In Canada, recognition for retail excellence
Hardlines, the Toronto-based information service for the retail home improvement industry, presented its 2010 Newsmaker Award, and Hardware Merchandising magazine handed out seven Outstanding Retailer awards to Canadian hardware/home improvement retailers during the annual Hardlines Conference in Toronto.
CanWel Building Materials, honored with the 2010 Newsmaker Award, made news earlier this year with the acquisition of rival building materials wholesaler Broadleaf Logistics and, more recently, with the sale of its Hardware Division to a leading building materials buying group, TIM-BR MARTS.
This year’s winners, by category, were: Outstanding Hardware Store – Gow’s Home Hardware, Bridgewater, N.S.; Outstanding Building Supply/Home Centre (under 25,000 sq. ft.) – Drummond BMR, Marmora, Ont.; Outstanding Building Supply/Home Centre (over 25,000 sq. ft.) – Invermere Home Hardware Building Centre, Invermere, B.C.; Outstanding Large Surface Retailer – RONA Windsor Home & Garden, Windsor, Ont.; Outstanding Contractor Specialist Dealer – Interlakes Building Supplies Ltd. (RONA), Lone Butte, B.C.; Outstanding Young Retailer – Brandon Ford of Albertson’s Home Center (TIM-BR MART), Parksville, B.C.; and Outstanding Community Leader – Capital Building Supplies Ltd. (RONA), Prince George, B.C.
The 2010 event, held Oct. 28 and 29 at the Toronto Airport Sheraton Hotel, featured the theme "Make the Most of the Recovery" and had its best attendance in the conference’s 15-year history.
All awards were co-sponsored by the National Hardware Show with each of the Outstanding Retailers also winning a trip for two to the 2011 National Hardware Show, to be held May 10-12 in Las Vegas.
Pennsylvania lumberyard closes
Crain Lumber, a one-unit pro dealer in Northeastern Pennsylvania, has decided to shut its doors by the end of the year, according to an article in the Centre Daily Times.
The Port Matilda business, which opened in 1945, fell victim to the construction slowdown and competition from big-box retailers, the owners said.
New at Hyde Tools: global sourcing strategy
Southbridge, Mass.-based Hyde Tools said its pursuit of "right priced, quality, stainless steel products" has led it to partnerships with product development firm Proteus Design and two Chinese manufacturers.
The announcement came as Hyde Tools, which has in the past promoted itself as a "Made in the USA" leader of surface preparation tools, is introducing three new lines of putty knives and scrapers: "Pro Stainless," "Pro Project" and "Value Series."
"Everyone knows in order to supply these price points to meet the profit demands of our partners, we must product at the best costs available in the global marketplace," wrote Corey Talbot, VP of marketing and product development, in a letter
Hyde has entered into two joint product development agreements and manufacturing contracts with two Chinese manufacturers. The company described each as having more than 20 years experience in tool production. Proteus Design has worked in product development with clients including 3M, Gillette and Kohler, according to Talbot, according to Talbot.
Talbot described the move as part of a new chapter for Hyde, in which it will strive to be "Total Category Leader" — which Hyde believes it has achieved to a large extent. The company’s new brochure for the its new lines of scrapers: "New tools, and better margins for our retail partners."
The company also shared research on the putty knife and scraper market. It estimates the North American market for this product category is about 28.8 million units sold per year. The company’s research also shows the vast majority (89%) of professional users are willing to pay more for a stainless steel putty knife or scraper than for a standard carbon putty knife.