Hardlines Weekly Newsletter
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Sept 17, 2012, Volume xviii, #35

“Few people think more than two or three times a year. I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.” —George Bernard Shaw (Irish playwright and essayist, 1856-1950)



Young Retailers join Hardlines Conference

 WORLD HQ, TORONTO — Just as home improvement retailers are trying to figure out how to attract young customers into their stores, learning what resonates for the next generation of home improvement dealers is a major challenge for the entire industry. To meet the challenge, HARDLINES has invited a panel of young retailers to join us at our Conference, Oct. 25-26.

Drew Beaumont: At 29, Drew Beaumont of the represents the third generation of the Beaumont family in the business. Drew’s grandfather, who originally bought the store, passed the business on to his son, who plans to do the same one day. The younger Beaumont, who has a degree in marketing and urban planning, is general sales manager and also active in the purchasing of materials.

Marc Palsson: When Palsson sold one of his two restaurants to reopen the local hardware store in Arborg, MB, in 1999, he was able to get some excellent guidance – both of his parents had worked in the store as young teenagers. In 2008, Palsson joined with RONA, eventually opening a 14,000 sq. ft. store in nearby Gimli in 2010. He was declared RONA’s Entrepeneur of the Year that same year.

Jamal Hamad: Currently director of Commercial and Tool Rental Sales and Operations for Home Depot Canada, Hamad has been with the company for 20 years. During this time has held a number of positions, including store manager, district manager, and regional manager.

Todd Young: Todd began his career in retail in 1988 at the local Zehrs supermarket in Wasaga Beach, ON. He rose through management ranks over the next 19 years, eventually becoming labour director for Eastern and Central Canada for the parent organization, Loblaw Companies. In 2007, Young made the switch to retail hardware, becoming part owner of his family’s Home Hardware Building Centre.

(These young retailers will share their insights in a panel discussion at the 17th Annual Hardlines Conference, Oct. 25-26 in Toronto. To learn more about the Conference, click here.)

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RONA creates support team for independents

BOUCHERVILLE, QC — RONA inc. has created a new service team to work with its ranks of independents. Called “ Our Dealers: PR1ORITY,” its mandate is to support some 600 bannered TRU and RONA dealers across Canada.

Headed by Bill Morrison, president of TruServ Canada, and now vice president, wholesale at RONA, the new Our Dealers: PR1ORITY team is charged with delivering enhanced services to independents with frequent visits and a promise of increased efficiency to ensure that every dealer remains competitive in their markets.

Sales territories were redefined and assigned to existing district managers who were already taking care of TRU and UNIQ bannered dealers. They will now drop in on RONA affiliate dealers, as well, to explain the range of RONA products and services available to independents.

“We are fortunate to have put together the best talents with extensive experience in the industry to form the largest service team for dealers in Canada,” says Morrison. “They will work closely with RONA’s regional operations managers and will focus on dealers’ success.”

This new dealer service structure has been implemented in Ontario and in Western Canada as of last week. It will be applied to other regions over time. RONA’s dealers will be able to meet with the Our Dealers: PR1ORITY team at the RONA Spring Show in Toronto, Sept. 20-22.

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Why RONA dealers wrote a letter to Lowe’s

NORTH VANCOUVER, BC ― A letter written recently and signed by RONA dealers across the country was the brainstorm of two men – Michael Allen and Stephane Gagnon. Gagnon, with stores in Quebec, and Allen with one location in North Vancouver, decided to rally the dealers to voice their objection to Lowe’s takeover bid for their mother company.

“Basically, Stephane and I got together to form a group to create a platform for Canadians to get to know the RONA dealers,” says Allen.

“And it proved very successful.”

That success came from carefully orchestrating the support of other dealers to sign a letter to Lowe’s president, chairman, and CEO, Robert Niblock. Dealers representing 164 stores from coast to coast put their names to the letter, which was then sent out over Canada Newswire.

It was also done without any input or knowledge from RONA’s head office, Allen says. “It was a privately funded group – funded by the dealers and RONA had no knowledge or say in the letter until it came out.”

Even though fewer than half of RONA’s independent affiliate dealers signed the letter, Allen says he was pleased with the support. “I thought the response was good – especially since we did it in the middle of summer, when dealers are busy, on vacations, with their kids, etc. It’s tough to get everyone on board.”

