Serving Canada's Home Improvement Industry

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


November 18, 2016

Manufacturing Sales Rise Again

Manufacturing sales rose for the fourth consecutive month, up 0.3 per cent to $51.5 billion in September, says Statistics Canada. The gain reflected higher sales in the transportation equipment and fabricated metal industries. Sales were up in 12 of 21 industries, representing 70.1 per cent of the total manufacturing sector. In constant dollar terms sales edged down 0.2 per cent, indicating that lower volumes of manufactured goods were sold in September. Prices for the manufacturing sector rose 0.4 per cent according to the ‘Industrial Product Price Index.’ Sales were up in five provinces in September. Quebec and Ontario reported the largest gains, which were partly offset by lower sales in New Brunswick. Inventories in the sector rose 0.5 per cent to $70.3 billion. The inventory-to-sales ratio increased from 1.36 in August to 1.37 in September. The inventory-to-sales ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level. Unfilled orders declined for the third consecutive month, down 0.2 per cent to $88.6 billion in September. New orders rose 2.3 per cent to $51.3 billion in September, as a result of gains in the transportation equipment and machinery industries.

Castle Adds Toronto Member

Parliament Building Supplies has joined the Castle Building Centres Group Ltd. Parliament is located in downtown Toronto, ON. For more than 100 years, the retailer has partnered with residential, commercial, and industrial builders, contractors, and homeowners in Toronto. It is also a mission critical supplier to the city’s film and television production companies. It specializes in lumber and building supplies at its 15,000 square-foot warehouse and two-acre site, or via on-site delivery. The company is under new ownership, who has decided to join the Castle. The retailer is also committed to the preservation of natural resources. They ensure that a selection of lumber products are FSC certified. This certification ensures that these select products have come from responsible forestry and have undergone a rigorous product verification process. The company is also committed to eliminating wood purchases from any endangered regions of the world.

Lumenpulse Breaks Ground On Modern Head Office

Lumenpulse Group has started construction of its future head office in Longueuil, QC, which will include an immersive experience centre unique to the company. The 140,000 square-foot leased space will house the Lumenpulse Group's existing manufacturing operations, a testing centre, design and engineering activities, and the company's headquarters. It is expected to be complete by fall 2017. The project is part of the continued expansion of Lumenpulse which has had sales growth from $62 to $145 million over the past two years.

Retailers Need To Invest In Omnichannel To Compete

Omnichannel adoption is growing among retailers in all sectors, and retailers who want to compete must invest in this strategy, says a report by eTail East and WBR Digital. The report, ‘Five Insights into the Omnichannel Landscape,’ shows 75 per cent of retailers consider omnichannel essential to their business, although 49 per cent are not actively investing in an omnichannel retail strategy. Additionally, only one per cent of retailers consider mobile marketing to be their biggest spend channel, with 61 per cent saying search marketing fills this role. Outdated systems are among the greatest challenges facing omnichannel integration say 39 per cent of retailers. Very few retailers consider themselves having completed or nearly completed their journey to omnichannel, with nearly one-third of all respondents stating they are at all completed. Most importantly from this report, retailers are looking to their customers for answers on how to best improve customer experience and gain their loyalty. A majority of respondents claim seamless customer experience across channels is the most important benefit of an omnichannel strategy.

Deceuninck Names Managers

Dave Pirwitz is sales manager, northwest region, with Deceuninck North America. His territory includes western Canada. He has 19 years of experience in the fenestration industry, most recently at Urban Machinery. Scott Ricke re-joins the fenestration side of the company as customer experience manager. He has been part of the Deceuninck team for more than 25 years, most recently as product manager for the decking and railing business.

Revenues Flat For Walmart

WalMart Stores, Inc. had total revenue was $118.2 billion for its third quarter of fiscal 2017, an increase of 0.7 per cent over the third quarter in its fiscal 2016. On a constant currency basis, total revenue was $120.3 billion, an increase of 2.5 per cent. Walmart U.S. comparative store sales increased 1.2 per cent, driven by a traffic increase of 0.7 per cent. Net sales at Walmart International were $28.4 billion, a decrease of 4.8 per cent. Globally, on a constant currency basis, eCommerce sales and gross merchandise volume increased 20.6 per cent and 16.8 per cent, respectively, representing continued acceleration. Year-to-date operating cash flow was $19.6 billion and free cash flow was $12.2 billion, both approximately $5 billion higher than last year.

Revenue Steadies For Griffon

Griffon Corporation had revenue of $501 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. This was consistent with revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015. Home and building products revenue was also consistent with the prior year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter totaled $60.1 million, increasing eight per cent from the prior year quarter of $55.4 million. Fourth quarter net income totaled $7.7 million compared to $10.8 million in the prior year quarter. For the full year 2016, revenue totaled $1,957 million, decreasing three per cent versus the prior year.

