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Michael McLarney, President & Editor mike@hardlines.ca Beverly Allen, Publisher bev@hardlines.ca John Caulfield, Contributing Editor Phone: 416-489-3396
September 15, 2008, Vol. xiv, #34
In This Issue

“Even a blind man can tell when he’s walking into the sun.” —Jeff Barry (American songwriter, who penned countless Motown hits, 1938- )

Housing starts move up in August
OTTAWA — Housing starts in Canada increased by 15.2% from July to August, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. Starts once again exceeded that magic 200,000 mark, after slipping by 14% in July. Starts reached 211,000 on an annualized basis in August, up dramatically from 186,500 in July.Both urban multiples and singles moved higher, with an increase of 25.2% for multiples to 114,700 units, thanks mainly to a rise in Ontario, and a 2.0% increase for singles to 71,200 units. In fact, starts were down in every region except Ontario where housing starts jumped 81.0% to 86,500. Urban starts sagged 22.5% to 23,700 units in the Prairies and dropped 11.5% in Atlantic Canada. Smaller declines of 8.7% and 8.2% were recorded in Quebec (37,600 units) and British Columbia (30,400 units) respectively. Although overall housing starts for the first eight months are down 4.3% over last year, CMHC still expects starts for the year to remain above 200,000 and forecasts 215,475 starts for 2008.


TIM-BR MART offers energy awareness to consumers

CALGARY — TIM-BR MART continues to add oomph to its eco-sales strategy with a series of product knowledge days in select stores. These “Energrade Days” are in support of the buying group’s “Energrade” initiative, offering product knowledge and environmental awareness to TIM-BR MART customers to help them reduce the carbon footprint of their homes. The aim of the program is to make TIM-BR MART stores true destinations for consumers seeking expertise on improved energy efficiency in their homes.

A test at Taylor TIM-BR MART in Musquodoboit Harbour, NS garnered “really good response,” says Steve Stremecki, vice-president retail service division for TIM-BR MART. Supported by vendors with related products, it’s being given wider exposure on three consecutive Saturdays in October at stores in Fort Erie, Kincardine, and Bradford, ON. “The Energrade Days will offer product knowledge and knowledge about energy conservation in general,” Stremecki says. “It’s like a mini fair right in the store.” Dealers will get support for Energrade at the merchandising level with a choice of 4-12-ft. sections that feature a virtual green model home and the energy efficient upgrades available to them in that home. Consumers will be able to shop electronically in the section, adding products to an electronic “shopping cart” for purchase at checkout. “Energrade will give dealers the opportunity to upsell to customers, and vendors in the program can benefit from that upsell, as well,” Stremecki concludes.


B.C. show a chance to meet customers, write orders
ABBOTSFORD, BC — The Building Supply Industry Association of B.C. held its annual buying event, WestCoast Building + Hardware Show, this past weekend to generally favourable response. The one-day show, held at the Tradex arena beside the Abbotsford airport, featured a range of building vendors and service providers who hosted a concentration of dealers from across the province.Dealers from TIM-BR MART, Castle, IRLY, Sexton, and to a lesser degree, Home Hardware, attended, with Castle holding vendor meetings and TIM-BR MART holding a regional meeting of its own the day before the show. Despite its small size, this event remains an important one for this market. And for groups like TIM-BR MART, it provides a forum for getting members together. “We had a chance to review our buying plateaus and preview the’09 marketing campaign,” said Tim Urquhart, president of TIM-BR MART. That group also sponsors the show, which is an important one, Urquhart adds, because TIM-BR MART chooses not to host a trade show of its own. The timing of the show is not ideal for dealers, however. Business is still strong at this time of year, and dealers are reluctant to leave their stores for any length of time. That’s one reason why the show will have a new date and location next year. It’s being held May 7-8 in Penticton, says Thomas Foreman, president of BSIA.


