Serving Canada's Home Improvement Industry

Retailers, Wholesalers, and Manufacturers of Hardware, Building Supplies, Kitchen & Bath, Paint & Decorating, Lawn & Garden, and Other Allied Products.


September 19, 2017

Ontario To Lead Home Sales Decline

Canadian home sales are expected to drop to their lowest level in three years in 2018, driven largely by a decline in Ontario, says the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). It expects that 495,100 homes will be sold next year after downgrading its sales forecast for 2017 based on a 9.9 per cent drop in August compared with a year ago. It expects sales will fall 2.3 per cent in 2018 following a 5.3 per cent decline this year to 506,000, or 20,000 fewer than previously forecast in June. Seasonally adjusted sales in August rose 1.3 per cent from the prior month, due to a 14.3 per cent boost in the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario. Still, sales in this area were down 35 per cent from a year ago. CREA projects sales in British Columbia and Ontario will fall by about 10 per cent in 2017, compared to record highs set in 2016.

Sears Canada Ceases Filing Financial Statements

Sears Canada Inc. will not be filing unaudited interim financial statements, management's discussion and analysis, or related CEO and CFO certifications (the ‘Continuous Disclosure Filings’) for the 13-week period ended July 29, which, under applicable securities laws, are required to be filed by September 27. The company remains subject to a stay of proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), initially granted by order of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in June. Since the granting of that order, Sears Canada’s common shares have been delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market. Following the filing deadline, the company expects that the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) will issue a cease trade order for Sears Canada securities. Any cease trade order issued by the OSC will also apply in the other jurisdictions of Canada. In light of the ongoing restructuring process, the company does not intend to make the Continuous Disclosure Filings prior to or following the issuance of the anticipated cease trade order.

Campbell Reminds Canadians To Insulate

For more than 10 years, Kate Campbell, celebrity carpenter and CertainTeed Brand Ambassador, has honed her skills working with some of Canada’s top renovators. She learned the importance of a well-insulated home early in her career. She says it is essential for Canadians to make sure their home is winter ready. “Adding insulation when you renovate is a must, but there are ways to save money and energy and increase the comfort of your home without ripping down walls.” She recommends CertainTeed TrueComfort or InsulSafe XC loose insulation in the attic to prevent warm air from rising and escaping through the roof. “Blown-in loose insulation is a great choice for attics because it fills many hard-to-reach spaces and provides excellent protection from air leakage.” She says a contractor can blow in the loose insulation. If homeowners want to do their own insulating, they can place fiberglass batts over any existing insulation to meet or exceed the recommended R-value. CertainTeed Unfaced Sustainable Insulation batt product line is an insulation material made of fiberglass that consists of rapidly renewable content, a high percentage of recycled glass, and a new plant-based binder that has no formaldehyde, harsh acrylics, dyes, or unnecessary fire retardants added.

Comber Home Hardware Opens Second Location

Comber, ON, Home Hardware celebrated the grand opening of its second location with a store-wide sale and barbecue this past weekend. Since 1988, the store has been owned and operated by a number of banners. Dealer-owner Bret Drew purchased the location in April 2017 and converted the existing banner to Comber Home Hardware. He says he has expanded almost every department and is now offering a broader assortment of products. The store is approximately 4,000 square feet and categories include hardware, livestock feed, and ladies fashion accessories. Drew also owns Tilbury, ON, Home Hardware, which he purchased from his parents 10 years ago.

Wolseley Canada Acquires Quebec Retailer

Wolseley Canada Inc. has acquired Plomberium Pierrefonds, a bath and kitchen retailer in Montréal, QC. Established 35 years ago, Plomberium Pierrefonds will immediately continue operations under the Wolseley’s Quebec-based Vague & Vogue brand. Owners Pierre Girouard and Luciano Rubino will continue in management roles. Vague & Vogue has 11 locations across Québec. Wolseley Canada also operates retail bath and kitchen showrooms across Canada under the Kitchen & Bath Classics, TAPS Bath, and Wolseley Studio brands.

Dollar Tree Announces Leadership Succession

Gary Philbin is president and chief executive officer of Dollar Tree, Inc. He has been with the company since 2001, most recently as enterprise president. He replaces Bob Sasser, who is now executive chairman. Sasser has been chief executive officer of the company since 2004.

