Home Depot Canada held its annual "Meet the Buyer" day in Toronto on Nov. 7, an event that brought 22 small and medium manufacturers from Quebec and Ontario face-to-face with the retailer’s merchants. Now in its third year, Meet the Buyer is a partnership between The Home Depot Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, and the Quebec Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade.
Manufacturers who catch the interest of Home Depot’s buyers are awarded a trial in select Home Depot locations, with the ultimate goal being sold across Canada. As a result of last year’s "Meet the Buyer" event, held in November in Ottawa, there are 25 new products now available at select Home Depot locations in London, Ottawa and online, according to the retailer. These products include organic waste bins, a two-in-one generator and a collapsible rain barrel.
"We were very impressed with the caliber of product submissions,” said Jeff Kinnaird, VP merchandising, The Home Depot Canada. “At The Home Depot Canada, we're committed to nurturing small and medium-sized manufacturers as they build the capacity they need to do business with a large-scale retailer."
To qualify for a trial, a product must be innovative, made for retail sale to home improvement customers, and designed, manufactured or assembled in Ontario or Quebec. Since the program started in 2010, 115 manufacturers have participated, with 40 offered in-store trials.