"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)

IRLY becomes first group to join new NRHA Canada

SURREY, B.C. - IRLY Distributors, the B.C.-based buying group and wholesale distributor, has become the first new member to join the North American Retail Hardware Association Canada since that organization's operations were taken over by Hardlines Inc. IRLY's board of directors was keen to access NRHA Canada's unique product knowledge training programs for each of its 43 member dealers. So keen, in fact, that IRLY's general manager, Garry Anderson, called Hardlines right away. "We felt strongly that this training was an important tool for the independent dealer," Anderson said. "A couple of our dealers had already tried it and insisted we make it available to all our members. It's effective because each dealer can monitor the progress of their staff as they go through all the courses." The NRHA Canada program is also a valuable recruitment tool for IRLY. "It's become an important added benefit for any prospective dealer who may wish to join IRLY. It's one more thing we can do for them." The centrepiece of NRHA Canada's programs is the Basic Training Course in Hardware Retailing. It contains everything hardware and home improvement retailers need to train employees to improve their skills, including interactive modules that cover product knowledge, selling tips and merchandising techniques. The course also includes testing and grading functions to ensure employees retain this information. All training programs have been customized for Canadian dealers. "We like that the course is completely adapted for Canadian dealers - that was a real selling point for us," Anderson added. When Hardlines assumed the operations of NRHA Canada in April 2007, it created a mandate to deliver product knowledge training to every independent retailer in the country. For more information on NRHA Canada, click here

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Ace uncovers $154 million accounting error

OAK BROOK, IL - Ace Hardware Corp., the dealer-owned buying group that has announced its plans to convert to a for-profit corporation, has uncovered a "significant accounting error" on its books, which has caused the co-op to temporarily put its conversion plans on hold. The Chicago Tribune, quoting Ace officials, reports that the company found a $154 million error while preparing its financial statements to become a for-profit entity. Its president and CEO, Ray Griffith, told the newspaper that Ace has hired an auditing firm to straighten out the problem, which relates to a shortfall in Ace's accounting for its inventory and apparently dates back to 2002. Griffith said that Ace's financial statements for the past five years might need to be restated. "There is no missing money, there is no missing inventory, there is no evidence of theft," Griffith told the newspaper. However, it remains to be seen how Ace's membership responds to this faux pas, and what effect it has on their confidence in the company's ability to manage its finances as a corporation.

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Hardlines Conference celebrates business innovation

TORONTO - Jack Bingleman left his position as president of Beaver Lumber in 1990 to found Business Depot. After growing it into a successful 40-store operation, he sold the business to Staples. His adventures in retailing have given Bingleman a unique perspective on the role of risk and reward, one he'll share with attendees at the 12th annual Hardlines Conference. Innovation and opportunity will also be the focus of a presentation by Jim Thompson, senior vice-president merchandising for Wal-Mart Canada. He'll share inspiration and insight into how to integrate new ideas into an existing business model. Marketing "green" products to consumers demands a fresh approach. As manager of program delivery for the Ontario Power Agency, Raegan Bunker will offer tips about how to exploit the retail opportunities in energy programs being offered by various levels of government. After having spent many years working on renewable energy options for government bodies, consultant/contractor Lorin Busaan understands what makes a pro choose green products over conventional materials. He'll reveal how to leverage the growing interest in eco-friendly building materials and services with pro customers. For secure online registration to the 12th annual Hardlines Conference, click here.

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Home Depot chief sees continued challenge in the market

NEW YORK - Frank Blake, Home Depot's CEO, does not think the U.S. housing market is going to recover until next year, and even then he expects his company to be facing "headwinds" against which it will be pushing to operate its business profitably. He told analysts at Goldman Sachs' Retailing Conference here last week that California and Florida, at one time two of the most overheated housing markets in the country, accounted for much of his company's sales weakness through the first half of 2007, during which Home Depot reported a 2.9% decline to $40.7 billion. Conversely, the retailer has seen some life from its stores in Texas, the Southeast and the Midwest, despite the fact that the Midwest - and particularly Ohio and Michigan - are viewed as limp housing markets right now. Blake hinted that Home Depot's plan to repurchase $22.5 billion worth of its common stock could be hindered by the credit crunch that the subprime mortgage crisis has created. In late August, Home Depot completed a tender offer for $10.7 billion worth of it stock. "It's going to be a longer path than what I initially envisioned," he told analysts. He also indicated that the credit crunch is impacting the sale of big-ticket items at Home Depot's stores.

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CT Financial product combines mortgage and bank accounts

TORONTO - Canadian Tire Financial Services Ltd. is piloting a new banking product in Kitchener-Waterloo and London, ON, and Calgary. The One-and-Only account allows consumers to combine mortgage, chequing and savings accounts, loans and credit card balances, into one account, which has no set-up or transaction fees. Users will also earn Canadian Tire "money". The new account will help Canadians pay off mortgage debt more quickly, according to the retailer. Whenever money is deposited into the account, it immediately goes towards paying down the mortgage. Cash taken out to pay other bills goes right back onto the debt load, but even the interest saved between the time the two transactions take place reduces interest fees. "We know from our consumer and market research that as the size of the average mortgage continues to grow, so does every Canadian's desire to pay off that debt as quickly as possible," said Marco Marrone, president, Canadian Tire Financial Services, in a prepared statement. To help consumers understand the program, the company has set up a website.