September 18, 2017

Home Sales Post Small Gain

National home sales posted a small gain in August 2017, says the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). National home sales rose 1.3 per cent from July to August. However, actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 9.9 per cent below last August's level and the number of newly-listed homes fell a further 3.9 per cent from July to August. There was a roughly even split between the number of local markets where sales posted a monthly increase and those where activity declined. The monthly rebound in Greater Toronto, ON, Area (GTA) (14.3 per cent month-over-month) sales fueled the national increase. For Canada net of the GTA, sales activity was flat. It was the first monthly increase in activity since Ontario's Fair Housing Policy was announced. Still, GTA sales activity remained well down compared to the peak reached in March (-36 per cent) and year-ago levels (-32 per cent). "Experience shows that home buyers watch mortgage rates carefully and that recent interest rate increases will prompt some to make an offer before rates move higher, while moving others to the sidelines," says Andrew Peck, CREA’s president. With sales up and new listings down in August, the national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 57 per cent compared to 54.1 per cent in July. A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40 per cent and 60 per cent is generally consistent with balanced national housing market.

Consumers Cut Back On Shopping

U.S. Consumers cut back on their shopping in August by the largest amount in six months, says the Commerce Department. Retail sales fell 0.2 per cent last month after a 0.3 per cent gain in July. It was the biggest one-month drop since an identical decline in February. Auto sales sank 1.6 per cent, the most in seven months. Excluding autos and gas, which tend to be volatile from month to month, sales dipped 0.1 per cent in August after having risen 0.5 per cent in July. The weaker-than-expected August sales were weighed down in part by the initial disruptions from Hurricane Harvey on the Gulf Coast. Another factor was some pay-back from July, when sales had been boosted by the Amazon Prime Day sales promotions. Sales rose at general merchandise stores, a category that includes big box retailers.

Weeks Opens Another Home Hardware Location

Hamilton, ON-based Weeks Home Hardware ‒ Hamilton opened a new location this past weekend. The 23,000 square-foot store is the fourth location for dealer-owner Ron Cicuttini, an established industry veteran. The store is an urban location that will showcase full service departments as well as a home expressions area, paint and decorating department, and bath shop. “This is my largest store and my first ‘greenfield’ project,” says Cicuttini. “I am very proud of all my stores, but building this one from scratch has been a very special experience. We are a hardware store and have ensured that we stock everything that is needed to complete a home project.”

Vizüsolution Collection Features Uniboard Designs

Vizüsolution has launched its Boutique collection, a selection of more than 100 Slatwall panel colours using Uniboard designs. The collection is accessible to the architect and designer community with a minimum order of 20 sheets. Vizüsolution has worked with Uniboard to offer a range of store fixtures and boutique displays, ideal for any commercial project. Manufactured with MDF Excel+ from Uniboard, Slatwall panels are a new addition to Uniboard’s co-product offering. The colours included in the program are part of Uniboard’s ‘Signature’ and ‘Synchronized Collections.’

GLAD Celebrates 50 Years In Orangeville

The GLAD plant in Orangeville, ON, is celebrating its 50th year in operation this year. The plant employs 110 people and has donated more than $168,000 both corporately and through employees to community organizations and causes over the past 10 years. As part of the Clorox Company of Canada's ‘Gift Campaign,’ employees can give through payroll deductions and the company will match that same amount of donations to a registered charity of the employee's choice. The plant manufactures indoor and outdoor garbage bags as well as cling wrap for both Canadian and U.S. markets. The plant is also the sole supplier of Glad's compostable products across North America and one of two Clorox facilities with a zero-waste designation.

VersaPay Names Chief Revenue Officer

Ross Pellizzari is chief revenue officer with VersaPay Corporation. He has more than 30 years of experience in areas such as financial services, retail, distribution, and government. His previous positions include president of Avaya Canada and head of channel sales at Cisco Canada.

