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Phone: 416-489-3396 Michael McLarney, Editor & President Beverly Allen, Publisher Brady Peever, Client Services Manager John Caulfield, Contributing Editor
September 21, 2009, Volume xv, #35
In This Issue:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” —Aristotle (Greek philosopher and mathematician, 384 BC-322 BC)
Anna Olsen, innovations at Home Hardware market

ST. JACOBS, Ont. — Home Hardware Stores featured a number of new products and programs at its latest dealer market. The event, marking Home’s 45 years in existence, showcased the latest in the dealer-owned wholesaler’s innovations to operate, merchandise and promote its dealers’ business.

Celebrity chef Anna Olsen, who has partnered with Home Hardware Stores since March as the company’s kitchen and consultant and representative for its kitchenwares department, was on hand at the market for the unveiling of a fall sweepstakes promotion. Called the “Home Hardware $50,000 Dream Kitchen Makeover,” the marketing will rely on Olsen’s celebrity status to be the “face” of this contest. The promotion is aimed at showcasing Home Hardware’s kitchen and housewares category as a destination for entertaining.  Innovations expanded to technology, as this market showcased a new palm pilot that enables dealers to easily scan products and manage inventory. In-store enhancements included fresh ways to merchandise lumber and building materials to suit smaller-store environments. New, wide endcaps that showcase LBM products was one of the standout examples.
Home dealers show increased optimism at latest market

ST. JACOBS, Ont. — Home Hardware owners attending the company’s recent dealer market brought with them an overall sense of optimism about the remainder of the year.

Hardlines spoke with lots of dealers at the show and many of them, especially in Western Canada, are feeling the brunt of the slowdown, but the repair and  renovation market, especially in the smaller communities in which Home Hardware dominates, is shoring up business and keeping many dealers positive about the fall season ahead. “We’re getting through the doom and gloom headlines that persisted before the last market,” said Bill Ferguson, dealer support manager for Home Hardware Stores. “Homeowners continue to consider the home a key investment. Even if they aren’t undertaking reno projects, these have been replaced by work projects.”


RONA launches recycled paint outside of Quebec

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — RONA Inc. is stepping up its commitment to being eco-responsible with the addition of a recycled latex paint to its range of RONA ECO products. The new paint line features a selection of 16 interior colours plus a floor paint.

The new line is made in Quebec by Peintures récupérées du Québec (Boomerang Paints), which has been involved with RONA for more than a decade managing a recycled paint program for the company, and sold under the Boomerang Paint name. Made from 90% recycled paint, the company claims that its manufacturing process generates only a quarter of the greenhouse gases normally produced by other paints. Products seeking to carry the RONA ECO label must demonstrate a lower environmental impact throughout its entire life cycle, subject to review by the International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment at the École Polytechnique of Université de Montréal. More than 300 RONA ECO products have been introduced since the label was launched in 2008. The program has now been extended to stores in Halifax and Ontario, and more than two million kilograms of paint have been collected by RONA dealers for recycling and reprocessing. RONA is currently working on the introduction of paint recovery programs in the rest of Canada. More colours will be added to the line over the next few months.


Lowe’s will use Canadian experience to expand Down Under
SYDNEY, Australia — Australia’s largest retailer, Woolworths Limited, expects to create as many as 15,000 jobs as part of its $400 million investment in a joint venture with Lowe’s Cos.The initiative is a new DIY chain that will take on that country’s dominant player, Bunnings, which is owned by Wesfarmers, the giant holding company with stakes in natural resources. Initially, the new stores will be built in the state of Victoria, where Woolworths expects to build up to 30 stores over the next five years. The equivalent of about $20 billion in home-improvement related products are sold in Australia annually. The deal with Woolworth’s would include a $73.6 million takeover of Dank’s, Australia’s second-largest hardware distributor. Lowe’s and Woolworths have a target to secure more than 150 store sites, all greater than 100,000 square feet, over the next five years, with the first store expected to open in late 2011.  Woolworths has already secured entitlement to 12 sites and is currently in final  negotiations to secure a further 15 sites for greenfield development.  Lowe’s owns one-third of the new company, which is being headed by Don Stallings, formerly president of Lowe’s Canadian division. The new chain will have a separate name of its own that has yet to be announced.