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U.S. foreclosure rate sets new record in 2Q

WASHINGTON - The number of homeowners that couldn't make their mortgage payments hit a record level in the second quarter, according to estimates by the Mortgage Bankers Association. In its quarterly survey, which covers 44 million mortgages, MBA estimates that 0.65% of loans, for one- to four-unit homes, or 268,000 mortgages, entered the foreclosure process. MarketWatch reports that's the highest level in the association's 55-year history. California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona were especially susceptible to foreclosure activity. However, Doug Duncan, MBA-s chief economist, notes that 34 states saw declines in their foreclosure rates during the last quarter. He also notes a significant "divergence" between the performance of fixed-rate loans (whose foreclosure rates have either levelled off or declined) and adjustable-rate loans, where foreclosure activity has been far more volatile.

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Hardlines Marketplace

Don't miss the products and services on the Hardlines web Marketplace ( https://hardlines.ca/html/marketplace.html ) And check out Hardlines Classifieds on the web ( https://hardlines.ca/html/classifieds.html )


Retail Sales Manager

Master Lock, an industry leader in storage and security hardware, is seeking a Retail Sales Manager. A strong understanding of the Canadian retail hardware and home improvement market is preferred, along with at least 5 years experience with both national and regional accounts. Preference given to candidates with;
  1. 5 years overall sales/marketing experience in working with Canadian retailers.
  2. very proficient in Microsoft Office, especially Excel and PowerPoint
  3. exposure to national accounts
  4. strong analytical and presentation skills
  5. self starter with a creative mind
Education equivalent to college diploma or university degree required, preferably marketing or business administration. Master Lock Canada is conveniently located in Oakville. Nearby highway access includes the QEW at Winston Churchill and 403 at Dundas Street. Qualified applicants should send resume and salary requirements via email to tmedeiro@mlock.com. No phone calls please.

Market Development Manager Wanted for British Columbia and Alberta

Reporting to the Director, the successful applicant will be an energetic professional with expertise in development and operations and/or have a thorough understanding of the home improvement industry. Your key responsibility will be to oversee implementation of the organization's strategic development plans while recruiting and building relationships with new dealers. Responsibilities:
  • Be responsible for the recruitment and integration of new dealers within your assigned region
  • Analyses the territory
  • Evaluates potential dealers
  • Presents the organization to prospective dealers
  • Qualifies dealers according to membership criteria
  • Ensure mentoring of new dealers
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Director
  • A minimum of 5 - 10 years of experience in the hardware, building material and/or home improvement industry
  • Experience in recruiting new members
  • Excellent ability to build relationships with dealers
  • Ability to interpret financial statements and present budgets
  • Flexibility to changing priorities with short notice to meet business needs
  • Exceptional communicator with strong planning and organizational skills
  • You must be comfortable with travel as there will be significant overnights
  • Motivated, self-starter able to work independently and as part of a team
  • Computer literate with strong understanding of Microsoft Office software
  • Valid drivers license and safe driving record
  • College diploma an asset
Interested applicants should fax their resume c/o Hardlines at 416.489.6154 or email Brady Peever, brady@hardlines.ca and put "PO Box 650" in the subject line.

Atlantic Canada Dealer Development Manager Employment Opportunity

TIM-BR MARTS Ltd., Canada's largest dealer owned building materials buying co-operative, representing over $2 billion in annual purchases, $3.4 billion in retail sales and 600 locations, is seeking a Dealer Development Manager to provide support to our dealer network in Atlantic Canada. The successful candidate will be bilingual, have significant retail experience in the building supply industry and excellent communication, computer and organization skills. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Please email your resume and cover letter to jobs@timbrmart.ca. Please include your salary expectations in the cover letter and "Atlantic Dealer Development Manager" in the subject line of your email. All applications will be held in the strictest of confidence. TIM-BR MART is an equal opportunity employer. We thank all applicants for their interest, but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


Industry veteran seeks investment opportunity with existing Ontario rep agency or similar business. Looking for equity position with intention of outright purchase over the next 2-5 years.

Offering: 20-plus years experience sales, with specialty in seasonal, plumbing and electrical. National exposure with ALL majors and "tier 2" customers-including buying groups, etc. Can call on Head Offices and/or independent stores. Reply in absolute confidence to: Hardlines Classifieds "Box 102" 542 Mt. Pleasant Rd. Toronto M4S 2M7

brady@hardlines.ca and put "BOX 102" in your email's subject line.

Westman Steel Industries, including Canada Culvert, is one of Canada's largest manufacturers of steel roofing and siding products, galvanized steel culverts, and related products. Customers are serviced by 15 manufacturing and distribution facilities located in Ontario and throughout Western Canada. Westman Steel Industries is a member of The Westman Group of Companies, a dynamic entrepreneurial group of companies also composed of: Behlen Industries LP, and Meridian Manufacturing Group. Continued growth creates a career opportunity in Langley, British Columbia.

Territory Sales Representative

Working with guidance from the General Manager and while maintaining a sales budget, the successful candidate will develop and maintain long-term relationships with customers in British Columbia; sales region: Okanagan, Kootenays, and Prince George. The professional will effectively perform all aspects of the marketing program including: sales, advertising, product promotions/literature, point of purchase displays, product knowledge seminars, pricing and logistics. Using a consultative selling approach, the incumbent will ensure sales and marketing objectives are achieved. The ideal candidate has a minimum of one to three years of demonstrated experience in sales and&frask;or marketing, preferably from a steel and/or roofing background. Having a post secondary degree is desirable. Equivalent education and experience combinations will be considered. Communication, interpersonal, customer service, problem-solving, organizational, and time and priority management skills are necessary for success. Significant travel is required. Westman Steel Industries provides a competitive total compensation package with commission incentive and many opportunities for learning and professional growth. Apply online via Careers at www.westmangroup.com or connect with Diana Chomichuk, CHRP, Corporate Human Resource Manager at 204.224.6343. 

We thank all applicants for their interest. WGI Westman Group Inc., is an Equal Opportunity Employer


  • 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