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Home Hardware (Paul Straus) Breakfast Meeting

A crowd of one hundred CHHMA members was on hand April 27th at the International Centre Conference Facility in Mississauga, Ontario to hear Paul Straus, the newly appointed President & CEO of Home Hardware Stores Limited (previously Vice-President & CEO), speak at the latest CHHMA breakfast meeting event.

Mr. Straus reviewed the history of Home Hardware, their focus on the independent and discussed important keys to their success. Even through the economic downturn, Home Hardware was still able to achieve growth last year and took advantage of extra TV advertising opportunities during the recession while other companies cut back to help drive traffic to their stores. The atmosphere was very positive at the recent Home Hardware Spring Market and sales for the first quarter of 2010 were strong including sales of LBM, paint and big ticket items like furniture and appliances which have picked up after declining during the recession.

Mr. Straus reviewed the different banners and need to have the right size store for the right market. Merchandising, staff training, customer service, offering customer value and consistent brand experiences remain vital aspects to Home Hardware’s success. Mr. Straus mentioned that Home Hardware has an average staff retention of 12.4 years which is very high for a retail operation and having good employees contributes highly to their success.

Mr. Straus also discussed some of the recent market trends Home Hardware is capitalizing on and their use of exclusive products and spokespeople e.g. Mark Cullen in advertising to help draw traffic to their stores where consumers can then have exposure to other products and services. Home Hardware does not currently sell product on line as they prefer to bring consumers into their stores to establish an in-store relationship and loyalty.

Mr. Straus finished his presentation taking some questions from the members on sales tracking info for vendors, flyer advertising plans and the upcoming impact of the HST.

CHHMA President Vaughn Crofford presents Paul Straus with a small token of appreciation.  In addition, the CHHMA will be making a donation to the Doug Straus KidsAbility charity on Paul's behalf.
Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association | 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON M1B 5M4
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