November 17, 2016

Slower Sales Than Expected For Lowe’s

Lowe's Companies, Inc. had net earnings of $379 million for the third quarter of 2016. Adjusted net earnings for the third quarter were $775 million, a 5.3 per cent increase over net earnings from the same period a year ago. Earnings were impacted by the wind down of Hydrox, the joint venture with Woolworths that was terminated in August, and asset impairments associated with the company’s Orchard Supply Hardware operations. Sales for the third quarter increased 9.6 per cent to $15.7 billion from $14.4 billion in the third quarter of 2015 and comparable sales increased 2.7 per cent. The company says it had slower than expected sales in the first two months of the quarter.

Canadians Prefer Shopping In-store

The majority of Canadians plan to do their holiday shopping in-store this year, says research from SAS. However, the research shows retailers need to be well stocked during the holidays, as half (51 per cent) of Canadians surveyed said that if a brand or item they wanted to purchase was not available in-store, they would go to another store to find it. Likewise, if an item is out of stock online, more than half (59 per cent) of those surveyed would go to a different website to get their desired gift. One way to get around inventory issues is gift cards, which its research finds are the most popular gifts Canadians plan to give this year at 66 per cent. SAS says that although consumers may prefer shopping in-store, they still research gift ideas online. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents reported using online retailers' product suggestions to find ideas for gifts to give and more than half of shoppers (54 per cent) go through with purchasing an item suggested by online retailers at least some of the time. But, retailers have some work to do when it comes to providing useful product recommendations as 44 per cent of shoppers felt that suggestions based on previous searches or purchases were not very accurate.

Energy Conservation To Drive Smart Homes Market

The global smart homes market is expected to reach US$47.61 billion by 2020, says a report by Grand View Research, Inc. Emphasis on reduced carbon emission and energy conservation are expected to be the key driving forces for the market over the forecast period. Favourable regulatory initiatives for implementing smart homes owing to their energy efficiency characteristics are further expected to positively impact the global market over the next six years. The increased aging population, which comprises a majority of end-users of this technology, is also expected to boost market growth. Introduction of smart grids, increased personal income in developing economies, assistance of power line communication, and growth of consumer electronics industry are factors expected to favourably impact market growth. However, the need for standardization, skilled labour, and high initial cost due to the incorporation of advanced technologies such as IP and Bluetooth may pose a challenge to industry growth.

RONA Shareholders Approve Lowe’s Offer

The holders of record of RONA inc.’s preferred shares have approved the statutory plan of arrangement for their acquisition by Gestion Lowe's Canada, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lowe's Companies, Inc., for $24 per share. The completion of the arrangement between the entities remains subject to customary court approval and closing conditions, but is expected to be completed by November 18.

Canadians Plan To Shop Online Black Friday And Cyber Monday

One-fifth of Canadian consumers plan to buy online on Black Friday and eight per cent plan to buy online on Cyber Monday, says a survey by One Hour Translation. The survey shows that Black Friday is going global and becoming a major shopping event outside the U.S. On average, 16.5 per cent of the respondents in eight countries expressed a preference to buy online on Black Friday and nine per cent on Cyber Monday. In the U.S., around 26 per cent of the respondents plan to buy online on Black Friday, while around 28 per cent plan to do so on Cyber Monday. Canadian Millennials lead the holiday season online shopping frenzy with 31.5 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds saying they intend to buy online Black Friday, and 27 per cent on Cyber Monday. Eighteen per cent of Canadians aged 35 to 64 age group intend to buy online on Black Friday and eight per cent on Cyber Monday. For those over 65, Cyber Monday draws no interest.


John Fluke is a commodity trader for TIMBER MART’s Atlantic Canada lumber-trading team. Most recently, he was Atlantic commodities manager for Lighthouse Lumber/AFA Forest Products.

HBC Sales Decrease In Third Quarter

Hudson’s Bay Company had a consolidated comparable sales decrease of 3.6 per cent on a constant currency basis for the third quarter of 2016. This compares to a consolidated comparable sales increase of two per cent for the third quarter of 2015. Excluding Gilt, consolidated comparable sales decreased 3.2 per cent on a constant currency basis. The department store group had a comparable sales decrease of 2.4 per cent for the third quarter. Total digital sales, which include Gilt on a pro forma basis, increased 5.4 per cent on a constant currency comparable basis for the quarter.