Hardlines vendors face new recycle program charges at POS
SCARBOROUGH , ON — The concept of “cradle-to-grave” responsibility for the products one manufactures and sells is becoming a norm for vendors. A new program is being hammered out in Ontario that will address this. The Ontario Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Program Plan (WEEE) was passed last month with a planned start date of April 1, 2009. The program will be administered by Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES), a not-for-profit organization formed by manufacturers and large retailers.This program is a point-of-sale eco fee model, which has appeal for vendors because it is a user-pay system for funding product recovery and recycling. The fees charged at point-of-sale will vary depending on the equipment being purchased and range from a few cents for small items to more than $10 for larger items such as televisions. The next phase of WEEE will include items such as cell phones, photocopiers, modems, cameras, video players, and stereo equipment. According Vaughn Crofford, president of the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturers Association, “The whole issue of stewardship and extended vendor responsibility is a concern to the manufacturing community. While various provinces are starting waste diversion programs, most manufacturers agree with and support a program to divert waste and clean up the environment.” Vendors are concerned that the program remains fair to all participants, he says. “It’s got to be a level playing field,” i.e., with harmonized fees and no loopholes for companies to slide into. The costs themselves “have to come from the end-user. Vendors must have the ability to pass cost increases to consumer, just for survival,” Crofford notes. “If the consumer realizes when they purchase something that they are paying an environmental fee, they are more likely to recycle that product when done with it.” Secondly, he says, any such program can’t become an administrative burden for vendors. He warns, as well, against introducing the programs too quickly. Another program, in Ontario which vendors must cope with, is Municipal Household Special Waste. With MHSW which became effective in that province in July 1, vendors have to be able to keep up to the changes demanded of them. “There’s now a push for increasing the vendor’s share of the cost – and here’s a program that’s in its infancy, and changes are already being made to it. In phase two, the feds are expecting vendors to pay 100% of the cost." “The government needs to be more in sync and work with industry to make sure these programs evolve in a manageable fashion. Right now it appears that the demand for these programs is more political than practical,” Crofford adds.


Home buyers are thinking — and buying — green
NEW YORK — Lower energy costs, healthier living and improved indoor and outdoor environments are increasingly demanded by and available to home buyers at all income levels, according to preliminary findings from a survey released by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and McGraw-Hill Construction.Families and individual homeowners with the lowest incomes are overwhelmingly satisfied with their green home, more likely to recommend a green home to family and friends, and strongly prefer green homes as a purchasing option. And this acceptance cuts across demographic lines: more than half (56%) of those surveyed who have bought green homes earn less than $75,000 per year; 29% earn less than $50,000. The survey estimates that within the last three years more than 330,000 market-rate homes with green features have been built in the United States, representing a $36 billion-per-year industry. An estimated 60,000 of those homes were third-party certified through LEED or a local green building program. “We’re crossing the tipping point for green home building,” says Harvey M. Bernstein, McGraw-Hill Construction vice-president of Industry Analytics, Alliances and Strategic Initiatives. “Concerns about energy costs, health and even resale value are adding up green for builders, buyers and renters. Green homes are here to stay.” Going green was the top reason cited by survey respondents for remodeling their home. Environmental benefits such as lower energy costs and healthier air were identified by 42% of respondents as their main reason for home improvements; 34% cited increased comfort; while only 24% said improved appearance was their main benefit from remodeling. Making homes greener, says the study, is now the number-one reason for home improvement (42%) over remodeling for comfort reasons (34%) or to improve appearance (24%).


Masco Canada Limited is one of Canada's largest manufacturers of residential and commercial plumbing products. Our Mississauga location is currently seeking a...

Sales Rep

You will be responsible for sales and promotions to luxury boutiques, wholesale showrooms, designers, architects, and small builders and renovators throughout central Ontario and the GTA. You will also assist with package designs and the coordination and distribution of promotional materials and attend trade shows within the region. You have established a successful reputation in sales, ideally of packaged goods, and have effective cold calling skills along with an exemplary commitment to relationship building. Your strong communication, research, and networking abilities are coupled with computer proficiency, a valid driver's licence, and a willingness to travel within the region as required.

