 billion, a 4.4% increase. Same-store sales were positive 4.2%, and same-store sales for U.S. stores were positive 3.8%.
“Our third quarter was driven by strength in our core categories and storm-related sales as well as strong operating performance,” said Frank Blake, Home Depot 's chairman & CEO.
Looking ahead for the full year, Lowe’s projects that total sales for 2011 will increase 2-3%. This year will include a 53rd week, which is expected to increase total sales by approximately 1.5%. The company expects same-store sales to decline by about 1%. Hom e Depot offers a similar forecast, anticipating that fiscal 2011 sales to be up approximately 2.5% and diluted earnings per share will grow by about 18% for the year.
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BMR dealers write orders at latest show
QUEBEC CITY — The mood was upbeat at the latest buying expo of BMR. The buying group, which is also a full-line wholesaler providing hardware and building materials to its 190-plus dealers, is celebrating its 45th anniversary. And despite coming to the end of a year where most dealers, in and out of Quebec, will be lucky to match last year’s sales, BMR dealers are nevertheless looking ahead with enough optimism to generate purchases.
“The great thing is that the vendors are taking orders,” says Bruno Baldessari, retail project director at BMR. “That’s the basis of a strong buying show.”
Like its competitor Chalifour Canada, which held a show of its own two weeks previously in Montreal, the ability to offer a wide range of services has become very important to this group. And like the Chalifour show before it, those services were featured front and centre as one entered this show. Glass cases around this area featured new products, as well.
BMR featured an “Agrizone” again at this year’s show. Introduced last year, it showcases a range of products suited for dealers serving rural and farm markets. “Clothing is by far the biggest category here,” Baldessari says. Other strong categories include equine and pet food.
“We focus a lot on the front end of the store,” he continues. “The dealers who have combined that into their stores have done well.” The right mix of front and back end is different for each store, he adds, but insists BMR’s hardware offerings have generally helped his dealers. “The ones who are doing more retail are doing better overall.”
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Ace and Pro both have a place in Chalifour's offering
MONTREAL — Following years of aggressive promotion, Ace now has 145 branded stores in Canada. Most of them are in the province of Quebec, the result of a concerted effort over the past few years to convert them from the Pro banner or from un-bannered independents that had been serviced historically by Chalifour.
And while six more dealers converted to Ace this past year, the Pro banner is still flown by 32 dealers. Nor are there any imminent plans to stop supporting Pro, says Andrew Allen, vice-president of sales and operations for Chalifour Canada, which, through its parent company, TIM-BR MARTS Ltd., owns and manages Ace in this country. “We leave that decision up to the individual dealer,” he says.
However, Ace is still getting the big push. At the recent Chalifour buying expo, held here at the end of October, 800 new Ace-branded products were introduced. Many are coming directly from the Ace warehouse, while some are available from Canadian vendors supplying through Ace. In fact, Ace dealers in this country have “full access” to the Ace catalogue, says Randy Martin, vp – hardware for Chalifour Canada.
While the Ace products have a place in the Chalifour offering, they are considered on a case-by-case basis, says Martin. “If the existing Ace product and supply chain makes sense for Canada, we’ll adopt it. But if it doesn’t make sense for Canada, we turn to Canadian suppliers.”
Chalifour Canada, he adds, deals with about 500 hardware and LBM vendors and offers 35,000 SKUs.
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Castle adds dealers
MISSISSAUGA , ON — At Castle Building Centres Group Ltd., seven new members have joined, in both its Castle and commercial (CBS) divisions.
On the Castle side, representing traditional building centre dealers, Matériaux Manic in Baie Comeau, QC, has joined. With more than 20 years of experience in the retail and commercial segment of the lumber, building materials, and hardware industry, owner Michel Charette opened his new facility in June 2011. Another new member, Saumarez Quincaillerie ltée in Saumarez, NB, is a family-owned business operated by Nathalie Basque that was recently remodeled.
Matériaux de Construction Jean Guy Dube inc. in Mont-Joli, QC, is operated by the second generation of the Dube family, son Karl. Primarily focused on building materials, Karl intends to increase his hardware business through Castle’s relationship with the U.S. distributor Orgill. Ian Roberts Building Materials Ltd. in Portage La Prairie, MB, has been in business since 1997. Owner Ian Roberts also chose Castle to access Castle’s hardware lines through Orgill.
On the CBS side, Castle has signed Provincial Partitions Ltd., Mississauga, ON, owned by Todd Frankland. The company specializes in partition systems in commercial and industrial projects. New Concept Walls and Ceilings Supply out of Edmonton is a startup that specialize in the gypsum, insulation, steel, and acoustical ceiling categories.
Custom Walls & Ceilings Supply, Prince George, BC, has been serving the market there for 30 years in the acoustical ceiling, gypsum, insulation, and steel segment.
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Our St. Jacobs Merchandise-LBM department currently has the following opportunity...
Commodity TraderSoftwood Lumber & Structural Panels
You will be responsible for the sales and operations of the Kitchener LBM Distribution Centre to achieve a profitable return for Home Hardware Stores Limited. You will review inventory and sales, prepare yearly budgets, negotiate pressure treated lumber programs and rebate and buying programs, and contact vendors for up-to-date prices and trends. You will also provide information and buying programs for secondary commodity products and advise Home LBM Dealers on market conditions and assist them in making buying decisions.
Your five to ten years of retail and/or wholesale business experience is coupled with post-secondary courses in business and negotiation. You have full knowledge of softwood lumber products; strong eastern and western mill connections are essential. Highly motivated and able to problem solve, you are an excellent communicator, are able to analyze economic and commodity reports, and have solid computer skills including Microsoft Word and Excel.
We offer a competitive salary and great working conditions. If you are interested in becoming part of Home Hardware, please submit your resume quoting Commodity Trader to: Dayna Weber, Recruitment, Human Resources Department, Home Hardware Stores Limited, 34 Henry St W, St. Jacobs, ON N0B 2N0 Fax: 519-664-4711 Phone: 519-664-4975 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Microsoft Products Only)
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