Forum Focuses On Retail Flyers

Retailers and marketers are coming together to explore what’s next for the retail flyer – in both its many paper and digital formats. The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is hosting the half-day conference that will focus on engagement, personalization, the future, and multi-channel, and more. It takes place October 31 in Toronto, ON. For more information, visit

September 15, 2017

Retailers Preparing For Holiday Season

While Canadians still have roughly 100 shopping days left before the holidays get into full swing, retailers across the country got a head start on what they expect to be a busier holiday season compared to 2016, say a survey by Purolator and Leger. It shows Canadians will be generous gift-givers this year as the majority of retailers (80 per cent) anticipate an increase in sales as they enter the busy shopping season. Retailers started their holiday planning in July, and September marks the busiest month for holiday preparations. Retailers say they are planning early to keep up with rising demand from customers (93 per cent) and to ensure shipments arrive on time (91 per cent). Almost nine in 10 retailers (89 per cent) say eCommerce has created new customer buying patterns, resulting in early holiday planning.

ROXUL Sponsors Students In Sustainable Housing

ROXUL Inc., a stone wool insulation manufacturer, is backing university super group TeamMTL with a ‘Team Member Sponsorship’ of product and expertise. The team, consisting of university students from architecture, engineering, and design faculties of both McGill and Concordia, will compete globally to build a net zero energy, sustainable, green energy home for the ‘2018 Solar Decathlon’ in Dezhou, China. McGill University was invited to the 2018 China competition and later teamed up with multiple departments from Concordia to form TeamMTL. Combining technology and concepts of sustainable building practices, teams design and build one- or two-storey, 1,290 to 2,150 square-feet, fully functional, comfortable, energy generating, and conserving homes. Each home is to fully facilitate all necessary household appliances and include an electric vehicle and accompanying charging station.

Gananoque Resident Wins Toyota RAV4

A Gananoque, ON, resident is ending the summer season on positive note after being the lucky recipient of the ‘Great Canadian Scratch and Win.’ David Anderson is the grand prize winner of a 2017 Toyota RAV4. He received the keys at a celebration at Gananoque Home Hardware Building Centre. Anderson entered his name in the Home Hardware’s online contest.

Whirlpool Microwaves Meet Latest Standards

Whirlpool Corporation has announced three microwaves that meet the newly published Sustainability Standard for Household Microwave Oven Appliances (AHAM 7007-2017). The standard was developed collaboratively by the Association of Home Appliances Manufacturers (AHAM), UL Environment (ULE), and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and requires microwaves meet lifecycle-based environmental performance criteria in materials, energy consumption during use, manufacturing and operations, product performance, and end-of-life. The Whirlpool brand microwaves that have received AHAM certification are WMH53521H, WMH78019H, and WMHR32519FS.

West Joins Lowe’s

Michael West is senior vice-president of supply chain field operations with Lowe’s Companies, Inc. He joins Lowe’s from Neiman Marcus, where he worked most recently as vice-president, supply chain.

September 14, 2017

Lowe’s To Convert Vancouver RONA

Lowe's Canada’s Grandview RONA Home and Garden store in Vancouver, BC, will convert to the Lowe's banner. The store will undergo an extensive renovation and re-merchandising of the existing store which is expected to be completed by the beginning of March 2018. The renovation will involve construction, departmental sequencing of new racking and re-merchandising, branding, and IT conversion. As well, Lowe's is investing in its people with extensive employee training focused on new product knowledge and customer service. The store will remain open during the conversion.

Nykamp Home Hardware Celebrates Re-opening

Cambridge, ON-based Nykamp Home Hardware Building Centre is celebrating its grand re-opening after finishing an extensive two-year renovation. The store remodeled the entire facility including a 3,000 square-foot kitchen, bath, and lighting showroom. Dealer-owner Mark Nykamp is holding a special event to celebrate that will feature prizes and savings on designer lighting. There will also be a truckload sale with discounts throughout the store. Nykamp Home Hardware Building Centre is a full-service home improvement centre that offers free estimating services for kitchens, bathrooms, lighting, and various building projects.

TORLYS Launches CorkWood Products

TORLYS Inc. has launched CorkWood, an engineered floor that combines the look of wood, the durability of laminate, and the comfort of cork. The top layer of the product is made of a high-definition, digitally printed compressed layer of cork in patterns of oak and walnut. It is available in two collections: CorkWood Designer featuring extra-long six-foot planks in nine colours and CorkWood Elite which features roughly four-foot long planks in five colours. The product is engineered with HDF (high density fibre) smart core for dent resistance and a layer of compressed cork. The polyurethane finish is equivalent to AC4 laminate. Along with the compressed cork top layer, CorkWood includes the TORLYS CorkPlus attached underlay for added warmth and sound insulation. The underlay is infused with Microban antimicrobial product protection that inhibits the growth of mould and mildew. Corkwood, along with all other TORLYS cork collections, is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, ensuring the wood and cork used in the manufacturing process come from responsibly managed forests.