More importantly, he adds, no dealer opposed the letter. “Not one dealer said, ‘No, Lowe’s should buy RONA. ’ ”

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Former IRLY CEO now a dealer

  LADNER, BC — Fletcher Lumber pioneers and IRLY BIRD dealers Shamsh and Parin Alimohamed have announced their retirement, with Pete Confortin  stepping up to ownership together with Susan Robinson, former president and CEO of IRLY Distributors.

Faizal Alimohamed, another partner, will continue to sit on the board. The business will continue to be an IRLY dealer and member of TIM-BR MARTS Ltd., buying through that buying group’s distribution business, Chalifour Canada. Robinson joined IRLY in 2009 to run that buying group and distribution business. She left the company in 2011, months after IRLY and its distribution facilities were purchased by TIM-BR MARTS and rolled into the Chalifour business.

Robinson tells HARDLINES she is “happy to be back in the groove” and hints at further acquisitions in the near future.

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China International Hardware Show returns

    SHANGHAI — Asia’s buying expo for the domestic and international hardware industry – the China International Hardware Show – is returning here this week. The three-day event opens Sept. 19 and features 2,400 exhibitors, including more than 200 companies from about 20 countries and regions that will showcase 103,500 square meters of products ranging from tools, building hardware, security locks, and fittings to kitchen and bath wares and accessories.

Co-located with CIHS are the China International Building Hardware Show and the China International Locks & Security Show.

International and regional group participation this year is particularly active, with the Taiwan Pavilion taking the lead. In addition, in partnership with the Importers and Exporters Association of Taipei, CIHS will for the first time host a business event for buyers to conduct one-to-one exchanges with Taiwanese exhibitors and gain an in-depth understanding of their company, products, and the Taiwanese hardware industry.

Based on last year’s figures and the slew of wide-ranging show offerings, organizers have projected a turnout of more than 41,000 visitors. Leading international sourcing houses and retail giants with confirmed participation include Lowe’s, Kingfisher, Walmart, Carrefour, Home Depot, LG Sourcing, Leroy Merlin, Saint-Gobain, and Metro.

On top of that, a buying delegation led by the European DIY Retail Association (EDRA) will be bringing more foreign heavyweights with the likes of Lowe’s from the U.S., Sodimac from Chile, and Turkey’s biggest retail chain, Tekzen, to buy at the show.

(For more information about the show, click here www.hardwareshow-china.com)

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Target will offer rewards debit card in Canada

  TORONTO — Target Canada will offer a rewards loyalty program in Canada that’s similar to one available to customers in the US. The program features a “RedCard” debit card and RBC MasterCard, which give customers an additional 5% percent off purchases. The additional savings, which apply to almost everything in-store, will be applied at time of purchase.

The Target debit card, a proprietary Target Canada offering, will link to the cardholder’s existing chequing account and can be used only at Target stores in Canada.

Royal Bank of Canada will issue the no-annual fee Target RBC MasterCard, which, in addition to offering the 5% in-store discounts, also lets shoppers earn Target gift cards based on their purchases outside of Target.

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Retail Account Manager

A Retail  business unit of Emerson Electric Co. has an immediate opening for a Retail Account Manager – Toronto based.


Manage existing account operations including: pricing, programs, promotions, and inventory management. Identify and capitalize on new business opportunities. Build strong and lasting relationships with each key account.


  • College or University
  • 3-5 years of experience in positions of progressive responsibility in sales account management
  • Experience within the retail Hardware industry is a strong asset

Submit Cover Letter, Resume and Salary Expectations to:
Email: HR@emersonelectric.ca


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  • Professional with over 25 years of experience in Sales, Marketing, Merchandising and Administration view this resumé Back to top
  • Marketing professional with over 10 years experience looking to secure a new full-time position. view this resumé Back to top
  • A Sales Professional with over twenty years of experience.view this resumé Back to top
  • Experienced District Manager with a proven track record with several national chains. view this resumé Back to top
  • A relationship builder who passionately sells for profit through quality service view this resumé Back to top
  • A conscientious, highly motivated manager with a results-oriented track record in developing new business. view this resumé Back to top
  • An experienced merchandising executive possessing passion, vision, and a strategic approach to delivering bottom-line. view this resumé Back to top
  • Senior sales/marketing leader with experience in all classes of trade wishing new HARDLINES career. view this resumé Back to top
  • Very Experienced Business Unit Manager, great passion for generating sales and building relastionships.view this resumé Back to top
  • Worked through my career within the manfucaturer, wholesale and consumer goods industries. view this resumé Back to top
  • Senior Sales Manager with vast experience in retail and wholesale sales growth in Canada. view this resumé Back to top

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