Serving Canada's Home Improvement Industry

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


February 20, 2020

BB&B Launches Capital Allocation Strategy

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. has launched a fiscal 2020 capital allocation strategy, which will include an estimated $1 billion of spend balanced across capital return to shareholders, debt reduction, and reinvestment in the company's core business operations to drive growth. The retailer is working on a number of initiatives as part of its strategic plan which include approximately $350 to $400 million of investments in stores, IT and digital projects, and supply chain infrastructure. “The financial strength of our business allows us to take the important steps needed to return capital to our shareholders and reduce our debt, while at the same time also investing in our customer,” says Mark Tritton, chief executive officer.

PEI Home Show Returns To Charlottetown

The ‘Prince Edward Island Provincial Home Show’ returns to Charlottetown this year and will offer visitors the chance to shop, learn about new products, get expert advice, find inspiration, and plan renovations. This year, the show features appearance from local celebrities, door prizes, and a fundraiser for the Special Olympics PEI. The show takes place March 6 to 8 at the Eastlink Centre. For more information. Visit PEI Home Show

Jasper PIM Partners With Venzee Technologies

Digital content distribution platform Venzee Technologies Inc. has partnered with Jasper PIM, a product information management solution for eCommerce. Brands and manufacturers use Jasper's technology to manage and merchandise product information to unify their entire technology stack and optimize the way they sell and market their products or services into new channels around the world. Venzee announced earlier this year completion of functional integration to more than 250 of retail destinations worldwide. It says the integration with Jasper will provide the product listing capability required by eCommerce merchants for reaching new sales channels and create a seamless, automated, retail distribution network for an expanding client base.

Warren Named National Sales Manager

Phil Warren is national sales manager at SANIFLO Canada, a division of Group SFA. Previously, he was eastern sales manager.

JELD-WEN Revenues Decrease

JELD-WEN Holding, Inc. had net revenue of $1.069 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019, a decrease of 2.1 per cent over net revenue of $1.092 billion for the fourth quarter of 2018. Net revenue for the North American segment increased 3.1 per cent year-over-year. Net income for the quarter was $7.8 million, down from net income of $38.1 million in the year-ago period. This decrease was primarily due to a higher tax rate and lower gross profit from reduced volumes. Adjusted EBITDA was $89.2 million, down 15.9 per cent over the previous year.

Online Grocery Drives Walmart Revenues

Walmart Inc. had total revenue of $141.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019, an increase of 2.1 per cent over revenues $138.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018. Walmart U.S. eCommerce had strong growth in grocery pickup and delivery, and had its highest quarterly growth rate of the year. Net sales at Walmart International were $33 billion, an increase of 2.3 per cent year-over-year. Overall adjusted operating income was $5.8 billion, down 3.7 per cent over $6.1 billion in the previous year quarter.

February 19, 2020

Manufacturing Sales Decline

Manufacturing sales declined for the fourth consecutive month, down 0.7 per cent to $56.4 billion in December, says Statistics Canada. Sales were down in 11 of 21 industries, representing 42.6 per cent of the Canadian manufacturing sector. The largest declines were in the motor vehicle assembly and aerospace product and parts industries. However, these decreases were partly offset by higher sales in the primary metal industry. Constant dollar sales declined 0.4 per cent, indicating a lower volume of goods sold. The largest declines were in Quebec (-2.2 per cent) and Ontario (-1.1 per cent). Following two consecutive months of declines, sales in British Columbia increased 3.3 per cent. Inventory levels fell 0.3 per cent to $87.4 billion in December. Inventories were down in eight of 21 industries, led by the transportation equipment (-4.3 per cent), computer and electronic product (-6.7 per cent), and machinery (-1.5 per cent) industries.

January U.S. Construction Starts Move Lower

Total U.S. construction starts slipped six per cent from December to January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $759.2 billion, says Dodge Data & Analytics. All three major categories moved lower in January — residential building starts fell eight per cent, non-residential building lost six per cent, and non-building starts fell two per cent. For the 12 months ending January, total construction starts were one per cent higher than during the previous 12-month period. By major category, residential building starts were one per cent lower and non-residential building starts were down by less than a percentage point, but non-building construction was eight per cent higher during the 12-month period. January’s Dodge Index moved downward to 161 compared to the 171 posted in December and was eight per cent lower than its most recent 12-month average.

Masco Completes Cabinetry Segment Sale

Masco Corporation has completed the sale of its cabinetry division to ACProducts, Inc., a manufacturer of cabinetry products owned by American Industrial Partners. Masco announced the plan to divest the cabinetry segment in June 2019.

Stokes Initiates Restructuring

Housewares and home décor retailer Stokes Inc. has initiated the process to reposition its business for future growth and profitability by filing a notice of intention to make a proposal to its creditors. The company says it is pursuing this course of action to facilitate the implementation of its go-forward strategy that will secure the long-term viability of the company in the best interest of its employees, customers, and suppliers. The company will reduce its retail footprint in Canada by closing less profitable stores and streamline its head office operations. It will continue to invest in its online business which has experienced material growth over the last few years.

Home Depot Canada Announces Hiring Spree

Home Depot Canada is hiring more than 5,500 new associates across the country to support its busy spring season. The company is hiring for full-time, part-time, and seasonal positions including overnight associates, sales associates, cashiers, lot associates, specialty associates, and department supervisors. Eligible full- and part-time employees have access to benefits, profit-sharing programs, tuition reimbursement, and employee assistance programs.

Softwood Leads Acadian Sales

Acadian Timber Corp. Had sales of $25.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, up from sales of $24.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. Sales of softwood increased year-over-year, while sales of hardwood decreased. Sales of biomass also decreased for the quarter. Overall net income for the quarter was $16.2 million, down from $16.4 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA was $6.6 million and 25 per cent of sales compared to $4.6 million and 19 per cent of sales.