November 16, 2016

Canadian Home Sales Rise In October

The number of homes trading hands via the Canadian MLS systems rose 2.4 per cent month-over-month in October, says the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Activity was up on a month-over-month basis in about 60 per cent of all local markets, led by the Fraser Valley, BC, Calgary and Edmonton, AB, Hamilton and Burlington, ON, and Montreal, QC. “First-time home buyers looking to get into the market before having to face tougher mortgage eligibility criteria had only two weeks to do so following the finance minister's announcement of tighter mortgage regulations in early October,” says Gregory Klump, chief economist at CREA. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity rose two per cent in October compared to October 2015, setting a record for the month, edging out the previous record set back in October 2009 by just 0.8 per cent. The number of newly-listed homes climbed 1.7 per cent in October compared to September. Led by a marked increase in the Greater Toronto, ON, Area, new listings were up from the previous month in about 60 per cent of all local markets.

Sales Rise 6.1 Per Cent For Home Depot

The Home Depot had sales of $23.2 billion for the third quarter of 2016, a 6.1 per cent increase from the third quarter of 2015. Comparable store sales for the quarter were 5.5 per cent and comparable sales for U.S. stores were 5.9 per cent. Net earnings for the third quarter were $2 billion compared with net earnings of $1.7 billion in the same period of 2015. The company says online sales grew 17 per cent and online sales were 5.6 per cent of total sales. Forty per cent of online sales were picked up in the store. Comparative store sales in Canada were positive for the 20th consecutive quarter.

Lowe’s Opens North York Store

Lowe’s Canada is opening a store in North York, ON. The store will open in time for the winter season and offer about 40,000 products. It has roughly 67,600 square feet of retail sales space across two floors and marks the company’s 53rd store in Canada under the Lowe’s banner.

Bosch Water Heater Receives Innovation Award

Bosch Thermotechnology Corp.’s Greentherm 9900i SER condensing tankless water heater was awarded a ‘2017 Innovation Award’ by the Consumer Technology Association. The water heater is the premium model in the Bosch Greentherm 9000 series. The entire series is highly energy efficient, particularly the 9900i SER model which features integrated Wi-Fi controls. Entries for the award are evaluated on their engineering, aesthetic and design qualities, intended use/function and user value, unique/novel features present, and how the design and innovation of the product directly compares to other products in the marketplace.

Cardtek To Launch Canada's Debit Card Mobile Payment Platform

Payment technologies provider Cardtek will launch Mobile Services Manager (MSM), a secure mobile payments platform, in partnership with DC Payments, a full-service provider of payment processing and ATM managed solutions. This contactless payment solution, integrated with leading open wallets, will enable Canadian residents to make debit expenditures from a mobile phone without presenting a bank payment card. MSM is integrated into DC Payments card management ecosystem as a gateway connecting issuers, DC Payments, and a variety of tokenization service providers (TSP), beginning with Interac. MSM enables advanced card credential management services including deployment and life cycle management ‒ tuned for the major digital wallets available in the market. The platform will be available by the end of the year.

Flood Affects Intertape Earnings

Intertape Polymer Group Inc.’s revenue increased three per cent to $206.6 million for the third quarter of 2016 compared to the third quarter of 2015. Gross margin for the quarter increased to 21.7 per cent from 21.3 per cent. Net earnings decreased $9.4 million to $6.3 million. The company estimates that its net earnings for the third quarter of 2016 were negatively impacted by the South Carolina flood by approximately $5 million.

November 15, 2016

Mobile Investment Key To Competing

Investments in mobile filter into other aspects of business and generate increased revenue, retention, and loyalty, enabling retailers and brands to better keep pace with competition, finds a report by Mobify and InternetRetailing. ‘Mobile and the Digital Investment Imperative: Why Mobile Trumps other 2017 Digital Investments’ shows mobile drives sales through increased conversions, delivers new customers, and increases customer value. It says the purchase funnel is changing and is no longer linear. Now consumers move through the purchase funnel in a series of loops, often missing stages. The themes of simplicity, convenience, and context require understanding what kind of moment the shopper is having right now. Is this person just looking for information or do they really want to buy something right now? Combining the best of customer experience, marketing automation, and customer engagement with a mobile platform is the only way to put customers first. Consumers are moving increasingly to mobile as their main point of contact with retailers. It may not necessarily be the point at which they purchase ‒ although that is growing too ‒ but it is where they will interact at some point with your business.

Lemeiux Wins Achievement Award

Doug Lemieux, a TIMBER MART member and president of L.B.H. Building Centre Inc., has received the Western Retail Lumber Association’s (WRLA) ‘2016 Industry Achievement Award.’ Nominated by TIMBER MART and chosen by the WRLA, Lemieux is recognized for his years of dedication to the lumber and building material (LBM) industry, the development of his local community, and the support of various not-for-profit organizations, including the WRLA. He will be presented the award at the WRLA’s buying show closing night party on January 20 in Calgary, AB.