Home Depot will carry Martha Stewart brand
TORONTO — Home Depot will develop what it’s calling an exclusive line of home-improvement products bearing the Martha Stewart Living brand.A line of patio dining and conversation sets, which will range in price from $499 to $799, is scheduled to launch next January in the U.S. and February 2010 in Canada. Home organization products that include a new closet organization system and a nine-cube organizational unit will carry the Stewart brand. Home Depot merchants are working with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (which is the licensor) to develop a line of branded home décor products and other lines that will be introduced over the course of next year. Products will be available at The Home Depot stores across Canada and at “Our partnership with Martha Stewart will allow us to continue to deliver new and unique product design at affordable prices," says Gino DiGioacchino, vice-president of merchandising, Home Depot Canada. “Both organizations have been the go-to destination for consumers looking for inspiration and project know-how. Together we can continue to enhance our customers’ experience.”



MASCO CANADA LIMITED, is one of Canada's largest distributors, manufacturers, and marketers of residential and commercial plumbing products. Our brands include Delta, Waltec, Brasscraft, and Master Plumber. Masco Canada Limited is the Canadian plumbing division of Masco Corporation, one of the world's largest manufacturers of brand name consumer products for the home and family. We have the following immediate opening:


General Description: Reporting to the Director of Sales, Home Centre Channel, Canada Primary Responsibilities:
  • Main MCPG Contact with retail customers
  • Sales plan development for all product lines (Budget).
  • Achieve account sales targets.
  • Promotional planning and new product listings.
  • Daily management of product lines and SKU maintenance.
  • Implementation and execution of strategic plans.
  • Agency co-ordination on service criteria with assigned customer base.
  • Product forecasting.
  • Monitor and analysis of POS results by account.
  • Plan-o-gram development and implementation.
  • Support Director of Sales, Home Centre Channel, on special projects as required.
Secondary Account Responsibilities:
  • Competitive and market analysis.
  • Monthly reporting on account activity.
  • Planning and attending customer trade shows
  • Cross departmental business development.
Project Teams or Special projects:
  • New store setup captain on assigned customer base.
  • Market study on new opportunities.
  • Develop and implement new sales opportunities within the assigned customer base.
The successful candidate will have extensive product knowledge and customer relation skills gathered over 3 to 5 years of National or Regional account experience within the Home Improvement sector, along with a post secondary education are required. Excellent communication skills are required.Advanced level Microsoft Office skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)Bilingual would be a major asset. If interested, please forward your resume to:  or FAX 519-659-1531  

Hitachi Power Tools is seeking an Account Executive for its Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Western Ontario territory.

The successful candidate will possess:
  • A minimum of 3 years experience in a territory sales role
  • Strong organizational skills with ability to plan and manage territory
  • Strong communication, presentation and business relationship building skills
  • A self-starter with ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Knowledge of trades (i.e. construction, electrical, woodworking) an asset
Please visit our website at for more details. If interested please forward your resume and cover letter to We thank all applicants, however only those chosen for an interview will be contacted.

Retail Business Unit Manager, ITW Construction Products

 Our client is a $10bb FORTUNE 200 diversified dominant headquartered in Chicago with Canadian headquarters in Markham, ON. The Retail business markets and sells the ITW Construction product line to wholesale accounts and to retail big box stores and mass merchants nationally.

Reporting to the Canadian General Manager, you’ll manage four direct reports in national accounts sales, channel marketing, key accounts sales and a warehouse supervisor. Indirect staff of 10 also reports in. You’ll be accountable for the achievement of sales growth and profitability for the retail channel in the Canadian marketplace and for the continued development and implementation of strategic plans for the retail business. This position will have bottom-line responsibility for P&L, ROA & ROS for the retail business. You’ll also be responsible to develop your key personnel to achieve the unit’s success. An important role of this position will be to maintain close, positive relationships with head buyers and key senior managers of big box & mass merchant accounts. Development and implementation of new product programs to existing accounts and to potential opportunities will be a major component of this position. Due to the complexity of multi channel selling and crossover of customers the incumbent must be able to look at the big picture of ITW’s business and have a good understanding of the objectives of each business unit’s channel and product mix. You’ll also work with and foster relationships with US staff (product managers, general managers) to act as a conduit re: new products, strategies and opportunities. Education would preferably consist of a business/finance combination, combined with ~ten years’ successful consumer products expertise managing at a senior level. You’ve developed and lead a team of sales and marketing professionals to achieve growth & profitability for consumer product lines. Equally important is your role as an effective communicator to provide motivation, leadership by example and vision to your team of professionals, along with exceptional financial understanding. To explore this opportunity in complete confidence, please contact Wolf Gugler via phone @ 888-848-3006. You can apply online at or click this link: Wolf Gugler & Associates, Limited, executive search and selection for retailers and their suppliers throughout North America.

