vol. viii, #37 October 7, 2002

* TSC slows growth to absorb recent expansion * ILDC keeps eye on West for further expansion * Awards events find new venue during CHS * Home Depot opens first overseas buying offices

"Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance." - Proverbs (20:18)
Réno-Dépôt, Sodisco-Howden Group, Groupe BMR, and more! Don't miss our next "Meet the Buyers" Breakfast Seminar. This one will be in Montréal on October 18. Click here or call Nancy at 416-489-3396 for more details!!!

World Headquarters, Toronto - Changes at the Canadian Hardware and Building Materials Show in 2003 include a new venue for the Hardlines Newsmaker of the Year Awards and Show Breakfast.

The event, exclusive to Hardlines subscribers and guests, has outgrown the facility at the National Trade Centre at Exhibition Place in Toronto. Last year, more than 150 senior retail and vendor representatives filled a room at the show. Next year, it will move to the Sheraton Centre Hotel in downtown Toronto, to accommodate our ever-growing audience and to make room for an expanded program. The Newsmaker Awards will be presented in tandem with the Outstanding Retailer Awards, which are mounted by Hardware Merchandising magazine. The combined event will be called the first-ever Industry Awards Breakfast. Hardlines presents an award to one retailer and to one supplier who have made headlines over the past year. The Outstanding Retailer Awards recognize the accomplishments of dealers across Canada in six categories. "By joining forces, we hope to have a much larger, more prestigious event, while continuing to provide support to the show itself," says HM publisher Steve Payne. The event will be held at the Sheraton on Sunday, February 3, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Shuttles from the hotel will be available to take delegates to the show at no charge following the Breakfast.

