View in your browser


May 13, 2019 | Volume xxv, #19

True Value CEO kicks off National Hardware Show in Las Vegas
Home Hardware makes changes to senior management teams
Home Depot Canada’s Pam O’Rourke shares insights for vendors
Lowe’s Canada enjoys growth within its affiliate dealer network

PLUS: Home Depot Foundation expands commitment, Lowe’s Canada wins for sustainability, Lloydminster Home Hardware does an amazing digital job, Ikea eliminates plastic straws, Home Hardware named one of the top 10, Canfor’s results and more!

True Value CEO kicks off National Hardware Show in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Las Vegas played host to the hardware and home improvement industry last week, as retailers and buyers from across North America attended the National Hardware Show. The show was held in conjunction with the All-Industry Conference, held by the North American Hardware Association.

From the NRHA stage at the entrance to the show inside the Las Vegas Convention Center, the event got underway with a presentation by John Hartmann, CEO of The True Value Company. The successes in recent months and years by the Chicago-based retail company reflect the growth and strength of the industry—and independent dealers, in particular—overall, he said, “for the independent family business is the fabric of the American economy.”

True Value made a bold step last year by selling off 70% of the company to an outside investor, Acon Investments, effectively changing from a dealer-owned co-op model.

Hartmann said the move gave dealers the cash they needed to invest in their own businesses. He went on to stress that the entire industry must challenge how things have been done in the past and “think differently” to ensure continued growth.

On the show floor, the Canadian presence was not as evident as in years past. However, Canadian companies were exhibiting, and buyers were walking the show. These included about 10 people from Lowe’s Canada, representatives from Home Depot Canada and Canadian Tire, merchants from regional retailers like Princess Auto, McMunn & Yates and Federated Co-operatives, as well as Peavey Industries, Patrick Morin and BMR Group.

Home Hardware makes changes to senior management teams

ST. JACOBS — Recent changes in key personnel in a range of senior roles at Home Hardware continue a trend of significant change under the helm of president and CEO Kevin Macnab.

On the merchandise side, Brian Straus and Dave Martin have been appointed as directors, merchandise hardlines. The appointments went into effect April 29. Prior to the appointments, both Straus and Martin held the positions of group merchandise managers.

Both Straus and Martin now report to Joel Marks, vice-president, merchandise hardlines.

“Our number-one priority is providing our dealers with the best program for independents in the industry,” said Marks. “Both Brian and Dave bring a significant amount of expertise to their new roles and are aligned in driving our growth strategy.”

Within the merch team, Richard Sweeney and Mike Morin have been named merchandise managers, reporting directly to Martin in his new role as director.

On Home Hardware’s IT side, another longtime executive is retiring to make way for a new face. John Rogez, VP of IT and a 36-year veteran with the company, is being replaced by Gino Gualtieri in the same role, effective May 27.

Gualtieri arrives at Home Hardware with 25 years of international experience in the information technology field, across a number of retail organizations including Reitmans, Sears Canada, The Brick Group and Staples. He is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the School of Applied Technology at Humber College in Toronto.

“We are thrilled to welcome Gino as our new vice-president, information technology,” said Macnab. “Bringing a deep background in business transformation and process improvement, Gino has helped organizations change and adapt in this rapidly evolving digital world.” Macnab further thanked Rogez for his contributions to Home Hardware over “a long and impressive career.”

Two more hires in the marketing department reflect Home Hardware’s increasing focus on developing its online and customer relations strategies. Chris Parsons was appointed on April 23 as director of e-commerce marketing, where he will be responsible for the strategic direction of Home Hardware’s online digital strategy. And as of May 6, Michael Gawtrey will serve as director for Loyalty & CRM – Pro & Consumer, with the task of driving the strategies for loyalty and engagement for both pro and DIY consumers.

News of these latest changes came just one week after the company announced Darrin Noble has been appointed vice-president, store operations, in addition to his role as VP of Home’s paint and chemicals division, Burford Paint & Home Products.


Home Depot Canada’s Pam O’Rourke shares insights for vendors

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — “If you’re in home improvement, don’t tell me you’re not watching the weather.” Pam O’Rourke, vice president of merchandising for The Home Depot Canada, shared a common concern about the business with a room full of vendors earlier this month. She spoke at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturers Association at the Corporate Event Centre in Mississauga, Ont.