Drywall Demand to Reach 10 Billion Square Metres In 2020

Demand for drywall worldwide is forecast to advance four per cent per year through 2020 to 10 billion square metres, a deceleration from the rate of the 2010-2015 period, says the Freedonia Group. However, demand growth will vary considerably from region to region due to economic and construction activity. Central and South America is projected to post the fastest demand gains through 2020, due to advances in residential and non-residential building construction activity. Additionally, growing usage of drywall in place of traditional building techniques and materials will contribute to demand gains. North America, eastern Europe, and western Europe will post more moderate gains in drywall demand through 2020. In North America, sales of drywall in the U.S., its largest market, are expected to slow as building construction spending decelerates. However, in Canada, drywall demand is expected to rebound from losses posted between 2010 and 2015.

Product Demand Propels Trex Sales

Trex Company, Inc. had net sales for the third quarter of 2016 of $106.2 million, 13 per cent above the $94 million reported for the same period in 2015. Net income for the third quarter 2016 was $6.9 million up 84 per cent. Gross margin was 28.2 per cent, 460 basis points ahead of the prior year; adjusted for legacy warranty reserve charge gross margin was 37.5 per cent, an 820 basis point expansion. “Demand for Trex products continues to grow and resulted in significant revenue gains in the third quarter that substantially outpaced the sector,” says James E. Cline, president and chief executive officer. “In addition to increased sales, we are producing substantial operating leverage, driving higher profitability levels through greater capacity utilization, lower raw material costs, and our ongoing initiatives to reduce manufacturing costs.”

Masonite Sales Rise

Masonite International Corporation’s net sales for the third quarter of 2016 were $490 million, an increase of $13.9 million, or three per cent, compared to the third quarter of 2015. Net income increased $48.3 million to $32 million in the quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was $65.1 million, up 29 per cent over the same period in 2015. North American residential net sales were $338 million, an 11 per cent increase over the third quarter of 2015. Europe net sales were $70 million, an 11 per cent decrease from 2015. Architectural net sales were $77 million, a three per cent increase over 2015. Total company gross profit increased 19 per cent to $104 million in the quarter, from $88 million last year. Gross profit margin increased 280 basis points to 21.2 per cent.

November 14, 2016

Groupe BMR To Offer BBQ Québec Products

Groupe BMR has partnered with BBQ Québec to bring the company’s products to BMR and Unimat stores across Québec over the next few weeks. In addition, roughly 20 BMR stores will have a permanent, full-fledged BBQ Québec Zone, where customers can find BBQ Québec’s entire line of barbeques, accessories, sauces, and spices. BMR says this partnership will help meet an increasing demand from customers who enjoy barbequing all year long.

Canadian Tire Store To Open In Victoria

Canadian Tire Corporation is opening a retail store in Victoria, BC, on a site it acquired from Target Corporation last year. The two-level store has approximately 93,500 square feet of retail space in a total of 140,000 square feet of space. In addition to the usual retail offerings, it will feature an auto centre, automotive loan-a-tool, a hunting pro shop, RIV inspection, key cutting, and propane swap.

Bona Announces New Hires

Mike O’Neil is adhesive specialist with Bona US. He brings a 30-year tenure in the hardwood flooring industry and holds a wide array of experience and skills working with distribution, contractors, builders, retailers, architects, and designers. Blake Reynolds is a territory manager. Previously, he worked with a variety of flooring substrates and in customer training on application best practices, daily and interim maintenance procedures, machines, and safety. He will also spearhead its regional training centre in Addison, TX.

Mohawk Has Record Net Earnings

Mohawk Industries, Inc. had 2016 third quarter record net earnings of $270 million, a 25 per cent increase versus net earnings of $215 million in the prior year. Excluding restructuring, acquisition, and other charges, net earnings were $261 million, a 17 per cent increase. Net sales for the third quarter were $2.3 billion, up seven per cent versus $2.14 billion in the prior year's third quarter. Sales were up four per cent for the global ceramic segment; sales were up six per cent for the flooring North America segment; and sales were up 15 per cent for the flooring rest of the world segment.

Double Digit Income Rise For WD-40

WD-40 Company had total net sales for the fourth quarter of $97.2 million, an increase of six per cent compared to the prior year fiscal quarter. Net sales for the full fiscal year were $380.7 million, an increase of one per cent compared to the prior fiscal year. Net income for the fourth quarter was $14.2 million, an increase of 21 per cent compared to the prior year fiscal quarter. Net sales of maintenance products, which are considered the primary growth focus for the company, increased eight per cent in the fourth fiscal quarter when compared to the prior fiscal year period. Net sales of homecare and cleaning products decreased nine per cent in the quarter when compared to the prior fiscal year period.

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