February 18, 2020

Strong January Home Sales, Despite Slide

Home sales recorded declined by 2.9 per cent in January, although they remain among the stronger monthly readings of the last few years, says the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Transactions were down in a little over half of all local markets, with the national result most impacted by a slowdown of more than 18 per cent in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. While there were few notable gains in January, many of the weaker results have come alongside a shortage of new supply in markets where inventories are already very tight. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was still up 11.5 per cent compared to January 2019, marking the best sales figures for the month in 12 years. Transactions surpassed year-ago levels in about two-thirds of all local markets, including most of the largest urban markets. As mentioned, some of the larger markets where sales were down, such as Ottawa and Windsor-Essex, ON, are currently among some of the tightest supplied markets in Canada. The number of newly listed homes was little changed in January, edging up a slight 0.2 per cent on the heels of a series of declines which have left new listings at a near decade low.

January U.S. Retail Sales Up 2.7 Per Cent

January U.S. retail sales increased 0.2 per cent seasonally adjusted over December and were up 2.7 per cent unadjusted year-over-year, says the National Retail Federation (NRF). The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants. January’s results build on increases of 0.3 per cent month-over-month and 6.3 per cent year-over-year in December. Online and other non-store sales were up seven per cent year-over-year and furniture and home furnishings stores were up two per cent. Building materials and garden supply stores were down 1.4 per cent year-over-year but up 2.1 per cent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

TIMBER MART Holds 10th Annual Buying Show

TIMBER MART held its 10th annual national buying show February 14 to 15 where it launched proprietary products, celebrated outstanding dealers and vendors, and provided new programs and an assortment of deals to members. More than 200 vendor booths filled 60,000 square feet of show floor which featured a wide range of show displays and more than 2,000 SKUs of building materials and hardlines products. At the centre of the floor, the TIMBER MART area encompassed hubs for all of the group’s services and programs including TIMBER MART LBM Distribution, TIMBER MART Essentials, dealer marketing, merchandising, and banner support.

Andersen Windows Refreshes Brand

Andersen Windows has refreshed its branding which features a new logo and tagline – ‘Love the life you see’ – and will be launched in a marketing campaign this spring. The updated brand will celebrate self-expression, as every Andersen window or door is crafted to deliver a custom experience for customers. The marketing campaign will feature stories of people enjoying moments they create in their home through the lens of their Andersen windows and doors. The 116-year-old company’s new logo reflects the past and the future. It includes Andersen’s distinctive colour orange and the shield, which has been repositioned in an upward-facing triangle which, in Greek, stands for ‘opening’ or ‘doorway.’ The company letters - ‘AW’ - have also been removed from the logo to reflect the entirety of the company’s current portfolio.

Retail Segment Boosts Ace Hardware Revenues

Ace Hardware Corporation had revenue of $1.5 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019, an increase of 6.1 per cent over revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018. Wholesale revenues were up four per cent year-over-year and retail revenues were up 30.8 per cent. Increases were noted across all departments, with grilling, outdoor power equipment, and hand and power tools showing the largest gains. Wholesale gross profit was $150.7 million, an increase of three million over the year-ago period, and retail gross profit was $63.6 million, an increase of $18.9 million. Net income was $3.5 million for the quarter, a decrease of $21.7 million from the year-ago period.

February 14, 2020

Consumers Spending More On Housewares

U.S. dollar sales of small appliances grew four per cent in 2019, and sales of non-electric housewares increased two per cent compared to 2018, says the NPD Group, a global information company. Combined, this growth amounted to an additional $952 million in sales for the industry in 2019, demonstrating the consumer's continued focus on enhancing their homes and the core needs related to healthy living, convenience, sustainability, entertainment, experience, and taste that are being addressed by these products. Healthy living and convenience were once again front-and-centre in the top performing small appliances of 2019, spanning kitchen electrics, personal care, and home environment. Air fryers, hot air stylers, and robotic vacuums accounted for 42 per cent of the small appliance industry's sales gains, each capturing more than $100 million in incremental sales for the year, reflecting significant double and triple-digit growth.

Garant Celebrates 125th Anniversary

Tool manufacturer Garant celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. The Saint-François-de-la-Rivière-du-Sud, QC-based company makes and distributes non-powered tools for the gardening, snow removal, cleaning, and construction industries and offers more than 4,000 products through retailers across Canada and the U.S. To mark the milestone, Garant partnered with the Québec City's world-famous Carnaval, and even had a visit from Bonhomme, the official snowman representative of the Carnaval, at its plant. Garant has been making tools in Saint-François-de-la-Rivière-du-Sud, in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, since 1895. The company employs about 375 workers, who are mostly from the small town with a population of 1596.

Scott Takes On Western Canada

Kelley Scott is director of sales – western Canada with Alexandria Moulding. Previously, she was director of marketing.

Canadian Tire Corporation Has Strong Retail Sales

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited had an increase of 4.3 per cent in consolidated comparable sales for the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. Excluding petroleum, consolidated retail sales were up 5.1 per cent year-over-year. Consolidated revenue was $4.3 billion in the quarter, up 4.5 per cent over consolidated revenue of $4.1 billion in the year-ago period. Excluding petroleum, consolidated revenue increased 5.1 per cent. The retail segment had a 4.5 per cent increase in revenue, or 5.1 per cent excluding petroleum, year-over-year. Canadian Tire Retail had a 6.6 per cent increase in retail sales, with comparable sales up 4.8 per cent. Income before taxes increased 6.9 per cent.

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