We are the Canadian plumbing division of Masco Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of brand name consumer products for the residential and commercial sectors. If you are looking for a great opportunity with excellent growth potential and many benefits, please contact us at: HR Department, MASCO CANADA LIMITED 420 Burbrook Place, London, ON N6A 4L6 e-mail: recruiting@mascocanada.com fax: 519-659-5904 Thank you for your interest; however, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone inquiries or agencies, please. www.mascocanada.com

Two Great GTA Marketing Opportunities…

Category Manager

This long-established, successful Scarborough-based Canadian company is doing well and looking to grow their retail share, thus creating this new role. Reporting to the National Marketing Manager, you’ll lead the efforts into defining new products and adding to their product depth, securing designs, sourcing (including offshore) and launching products to market. Pricing and competitive analysis are also important parts to this role. You can demonstrate three years’ plus experience in both your creative and analytic abilities in bringing new products to market, whether working on the retail or vendor side. Marketing education preferred. Please reply to Wolf Gugler in confidence, quoting http://www.maxhire.net/cp/?E55E65361D43515B76561A653A56526E04

Marketing/Merchandising Coordinator

Our Client, IPEX HomeRite is a leading developer and marketer of thermoplastic pipe and fittings sold through home improvement retailers across North America.  They offer an extensive range of products in the plumbing, electrical and lawn and garden market segments. A new position has been created in the Canadian Mississauga head office; reporting to the Product Marketing Manager, the Marketing/Merchandising Coordinator provides merchandising support for Sales activities, in-store programs, packaging initiatives, and company web site. You’ll manage merchandising materials, signage and packaging, working closely with sales staff to develop, produce and maintain store-specific planograms. Trade shore coordination is a function of this role. Previous Marketing experience with a retailer, building products company or marketing agency is ideal, in addition to your marketing education. In return, you’ll find IPEX a very congenial, enjoyable environment where the team is truly that…a team. Please contact Wolf Gugler in complete confidence, quoting http://www.maxhire.net/cp/?E55E64361D43515B76561A653A55526E04 You can also apply online and view other opportunities at www.wolfgugler.com Wolf Gugler & Associates Limited. (888) 848-3006. Offices in Canada and the U.S

Top .

National distributor of wood, metal and automotive machinery and accessories seeks an experienced Sales Representative for central and northern Alberta Ideal career opportunity for an aggressive, self-starter with excellent communication skills and extensive knowledge of the market. Please forward cover letter and resume to: Ted Fuller fax 519-896-6497 email tfuller@kingcanada.com


Residential Sales Representative

Position is located in Alberta

Ingersoll Rand is a diversified industrial firm providing integrated solutions to industries ranging from transportation and manufacturing to food retailing, construction and agriculture. Driven by a 100-year-old heritage of technological innovation, we help companies be more productive, efficient, and innovative. We have opportunities for career growth through our diverse businesses, which manufacture many well-recognized brands including Schlage, Club Car, Thermo King, Hussmann, and Ingersoll Rand. In every line of business-from climate control to security-Ingersoll Rand enables companies and their customers to inspire progress. For more information about Ingersoll Rand visit www.ingersollrand.com.

From its market-leading electronic and biometric access control systems to personal scheduling systems and architectural hardware such as steel doors and frames, our Security Technologies sector helps make the places we live, work and play safe, secure and productive. Drive new business and market penetration strategies with new & exisitng customers, end users and market influencers in the new home counstruction industry, the renovation market and the traditional lumberyard channel. Grow sales with assigned accounts, by leveraging existing programs and introducing new products and programs. Establish and build relationships and brand presence within the channels described above. Increase sales and presence using category management principles. Develop channels by working with existing distribution or by creating ?xa0;new accounts Identify new opportunities for product programs and listings. Conduct regular business reviews and other analyses to be able to make recommendations that will improve our business performance. Establish and nurture business relationships with key decision makers within our customers organization Implement and execute on all programs related to the Schlage Residential channel Provide accurate and reliable information pertaining to the Alberta residential marketplace EXPERIENCE: College or University Degree 3-5 years experience in a sales and marketing role. Experience with both electrical and mechanical door hardware Good attitude and good work ethic and willing to learn Exceptional computer skills Strong communication skills Must possess a valid driver’s license Must be willing to travel up to 25% of the time The ability to multi task and handle various priorities.Hardware an asset.

