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Wal-Mart Canada pays out record bonuses

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Wal-Mart Canada store associates are marking a successful fiscal 2007 by sharing a record $45.4 million in bonus payments, based on company and store goals, according to the retailer.

“This represents the company’s greatest bonus payout in its 14-year history,” the retailer said in a statement.

Wal-Mart Canada began a bonus program in 1994 when the retailer took over the country’s Woolco stores. This year, 242 of 299 stores nationwide paid bonuses to eligible part- and full-time associates under the program — “an average reward was nearly $1,000,” according to the company.

“In keeping with a policy of open communication, Wal-Mart store management shares detailed sales and profitability progress figures with store associates daily,” the statement said. “This year’s record bonus payment reflects Wal-Mart Canada’s success in a year in which it responded to significant industry challenges”

Successful initiatives included responding quickly to the higher Canadian dollar with lower prices and keeping stores opened “around the clock” in the lead-up to Christmas.

“Pricing and operational strategies, the continued growth of our supercentre program, marketing campaigns promoting our price leadership and many other factors brought customers to our stores last year,” said Jim Thompson, Wal-Mart Canada’s senior vp-operations. “However, it was our store associates that delivered a phenomenal performance in a tough year for retail.”

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BlueTarp, Orgill announce partnership

BY HBSDEALER Staff

BlueTarp Financial and hardlines distributor Orgill have announced a partnership to provide credit and financial services to independent hardware and home improvement retailers.

Denise Sullivan, Orgill’s retail programs manager, said the additional financial services are meant to help strengthen relationships between retailers and contractors.

“Retailers will be able to offer more credit to contractors while increasing their cash flow. BlueTarp takes over the backroom duties plus provides contractors with a 24/7 online tracking system and the ability to earn rewards for purchases,” she explained.

BlueTarp Financial, based in Charlotte, N.C., offers commercial trade credit services to more than 1,500 building material dealers and over 30,000 contractors across the United States and Canada. Memphis, Tenn.-based Orgill serves more than 5,000 customers worldwide.

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Stanley Q1 sales and earnings up

BY HBSDEALER Staff

New Britain, Conn.-based Stanley Works reported first-quarter net earnings of $68 million, up 0.6 percent from $67.6 million last year. Net sales were $1.09 billion, up 3.3 percent from $1.06 billion last year.

John Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Stanley Works, noted the company’s consumer DIY sales were flat, but the company’s industrial segment saw growth.

“Our Engineered Solutions business was strong, and of course we were helped by foreign exchange,” he said. A stronger performance outside the United States, particularly in Europe, helped offset some of the sales declines as well, he added.

The company saw flat revenues in consumer tools and storage, as well as in the company’s Bostitch business.

“The U.S continues to be adversely impacted by the residential construction market. That of course affects consumer tools and storage as well as Bostitch,” Lundgren added. “In North America those businesses were both down low single digits in terms of revenue.”

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