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Recent Industry Resumés
Results oriented sales professional with a strong record of achievement in strategic and tactical roles.
Seasoned Sales veteran. Experienced, dealing with established and new manufacturers introducing new products to key retailers in the Canadian market.
A marketing professional with a highly successful level of experience in all aspects of marketing consumer packaged goods at a national retail level.
Leadership, sales and communication skills, seeking a challenging and results-oriented environment.
A creative, strategic thinking and results oriented Sales Professional.
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Time to take your business to the next level. Invest in your company — and yourself — by joining us at the 14th Annual Hardlines Conference. Register today for an incredible opportunity to learn and network. Click here for more info.— Beverly


Building supply dealers saw their collective sales — and market share — dip in 2008. The trend continues in the first half of this year, with some regional exceptions. (Find out how the buying groups are making out, how they are growing and differentiating, and how their customer base is changing. It’s in our Annual Buying Group Report, available soon in the next issue of Hardlines Quarterly Report! —Michael)
CALGARY — “Ma Maison RONA,” a popular home reno reality program in Quebec for the past seven years, is getting an anglophone treatment with the development of “My RONA Home.” Ten 60-minute episodes are being produced here, featuring two families in a competition to see who can best design, construct and decorate a brand new home in just 30 hours. The winning family will win a furnished home valued at $400,000. The homes will conform to the new LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is currently rolling out a massive store and strategy remodeling effort, which it has named “Project Impact,” according to Time magazine. One of the first goals of Project Impact is to enhance customers’ shopping experience by having cleaner, less cluttered stores with extra staffing and demographically-targeted merchandise. Another goal calls for better, friendlier customer service, while the third involves focusing on categories where Wal-Mart can hammer their competition. According to retail consultant Burt Flickinger III, a veteran Wal-Mart watcher, “They’ve knocked out four of the top five toy retailers, and are now going after the last one standing, Toys “R” Us. Project Impact will be the catalyst to wipe out a second round of national and regional retailers.”SAINT-GEORGES, Que. — RONA inc. officially opened a new take on its proximity concept here last week. At 52,000 square feet of retail space, the store has a 20,000-square-foot indoor lumberyard and another 54,000-square-foot outside yard. It also has a 12,000-square-foot gardening centre and carries 22,000 SKUs. The store replaces another that was razed by a fire in 2008. This is the first RONA store to apply for LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). (A new Totem store that opened a few weeks ago in Strathmore, Alta., has also applied for LEED certification.) NEW YORK — Frank Blake, Home Depot’s chairman and chief executive, expressed interest in opportunities to expand its international presence at a recent investor conference. “There are opportunities as our Mexican business matures... to take that business model elsewhere in Latin and South America,” Blake said at the Goldman Sachs Global Retail Conference held here. Home Depot, which has more than 2,200 retail stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, made a failed foray into Chile a more than a dozen years ago, but expanded successfully into Canada in 1994 and Mexico in 2001. It also operates about a dozen stores in China. CHICAGO — Grainger, the North American distributor of facilities maintenance products, has purchased a 53% share in a Japanese company, MonotaRO Co., Ltd. The deal involved the purchase of 380,000 shares at a price equivalent to $11.11 per common share. Established in 2000 in Osaka, MonotaRO is a direct marketer of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies to businesses in the Japanese MRO market, the second largest industrial market in the world. The company offers more than 110,000 products to more than 320,000 customers. In 2008, MonotaRO had revenues of $136M and operating earnings of $11 million. MINNEAPOLIS — Zareba Systems had net sales for fiscal 2009, ended June 30, of $32.2 million, down from $34.6 million for the prior year. Net income was $1.0 million, from a net loss of $5.2 million in fiscal 2008. The company has also announced it has terminated its proposed transaction that would end the registration of its common stock under the federal securities laws, and the company has withdrawn its related Schedule 13E-3 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company has decided to explore other strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value.


Trish Hopkins has been appointed sales representative at USCAN Industrial Fasteners Ltd. Most recently, she was marketing programs manager at Akzo Nobel Decorative Coatings.Tom Longworth has been appointed a director of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority for a term of three years. Longworth, remembered in this industry as president and CEO of Canfor-Weldwood Distribution Ltd. (CanWel) back in the ’90s, began his career as an industrial engineer with the T. Eaton Company in Toronto. He has also worked at RJR Foods, Canadian Canners, RJR-Nabisco Brands and Telus Enterprise Solutions Inc. In 2006, he founded Longworth Advisory Services Ltd., a company that evaluates and develops international business initiatives. Mr. Longworth has also served as a director on the boards of Versacold, CanWel Distribution, and Howe Sound Pulp and Paper.


Consumer prices fell 0.8% in the 12 months to August 2009, following a 0.9% decline in July.The decrease was due primarily to a 12-month drop of 19.1% in prices for energy products, mainly gasoline. Excluding energy, the CPI rose 1.4% between August 2008 and August 2009. (Stats Canada)
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