The National Hardware Show Canada kicks off next week in Toronto, at a time when the Canadian home building market is showing strength, and competition among home improvement retailers is heating up.
The show is scheduled for Oct. 16 and 17 at Toronto’s Congress Centre, preceded on Oct. 15 by a Hardlines Conference. Canadian buyers, including buying group Castle Building Centres, will participate in open-to-buy days at the event. The event also includes a “New Product World.” Speakers at the Hardlines Conference are Robert Dutton, president and CEO of Canadian home improvement giant Rona; Ron Beal, president and CEO of Orgill; and Jim Thompson, senior vp-merchandise for Wal-Mart Canada.
According to statistics compiled by the National Hardware Show, the Canadian home improvement industry grew 8.9 percent last year and has seen more than 8 percent annual growth each year for the past three years.
Home Depot’s Canada division leads home improvement retailers in the country by sales, followed by Rona, Home Hardware Stores, Canadian Tire, Sodisco-Howden and TruServe Canada. The top three buying groups by sales are Home Hardware, Independent Lumber Dealers Co-op (ILDC) and the Sexton Group.
Lowe’s entered the Canadian market this year as well, as did specialty home decor retailer Crate & Barrel.
Further illustrating the growth potential for the Canadian market, representatives for Canadian Tire said earlier this month the company planned a five-year, $2.7 billion expansion with the goal of increasing sales by 6 to 8 percent annually. The plan calls for 60 to 70 new stores per year, which over the five-year period would boost the company’s total store count – now at about 1,100 locations – by 5 percent.