Ajax, ON - Since the departure of Revy from its membership last year, the Independent Lumber Dealers Co-operative continues to seek new members. It historically had a mandate to have no more than 24 members. It currently has 22 members, and is looking to add slightly more than the old limit of 24. "We've made no bones of the fact that we are on the lookout for two or three more members," says Andrew Battagliotti, general manager of ILDC. With about $800 million in retail sales, Revy had once accounted for almost half the group's volume - and the representation it needed in Western Canada. Replacement of both the volumes and the Western presence have been taken up by the addition of two retailers, J&H Builders Warehouse in Saskatoon and Dauphin, MB-based McMunn & Yates. But ILDC continues to search for more potential members in the West. But that's not the only place new members could come from. The loss of Revy also meant the departure of Lansing in the Greater Toronto Area. "We're also looking in the GTA," says Battagliotti. While the departure of Revy represented lost volume to ILDC, the retailer was more DIY oriented than many of the group's other members, and their buying team very strong. Because of the strong contractor orientation of many of the group's new and existing members, LBM volumes are increasing and buying committees becoming more cohesive, says Battagliotti. In addition, ILDC has shored up its purchasing clout through its alliance with Sodisco-Howden Group within the Spancan buying group. The hardware wholesaler's involvement provides ILDC members with its "own warehouse," says Battagliotti.
London, ON - Like Home Depot, TSC Stores is slowing its expansion over the year ahead to concentrate on upgrading existing stores. TSC president Roy Carter finds the comparison amusing, but the growth of this Ontario chain of hardware and farm stores is serious business for him. In the last fiscal year, which ended in August, TSC opened three stores, in Cambridge, Peterborough and Bowmanville. The latter two stores represented the company's most eastern expansion to date. In addition, a test is under way of a hardware "boutique" format in Prout's Building Centre, a Castle dealer in Forest, ON. But the year ahead will be devoted to refurbishing at least three stores and relocating one or two. Carter does plan one store for next year. "We have a lot of customers driving for up to an hour and a half to our Chatham store, so we see a market for another store in Southwestern Ontario." While a site has yet to be finalized, it will be aimed at customers as far away as Windsor. Carter expects it to be up and running by October 2003.  
Mark your calendars: Next year's Hardlines Conference Series will be held September 3-4, 2003. If you're still kicking yourself for missing this year's amazing event, be sure and schedule in next year's dates now!!! (My thanks to everyone who found time in their busy schedules to attend this year's Conference Series. And my thanks to our sponsors. Click here to see the conference notes.- Michael)
Canadian Tire 33.15 21.31 28.75
Canfor 11.70 6.83 7.26
Emco 12.77 4.20 10.99
Goodfellow 13.99 8.00 10.50
Home Depot 52.60 23.18 26.21
Hudson's Bay 16.65 5.87 6.02
Lowe's Cos. 49.99 30.23 38.90
Sears Canada 25.10 13.03 15.75
Sodisco-Howden 2.20 0.75 1.28
Taiga Forest 7.00 4.55 6.15
West Fraser 44.42 26.36 30.40
Sodisco-Howden Group has signed a contract with its Victoriaville employee union, renewing the Victoriaville distribution centre's collective agreement for four years. The new agreement calls for wage increases every year and introduces a self-administered pension plan. Improved productivity measures are also outlined in the new employment contract. Home Depot has opened two purchasing offices in China, in Shanghai and Shenzhen. The retailer currently sources from 40 countries, with China the largest supplier by far. Proprietary brands, including Ryobi, Hampton Bay and Glacier Bay, are all made in China. About 7% of Home Depot's products are imported; the company intends to increase that to 10%. Costco Wholesale Corp. reported net sales for fiscal 2002 of US$37.99 billion, up 11% from US$34.14 billion a year earlier. Same-store sales increased 6%. Net sales for the fourth quarter rose 10% to US$12.05 billion from US$10.91 billion. While U.S. sales were up 7% for the year, international sales, of which Canada is a part, were up 2%. Bluelight.com, Kmart Corp.'s Internet service provider, has filed a motion with federal bankruptcy court seeking approval for its sale to United Online Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, United Online will pay about US$8.4 million for the assets of BlueLight.com's ISP and email service, which has about 165,000 subscribers. IBM will help move Wal-Mart suppliers to a standardized Internet-based data interchange system to help the retailer trim its expenses further. The system will change how purchase orders, invoices and shipping notices are exchanged with its suppliers. Wal-Mart will encourage suppliers to begin using an Internet-based system, and IBM will help them build the system using WebSphere integration software. Stanley Works slashed its quarterly earnings forecast amid weak sales and production problems at its mechanics tools unit, prompting a drop in its shares to 21-month lows. Maytag Appliances has announced it will close a facility in Galesburg, IL "as part of its ongoing cost improvement initiatives." Wind down will begin by the second half of 2003, with the closure by late 2004.
James Shannon has been appointed CFO at Sodisco-Howden Group Inc. He had been acting as interim CFO for the last few months, since the departure of Robert Harritt. Shannon is a chartered accountant who has worked at a variety of companies, including Price Waterhouse, Citibank Canada, Skyjack Inc. and Canadian Tire Acceptance Ltd. (514-286-8986)
