|In This Issue
“May you live all the days of your life.”
—Jonathan Swift (Irish satirist and novelist, 1667-1745)
| Castle tries “speed dating”, wins points with vendors
|MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — This fall, for the second year, Castle Building Centres Group held one-on-one Buying Expos, dealer meetings with vendors in three regions of the country. This “speed-dating” scenario was conducted in Halifax, Saskatoon, SK, and Huntsville, Ont. during consecutive weeks in September. The business sessions were held on one day, and followed by a day of golf.Castle tried the event last year in Halifax, the brainstorm of Sandy Welsh, the buying group’s business development manager for Atlantic Canada. In each region that the event was held, a group of vendors were met, on a timed, rotating basis, by Castle dealers from that region. For example, in Halifax, 54 dealers were on hand to see new products and get to understand better the companies behind those products.
Vendors interviewed by Hardlines expressed satisfaction with the program. They welcomed the personal interface and the attention given by the dealers. Castle, which currently has more than 220 stores in its membership, has been undertaking a number of new initiatives in recent months. The addition of two new banners within its membership, Commercial Building Supplies and Castle Specialty Dealer, now give it more opportunity to recruit gypsum dealers and specialty dealers, such as kitchen suppliers and window and door dealers.
| Home Hardware, BMR build recruitment teams
|ST. JACOBS, Ont. — Home Hardware Stores has put together a team to recruit dealers actively for the Home Hardware banner. The team is headed up by Dunc Wilson, who was recently recruited away from Groupe BMR to assume a newly created position at Home as director, national dealer development.Wilson has a long background with the industry, dating back to a stint as a buyer for Woolworths. He has worked at Beaver Lumber, and for Ace Hardware Canada, when it was located at the former Beaver Lumber offices in Markham, Ont. For five years he held a similar role at BMR, based in Longueil, QC. There, he was instrumental in pushing BMR beyond its home province of Quebec, to secure dealer members in both Ontario and the Maritimes.
Wilson has been replaced at BMR by Bill Miculescu, who has assumed a more senior title as vice-president business development. Miculescu, a well-known and respected figure from the vendor side, spent 30 years with CGC, most recently as director of sales, before retiring from that company earlier this year. Although the group is well served in its home province of Quebec, with three dealer development people, it lost Brian Hermiston, the Ontario rep, earlier this year. Miculescu is covering that territory until a replacement is found.
At Home Hardware, Wilson has been given a mandate for new dealers for the country’s largest co-op. He says the company will explore every opportunity. “I don’t think there’s a restriction on anything we’re looking for. Our strength is in the rural areas, but we’re looking in all areas,” Wilson says. That includes opportunities in urban markets, as well. “We can do it in an urban market,” he asserts.
Wilson points out that he’s put senior managers in all four key regions of the country. “We’re not favouring one over the other — this is a national initiative.”
(See “People on the move” for the complete list of Wilson’s team, and — this just in — a new team recruiting dealers for TIM-BR MART in Quebec! —Michael)
| Economic conditions addressed at upcoming Hardlines Conference
|WORLD HEADQUARTERS, Toronto — Worries about the softening economy in Canada, compounded by the collapse of the credit markets in the U.S., have vendors and retailers alike searching for some clues to Canada’s economic future over the coming months. That’s why HARDLINES has recruited a senior analyst from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. to speak at the upcoming Hardlines Conference, Oct. 23-24.Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC`s Ontario regional economist, heads a team that is responsible for the forecasting and analysis of economic and housing conditions. He will give a national outlook on the state of Canada’s housing market, and provide insights into the changing demographics that drive retail spending habits.
Tsiakopoulos is just one part of a powerful line-up of speakers who will give recession-busting insights into how to succeed in the changing retail home improvement industry. Speakers include:
For more information and to register today, <click here>.
- Ray Griffith, President & CEO of Ace Hardware, who will outline the growth opportunities for vendors as Ace re-enters the Canadian market;
- Chuck Côté, VP of UFA, one of Canada’s most successful co-operatives, who will map out the incredible success this Alberta company is having with its expanding retail business;
- Greg Hicks, COO of TSC Stores – talk about a success story! Expansion, into new regions and new categories; and
- Yves Gagnon, President & CEO of BMR – his company is making big changes that could affect you!
| RONA supports eco lines with in-store signage
|BOUCHERVILLE, QC — RONA inc. has unveiled eco-responsible signage across all RONA-bannered stores. The signage is designed to help shoppers identify eco-responsible products. The designated products were selected based on a “life cycle” approach adopted by RONA and include more than 300 name-brand items. RONA’s own line of ECO products are also designated as eco-responsible choices. The signage provides complete, unbiased information on the environmental characteristics of the different categories of eco-responsible products, outlining why items were selected.“Our research shows that consumers are looking to adopt environmentally-friendly practices but often lack the necessary information to do so,” said Robert Dutton, RONA’s president and CEO, in a prepared release. “The new signage allows us to provide information on products’ environmental characteristics and guide consumers looking for eco-responsible hardware, renovation and gardening products.”
Eco-responsible products can be found across departments, from building materials to gardening products. They have been selected in partnership with the École Polytechnique’s International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment, a research unit with CIRAIG, the Interuniversity Research Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services. Eco-responsible products meet minimum impact requirements in one or several life cycle phases; acquisition, manufacturing, packaging and transport, use, or end of life.
| TIM-BR MART increases Quebec presence with new office
|CALGARY, Alta. — TIM-BR MART has established a Montreal regional office and hired a team to provide support to the buying group’s membership in that province — and to recruit new dealers. Those dealers belong to the Mat Plus buying group, which joined with TIM-BR MART at the end of last year.Daniel Rioux will join TIM-BR MART as their general manager, Quebec. Located in the newly established Montreal office, his key function will be to build relationships with key vendors and ensure the dealers’ interests are well-represented during TIM-BR MART’s yearly negotiations and beyond. Rioux will also have responsibilities on a national level, managing a key category and participating on national and regional negotiation committees.
Rioux was most recently at BPB/CertainTeed, and prior to that as served as a category manager at RONA and in distribution at MacMillan Bloedel. (See “People on the move” for Rioux’s full team in Quebec.)
Prime Source Building Products, Inc., one of the North American’s largest wholesale distributors of building supply products, is seeking experienced sales professionals to support their Canadian expansion.
Product Specialist for Tools and Accessories -Responsibilities include providing sales assistance of GRIP-RITE branded products within the Ontario region.
Inside Sales- Mississauga - Responsibilities include developing a pipeline of prospective opportunities; via interaction with an existing customer base and a network of prospects, providing outstanding customer service and the ability to build relationships and close business over the telephone.
Qualified candidates must be self-motivated, quota driven, and results oriented with a proven and documented history of success. We are looking for at least two years of outside sales experience and preferably experience in the building materials industry.
If you are a proven leader who welcomes the opportunity to work in a challenging and financially rewarding environment, we want to meet you. PrimeSource offers attractive base salaries, aggressive commission incentives, and a competitive benefits package.
Please send Resumes to Phil Brown General Manager PrimeSource Canada
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