If you are interested please apply to  narinder_nijjar@irco.com


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PETITCODIAC, NB — Fawcett Lumber has been purchased by Kent Building Supplies, the major home improvement retailer in Atlantic Canada. Fawcett is a third-generation building centre that was founded in 1932, with one outlet. Formerly with the buying group Castle Building Centres, it includes a lumber finishing facility and had, until recent years, a mill of its own. When the Kent sign goes up sometime later this week, Fawcett will become the 17th Kent store in New Brunswick. Kent, based in Saint John, has been on something of a buying spree in recent years, picking up smaller independents to add to its chain. Its most significant acquisition was M.F. Schurman Co. Ltd., the major home improvement chain in Prince Edward Island, and, at the time a fellow member of Independent Lumber Dealers Co-operative. Kent now has 34 stores and a truss plant.VANCOUVER — Acklands-Grainger Inc. has been named Official Supplier of industrial safety and material handling equipment for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. As part of its sponsorship, the industrial supplier will provide safety supplies, including hard hats, safety vests, emergency blankets, plus welding equipment, industrial shelving lockers, and hand trucks. This equipment will be used both in the preparation and support of the venue for the Games. Grainger also reported an increase in August sales of 7% over the same month a year earlier. CHICAGO — While things are not expected to turn around anytime soon, some Wall St. analysts are reckoning that the market – and the fortunes of Home Depot and Lowe’s – have finally hit bottom. According to Forbes, Stephen Chick, an analyst with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey, reported: “Trends are not improving, but the likelihood that sales will become less negative in 2009 is high.” LONDON — Still feeling the effects of the slowed economy in the U.K., Home Retail Group reported six-month drops in sales for both its home products business Argos, down by 1.6% to £927 million, and its retail home improvement chain, Homebase, whose sales fell 0.3% to £389 million.
Michael Mangan has been promoted to president of Black & Decker's worldwide power tools and accessories group. He spent eight years previously in the role of CFO of B&D … Stephen Reeves takes over Mangan’s job as CFO. He was formerly vice-president of global finance for B&D’s power tools and accessories business. (317-290-0338)Peter Land is the new regional sales representative for Buchner Manufacturing, a Pefferlaw, ON-based building products supplier. He was formerly with Kaycan Industries. (800-461-6455)


In July, the value of residential building permits rose 2.7%, after two months of declines, to $3.7 billion. That increase was driven mainly by a 24.4% jump in multi-family dwelling permits. Those increases were most marked in Ontario, and to a lesser degree in Quebec and Manitoba. Although multi-family housing in July was up 9.6% from June, single-family permits declined 1.4% to $2.2 billion. Ontario accounted for more than half of the decline, while Quebec posted a second consecutive monthly increase in single-family housing. In the non-residential sector, the value of building permits edged up 0.6% to $2.7 billion. An increase in industrial construction intentions more than offset declines in both commercial and institutional permits. The increase in Saskatchewan was due to the non-residential sector, but both the residential and non-residential sectors contributed to the gain in Manitoba. British Columbia and Alberta posted declines in both the residential and non-residential sectors. (Stats Canada)
A proven sales record with key national accounts and their independent dealers in the hardware, building materials, and paint industries and superior business development skills.

Click here to download this Resumé

Highly effective relationship management skills with a track record of developing and executing programs effectively. Strong strategic thinking and management background. Solid propensity for team building, coaching, mentoring and developing others. A competitive manager with a proven sales, marketing, merchandising and, leadership record.

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