Don't miss Practical World 2003, the Cologne International Hardware Fair/DIY'Tec. The 2003 show is March 9-12. For show information, contact Barbara Hills at 416-598-3343 or email colognet@idirect.com. To book your flight and hotel, call Carol-Ann Itel at Trade Show Travel, 1-877-873-7469 or email tradeshowtravel@shaw.ca . The Women's Consumer Products Network will host its Annual Connections Conference on October 17 at Lionhead Golf & Country Club in Mississauga, ON. Registration and breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by a morning of powerful speakers and an afternoon of lunch, networking and golf. Click here for more details.
The New Housing Price Index rose 0.5% in August from July, says Stats Canada. Compared with August 2001, the index of contractors' selling prices increased 4.2%. Demand remained strong for new housing, thanks to job growth, low interest rates and consumer confidence. A shortage of skilled labour pushed up prices nationally. Monthly rises occurred in 18 of the 21 urban centres surveyed, with the largest advance in Québec (+1.4%), following closely by Regina (+1.2%) and Hamilton (1.0%). Housing starts in Canada decreased 6.6% seasonally adjusted in September to 200,600 units from a revised 214,800 units in August, according to CMHC. Urban multiple starts reached 70,900 units, down 17.6% from 86,000 in August. Urban singles, however, were up 0.9% to 104,500 units from 103,600 units. Rural starts remained steady in September at 25,200 units seasonally adjusted. Estimated urban starts for January to September are 26.7% higher than for the same period last year. The single-detached market increased 34.7% while multiples increased 17.0%.
Keep track of the top players in home improvement retailing in Canada with the Hardlines Who's Who Directory. Now available both in hard copy AND on the web for you to download. CLICK HERE to find out more!
****HARDLINES MARKETPLACE**** Check out Hardlines Classifieds on the web: https://hardlines.ca/html/classifieds_new.asp HELP WANTED TERRITORY MANAGER Join an industry leader. As a Territory Manager for Unilock, you will have the responsibility for sales and promotion to an existing base of contractors and dealers, as well as consultants and consumers in a specific geographic area. Reporting to the Sales Manager, your territory takes in the eastern GTA, east to Ottawa. Preferential consideration will be given to those with a background in the construction and or the landscape industry. A proven sales track record in “cold calling” and prospecting for new business is a requirement, as the position involves calling on Landscape Supply Yards, Nurseries, Building Material Centers, and Lumber Yards. Your compensation package would include a base salary, incentive/bonus, and a benefits package including company pension plan. A Company car is provided. Please reply by mail, fax or email. No phone calls please. Unilock Ltd., 287 Armstrong Ave., Georgetown, Ontario, L7G 4X6 Attention: Mark Mossman. Email in MS Word, Text or PDF file attachment to: jobs@unilock.com or fax to (905) 874-3034 ************************************************************************************ REGIONAL MANAGER – WESTERN CANADA Torlys Inc. (www.torlys.com) is currently seeking a dynamic individual to take on a senior leadership role for Western Canada, taking on the responsibility of developing the sales team in Western Canada. The successful candidate for this position will thrive on the challenges of growing a business, and working closely with our business partners to introduce superior products in the specialty flooring category. We are seeking an individual who can visualize where the specialty flooring opportunities will be in their geographic region and establish the plans to make it happen within the Torlys team. Please reply in total confidence to Mary Kerr, Organizational Development Manager, Torlys Inc. (905) 696-2374 or by e-mail at mary@torlys.com. ************************************************************************************ INVITATION FOR OFFERS TO PURCHASE ASSETS OF THE VSTEP COMPANY INC. SF Partners Inc., in its capacity as Receiver of The VStep Company Inc. invites written offers to purchase the Receiver’s right, title and interest in the company’s assets, including : patents, inventory and tool and die. The VStep is a galvanized steel bracket used to build stairs for the “Do it yourself Market”. Written offers must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 21, 2002. The highest offer will not necessarily be accepted. Interested parties should contact Angie Seruga-Baron at (416) 250-1212 to obtain more information. SF PARTNERS INC., Receivers & Trustees 400-4950 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M2N 6K1 Telephone: (416) 250-1212, Facsimile: (416) 250-5083  ************************************************************************************ SERVICES OFFERED EXPERT DETAILING We know retail and what drives volume! Mike and Linda Smith, former owners of Dickson Pro Hardware in Toronto, are now located in Southeastern Ontario and are looking to service/detail/merchandise stores. Let us boost the impact of your products and programs instore. Contact us at 613.354.0038.   ***********************************************************************************  PACE CENTRAL: THE LEADING TECHNOLOGY FOR FACTORY AND AGENCY MERCHANDISERS. · Gain Accountability; Improve Execution · Reduce Costs; Improve Efficiencies · Seamless Communications - Schedules, Calendars, email · All information available on-line, all the time · Merchandisers use state-of-the-art Pocket PC's Visit www.pacecentral.com and contact Bryant Maude at 678.264.2403 or bmaude@enfoTrust.com to schedule your on-line demonstration.   *********************************************************************************** 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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