“We have an unprecedented time of change in our industry,” she continued. Then she moved on to the specific concerns of her company, Canada's largest home improvement retailer. “For Home Depot, it all starts with the customer.” And that customer is more educated and informed about the products and projects than ever before, thanks to the internet. “We need to deliver to these customers better. We need to deliver a complete experience.”

For any service provider, upsetting a customer or otherwise failing to meet their expectations has the possibility of going viral if they take their angst to social media. And ultimately, you could lose that customer. She calls today’s customer “fickle”.

“The door to our stores is no longer at the front of the building. It’s in the customer’s pocket, in their home, on the job site.” That requires having one face forward to the customer, “whether it’s online or in-store, with a consistent message.”

O’Rourke then moved to specifics of what vendors should expect when dealing with Home Depot. The ability to sell online offers huge opportunities in terms of product assortment but puts demands on the retailer and vendor alike to maintain supply. “But it’s really about being in stock, having product available.” She used shower doors as an example. “In your typical Home Depot store, we can show about 20 shower doors. But we have about 6,000 online. We can really extend the assortment online.”

Home Depot has been updating its supply chain over the past five years to help overcome out-of-stocks and to speed up online order deliveries both to home and to the job site.

Lowe’s Canada enjoys growth within its affiliate dealer network

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. ― Lowe’s Canada has seen expansion on several fronts in recent weeks. The growth includes replacement stores, added locations and one new dealer joining the RONA ranks.

The affiliated RONA dealer in Val-des-Monts, Que., moved into a new, larger facility earlier this month, the result of a $3.5 million investment. Owners Claude Bélec and Chantal Veilleux have added 15 new jobs to the 10 existing positions. The new 22,000-square-foot building is 19,000 square feet bigger than its predecessor.

Another store is celebrating the end of its renovation work. The RONA Deslongchamps in Rivière-Rouge, Que., is another affiliate dealer store, which recently underwent a major, $100,000 renovation. The two-storey building has been completely redesigned to make room for an appliance department, improving the shopping experience and enhancing the showroom.

A third existing RONA dealer enjoyed a grand opening late last month of its sixth location. RONA Matériaux Pont-Masson’s newest store is in the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough on Montreal’s West Island. Founded by Richard Bailey, the company will be celebrating 40 years of business in August.

Now run by his sons Éric and Stéphane, it counts three other stores in Quebec and two in Ontario. Specializing in contractor and home builder services, the company also has three other divisions: Matériaux Design, an interior and exterior home finishing showroom; Arctic Supplies, an export division in the Far North; and Structure du Nord, a roof-truss manufacturing plant.

Rounding out the current wave of growth initiatives, a brand-new dealer has also been added to the RONA affiliate network. Quincaillerie J.M. Rioux in Forestville, Que., was founded in 1986 by Jean-Marie and Denise Rioux. The family business is now operated by the daughter of the founders and her spouse, Marie-Claude Rioux and David Martel.

People on the Move

The North American Retail Hardware Association held its annual Young Retailer Awards during the National Hardware Show last week and a Canadian was among the winners. Kevin Harris of Harris Home Hardware in London, Ont., was honoured in the category of Young Retailer of the Year in the over $2 million category. Harris was recognized for achievements that included bringing new ideas and energizing the business’s merchandising and expansion efforts.

At Dahl Valve Limited, Roy Spear has been promoted to sales director, Canada and will lead Dahl’s overall sales strategy to drive expansion. With 15 years of experience in business development, sales management and strategic planning, he was most recently Dahl’s director of wholesale, Canada. Mario Oliveri recently joined Dahl as retail sales manager. He was previously director of business development at Centah Inc. He will work closely with Spear to drive retail sales initiatives.




...that we’ve just announced Early Bird Pricing for the 24th annual Hardlines Conference? It’s being held at the fabulous Kingbridge Meeting Centre, just 30 minutes from the Toronto International Airport. Presenters from Lowe’s Canada, BMR, Home Hardware, EQ3, Staples and niche fashion retailer TSOQ (The Store on Queen Street) will all be there. Click here now to learn more about our incredible lineup of speakers, the amazing venue and to save big!