Above Average Plastic Door Demand Forecast In U.S.

Demand for plastic doors is forecast to increase six per cent per year to $2.9 billion in 2021, remaining the smallest, but fastest growing material segment, says a report from the Freedonia Group. Home and business owners will increasingly specify fiberglass doors for their superior durability and aesthetics compared to steel and vinyl. However, vinyl patio doors are expected to see growing use due to their low cost and good energy efficiency. Plastic door manufacturers will continue to improve the appearance and design options of their products to better compete with wood and metal. Demand for plastic doors is primarily driven by trends in the residential market where fiberglass and vinyl see widespread use in entry and patio door applications. In 2016, the residential market accounted for 76 per cent of plastic door sales ‒ a share that is expected to grow as new housing construction spending continues to expand at a robust pace, supporting above average increases in plastic door demand.

September 13, 2017

Millennial Men Most Lucrative Market

Millennial men have emerged as key influencers, a role that women have long dominated, finds a report by Engagement Labs. It shows that Millennial men are 50 per cent more likely to be consumer influencers than Millennial women. Not only are they more influential, but they are increasingly recommending beauty, apparel, and household products, and not just the usual male-oriented products and services such as sports or automotive. Millennial men are more likely to qualify as key influencers than any other age or gender segment. Fourteen per cent of all Millennial men ages 25 to 39 are everyday influencers, a figure that is double that of men aged 40 and older. Engagement Labs says Millennial men are not only at an age when households and brand loyalties are still forming, but they're also the nation's largest generation, as well as the most educated, connected, and informed generation, which has established them as one of the most lucrative marketing segments.

BMR Gets New Dealer

Saint-Raymond, QC-based Paulin Moisan inc., has joined the Groupe BMR network. Paulin Moisan is a family-run business that was established 55 years ago. The retailer joined the group because it wanted to be part of a 100 per cent Quebec-owned company, says Sophie Moisan, co-owner. The company won the ‘Company of the Year Award’ at the most recent Gala de Mercuriades for its increase in productivity. Categories offered by the dealer include flooring, electrical, paint, plumbing, seasonal, hardware, décor, and garden. It also offers contractor service, delivery, a rental centre, and a propane fill centre.

Researchers Develop Solar Paint

Researchers have developed a solar paint that can absorb water vapour and split to generate hydrogen – the cleanest source of energy, says Australian-based RMIT University. The paint contains a compound that acts like silica gel, which is used in sachets to absorb moisture and keep food, medicines, and electronics fresh and dry. But unlike silica gel, the new material, synthetic molybdenum-sulphide, also acts as a semi-conductor and catalyzes the splitting of water atoms into hydrogen and oxygen. Mixing the compound with titanium oxide particles leads to a sunlight-absorbing paint that produces hydrogen fuel from solar energy and moist air. Titanium oxide is the white pigment that is already commonly used in wall paint, meaning that the simple addition of the new material can convert a brick wall into energy harvesting and fuel production real estate, says Dr. Torben Daeneke, lead researcher at RMIT. Hydrogen can be used in fuel cells as well as conventional combustion engines as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Toolway To Hold Annual Open House Off-site

Toolway Industries Ltd., an importer and distributor of power tools, hand tools, and accessories that’s celebrating its 25th anniversary this year – is hosting its annual open house October 3. This year the event will take place off-site – it was getting to popular and large for Toolway’s building – and will be held at the Universal Event Space in Vaughan, ON. The event will feature vendor exhibits and an opportunity for attendees to network. It will also feature ‘Pallet Alley,’ one-day special deals, new product launches, spring promotions, and free draws and prizes. For more information, visit

White To Lead Masonite Supply Chain

Randy White is senior vice-president, global operations and supply chain with Masonite International Corporation. He joins Masonite from Joy Global, Inc., where he served in various operations and manufacturing roles since 2008, most recently serving as the vice-president operations, supply chain, quality, and operational excellence (lean).

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