OTTAWA ― The Home Depot Canada Foundation is expanding its efforts to end youth homelessness, pledging $50 million over the next three years, after fulfilling its commitment of $20 million last year. “As one of the fastest-growing segments of the homeless population in Canada, we know that many young people first experience homelessness in their early teens; we don’t think that’s right,” said Pam O’Rourke, chair of the Foundation’s board and VP of merchandising at Home Depot Canada.

LAS VEGAS — Lloydminster Home Hardware Building Centre did such an amazing job promoting itself on Facebook that the owners were invited to join a summit at Facebook’s own headquarters. Sisters Sarah Rurka and Tasha Hilderman shared the story of their incredible journey to meet with Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerburg and share ideas with other top Facebook users on the stage of the NRHA’s All-Industry Conference. The conference is being held in conjunction with the National Hardware Show this week in Las Vegas. The sisters then shared some of their insights into what makes an online campaign effective. “Social media should inform, entertain and educate,” Hilderman told the audience.

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. ― Lowe’s Canada has been named a 2018 Leader in Sustainability by Call2Recycle Canada, Canada’s national consumer battery collection and recycling program. The annual awards recognize organizations for their environmental commitment and collection of used batteries through Call2Recycle. Lowe’s Canada’s corporate and affiliated dealer network collected more than 100,000 kilograms of batteries last year. “Lowe’s Canada’s family of banners has collected 755,000 kilograms of batteries since 2001,” said Jean-Sébastien Lamoureux, Lowe’s Canada’s senior VP of communications, public affairs and compliance.

ST. JACOBS, Ont. ― Home Hardware Stores Limited has been named one of the Top 10 Most Trusted Brands in Canada by the University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business. Home Hardware jumped 18 spots from 2018, ranking fourth on this year’s list.

BURLINGTON, Ont. ― Ikea Canada has phased out all single-use plastic straws, well ahead of the retailer’s global commitment to eliminate single-use plastics from its product range and restaurants by January 1, 2020. “Plastic straws have become an important symbol in the global movement to drastically reduce plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways,” said Melissa Mirowski, Ikea Canada’s sustainability specialist.

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. ― Walmart Canada plans to invest more than $200 million in its store network, with a focus on refurbishing and refreshing 31 stores across the country over the next year. About 3,250 construction jobs will be created to support these upgrades. This latest investment builds on the retailer’s $175 million updates to its store network in its last fiscal year. Over the last five years, Walmart has invested more than $1 billion in its Canadian store network. 


VANCOUVER ― Canfor Corp. reported an $89.5 million loss in the first quarter as revenues fell compared with a year ago. The forestry company had posted profits of $112.2 million in Q1 of 2018. Sales of $1.15 billion were down from $1.23 billion a year ago. The company has already reduced operations at its B.C. lumber mills on account of low prices and high fibre costs, a move expected to cut its output by some 100 million board feet.


Housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 235,460 units in April, up 22.6% from 191,981 units in March. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 24% to 220,387 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 29.6% to 175,732 units while single-detached urban starts increased by 6% to 44,655 units. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15,073 units. (CMHC)





Classified Ads




HOURS:       8:00AM TO 4:30PM                                                              GRADE:  Salary
                        With travel and additional hours as needed. 


Responsible to the Vice-President, Merchandise Hardlines for executing on the plan to buy and the plan to sell for the Hardlines portfolios.

Provide leadership, direction and oversight to the Hardlines Merchandise Managers for the effective execution of their portfolios to achieve corporate financial and operational targets.

Develop and execute product category strategies including well-rounded assortments, vendor relationship management, product sourcing and marketing initiatives support contributing to the Dealer and Corporate profitability.

Responsible for leveraging Home Hardware’s volume and negotiating the best possible programs / pricing for the Dealer-Owners.

Remove obstacles and barriers for the Merchandise Managers assisting them in achieving their goals.

Develop, implement and monitor short- and long-term objectives, plans, programs and budgets to secure Home’s position in the marketplace. 

Maintain a current understanding of business drivers and changes by staying attuned to industry developments.

Establish and achieve financial and operational plans and goals including resource and budget planning/ management.

Provide leadership to department, promote open communications and encourage ongoing learning and development.

Collaborate with business partners, Home departments and Dealers to develop and maintain the merchandise portfolios that supports organizational needs for existing and future requirements.


College/University diploma/degree in a business-related field, merchandising or retail strategy.
Minimum seven years’ experience as a senior leader in the retail industry.  In depth knowledge of the hardware and building material product categories.

Strategic thinker with the ability to set vision and to develop and execute plans.
Strong leadership and relationship capabilities, including coaching, training and development of talent.

Excellent communication both oral and written, with strong planning, organizational and presentation skills.  Ability to effectively and positively communicate and support business change.

Strong problem solving, attention to detail, negotiation and customer service skills.

Ability to work under pressure and handle multiple demands and competing priorities.

Ability to interpret financial statements, prepare, monitor and present budgets.

Excellent computer skills with Microsoft Office products.

Ability to work additional hours as required to fulfill the responsibilities of the position, with ability to travel as needed.

Dayna Weber, Recruitment, Human Resources
[email protected].
Phone: 519-664-4975
34 Henry St W, St. Jacobs, ON, N0B 2N0
Deadline:  Wednesday, May 15, 2019

We will accommodate the needs of qualified applicants on request under the Human Rights Code in all parts of the hiring process.


About Home Hardware Stores Limited

Home Hardware Stores Limited is Canada’s largest Dealer-owned cooperative with close to 1,100 Stores and annual retail sales of over $6 billion.

Located near Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario, Home Hardware remains 100% Canadian owned and operated.  Home Hardware has received designations as one of Canada’s Best Cultures and Best Managed Companies and is committed to providing local communities with superior service and quality advice.


Responsible to the Director, Lumber and Building Materials for identifying and negotiating the best possible Forest Products Category programs and pricing for our Dealers.  Ensuring support for corporate initiatives and meeting sales and margin targets.

Responsible for providing leadership to our Forest Products Commodity traders located across the country, to achieve Forest Products department objectives in the pursuit of contributing to Dealer and Corporate profitability.  Maintain Dealer confidence in our Forest Products purchasing plans. Develop and maintain Mill relationships.

Responsible for managing Forest Products Department infrastructure to support various needs including: national and regional product assortments, program negotiations and supplier relationships, development and execution of successful promotional programs setting retails as appropriate and analysis requirements.

Overseeing of sales and operations of the Kitchener LBM Dealer Support Centre including annual budgeting and achievement of targets.

College / University diploma or degree in Business and/or Marketing.

Minimum five years leadership experience in the industry and a strong product knowledge of Forest Products and/or Millwork required.

Ability and willingness to travel throughout Canada.

An experienced negotiator with the ability to see the big picture.

Interested applicants, please submit your resume to Dayna Weber, Recruitment, Human Resources at [email protected].
Full posting available at
Phone: 519-664-4975
34 Henry St W, St. Jacobs, ON, N0B 2N0

*While we appreciate all applications received, only those to be interviewed will be contacted.

We will accommodate the needs of qualified applicants on request under the Human Rights Code in all parts of the hiring process. 

Looking to post a classified ad? Email Michelle for a free quote.




Privacy Policy |

HARDLINES is published weekly (except monthly in December and August) by HARDLINES Inc.
© 2019 by HARDLINES Inc.
HARDLINES™ the electronic newsletter
Phone: 416.489.3396; Fax: 647.259.8764
Michael McLarney — President & Publisher— [email protected]
Sigrid Forberg — Editor— [email protected]
Geoff McLarney — Staff Writer— [email protected]

David Chestnut — VP Business Development — [email protected]
Savannah Crawford — Events & Marketing Manager — [email protected]
Michelle Porter— Administration & Classifieds — [email protected]

Accounting — [email protected]

The HARDLINES "Fair Play" Policy: Reproduction in whole or in part is very uncool and strictly forbidden and really and truly against the law. So please, play fair! Call for information on multiple subscriptions or a site license for your company. We do want as many people as possible to read HARDLINES each week — but let us handle your internal routing from this end!
1-3 Subscribers: $455
4-6 Subscribers: $615
7-10: Subscribers: $750
After initial 10 subscribers, blocks of 10 are $285.
For more information call 416-489-3396 or click here
You can pay online by VISA/MC/AMEX at our secure website, by EFT, or send us money. Please make cheque payable to HARDLINES.