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1335 Morningside Ave.
Suite 101
Scarborough, Ontario
M1B 5M4
T:(416) 282-0022
F:(416) 282-0027


     Volume 16, Issue 26, July 6, 2016   

Inside This Issue:

• CHHMA Scholarship Program Application Deadline of July 15 Fast Approaching
• Is Your Company in Need of a New Proposal on Group Insurance/Employee Benefits?
• Loblaw Sends Letter to Major Suppliers, Asking to Lower Costs
• Amazon Gradually Eliminates List Prices from Site
• Amazon ‘Prime Day’ is Back this July 12
• Analysts Uncertain Over Empire Co.’s Recovery Plan
• Companies Expect Marginal Sales Growth Over the Next Year: Bank of Canada
• Canada’s Economy Bounces Back in April but Growth Spurt Unlikely to Last
• Get Ready for the Loonie to Slide Further Against the U.S. Dollar Later this Year: CIBC
• Mortgage Industry Says There’s No Housing Bubble in Canada
• North America is Not Immune to Brexit Effect, Despite Optimistic GDP Figures
• U.S. Spending is on the Rise for Kitchen and Bath Renovations

                                  Association News                         

CHHMA Scholarship Program Application Deadline of July 15 Fast Approaching

The CHHMA is once again pleased to be able to offer the opportunity for children of employees of our member companies to apply for a scholarship to help offset the cost of post-secondary education. The Association recognizes the importance of education and therefore encourages children of our member companies to attend University or College.  Successful candidates receive $1,000 CDN per year for the first two years of study leading to a diploma or degree from an accredited community college or university.

The scholarship program is available to the dependents of any current full-time employees of the CHHMA or member companies. The program is only offered to Canadian companies or divisions of companies based in Canada which are members of the CHHMA. The member company must remain a member in good standing in order for the student to qualify for the second year of the scholarship.The student's parent or guardian must be an active full-time employee with at least one year seniority with the CHHMA or member company as of July 15th in the year of application. Applicants must be preparing to enter an accredited community college or university in the fall term, and attain a minimum average of 75% in the last year of high school (or CEGEP).The decision of the Selection Committee and the CHHMA is final and not open to appeals.The CHHMA reserves the right to withdraw a scholarship should the student's parent(s) or guardian(s) voluntarily leave the employment of the CHHMA or member company, or if employment is terminated for just cause prior to the start of the school year, or if the company terminates its membership in the Association.

Complete details, application forms and information sheets (for bulletin board postings) in English and French can be found at Please print off and post these notices in your lunch room or high traffic area.

The CHHMA must receive applications from potential candidates no later than July 15th.

Since 2001, the CHHMA has awarded $160,000 towards scholarships and some 80 young people have benefited from the scholarship program.

Is Your Company in Need of a New Proposal on Group Insurance/Employee Benefits?

As a member of the CHHMA, your company can take advantage of the CHHMA Group Insurance/Benefits Program and custom design a program for your employees’ needs while leveraging the pricing power from being part of an association group.

The broker for the CHHMA group insurance/benefits program is the Benefits Architect Group and Desjardins Insurance is the risk underwriter for the program.

The program offers very competitive rates which have decreased member benefit insurance costs by 10-20%, and as high as 38% while offering a faster, more efficient and custom program.

The program offers outstanding benefits not otherwise available to small groups.

The flexible plan design can be tailor made to your company’s needs, providing the exact coverage and benefits required.

• Flexible plan design
• Ease of administration
• Long term price stability at renewal
• Outstanding benefits not otherwise available to small groups
• Prompt, courteous, dedicated service - Toll free line support
• Clear communication in both languages
• Cost savings through volume discounts

Enhance your existing employee benefits plan or save money on a comparable program today!

For more information or to receive a free, no-obligation quote, please contact:

Michael Jorgenson at CHHMA (416) 282-0022 ext. 34, or contact our insurance broker:

Nigel Ottley, Benefits Consultant at Benefits Architect Group, (416) 934-1660,, website:

                                 Industry News

Loblaw Sends Letter to Major Suppliers, Asking to Lower Costs 

Loblaw president Galen Weston, who observed in May that consumers were getting fed up with rising food prices, now wants his company’s largest suppliers to shoulder a bigger part of the inflationary burden.

In a strongly worded letter to its large suppliers this week, Loblaw is asking the group to cut costs by 1.45% for shipments received by the country’s largest grocery chain on or after Sept. 4. The move comes after Loblaw told its suppliers last October that it intended to reform and simplify its pricing practices in order to smooth out friction between the two parties and provide greater cost clarity.

“Since 2014, our suppliers have implemented more than $1 billion in cost increases,” says the letter to suppliers, obtained by the Financial Post. The letter is signed by Grant Froese, Loblaw’s chief operating officer, and Mike Motz, president of Shoppers Drug Mart.    Read More >>

Amazon Gradually Eliminates List Prices from Site

In a major shift for online commerce, Amazon is quietly changing how it entices people to buy. The retailer built a reputation and hit $100 billion (U.S.) in annual revenue by offering deals. The first thing a potential customer saw was a bargain: how much an item was reduced from its list price.

Now, in many cases, Amazon has dropped any mention of a list price. There is just one price. Take it or leave it.   Read More >>

Amazon ‘Prime Day’ is Back this July 12

Amazon is renewing its “Prime Day” July sales gimmick as Walmart also tries to go after online shoppers.

The e-commerce powerhouse launched the discounting event last year to commemorate its 20th anniversary and to advertise its $99 annual Prime loyalty program, which offers free two-day shipping, during sleepy summer shopping months. It has said previously that Prime Day would be an annual event. Now Walmart is also advertising online shopping discounts in July as well as a 30-day free trial of a two-day unlimited shipping service. Other retailers may try something similar.

It remains to be seen whether Amazon’s event will be a hit or a bust. There was online grumbling last year that the deals were unimpressive, that deal items ran out too fast and were only available for a limited time. Amazon said it was a success, with 18% more orders placed that day than the prior year’s Black Friday, the shopping day after Thanksgiving that’s typically the busiest day in retail. The company also said it got hundreds of thousands of new Prime sign-ups.

This year the Seattle retailer says it has stocked more of the deal items. Discounts will start at 3 a.m. ET on July 12th and new ones will be introduced every few minutes.  Read More >>

Analysts Uncertain Over Empire Co.’s Recovery Plan

Analysts are worried about the lack of a turnaround timeline for Sobeys’ parent company after the retailer posted disastrous fourth quarter results last week amid continued struggles to integrate its Safeway business in Western Canada.

Two quarters of impairment charges in a row at Empire Co., totalling $1.3 billion and $1.7 billion respectively and leading to steep fourth quarter losses, “amount to about half the purchase price of Canada Safeway,” analyst Peter Sklar at BMO Capital Markets said in a note to clients. “It is not clear to us how long it will take for investments in margin to reverse the negative traffic trends,” he added.    Read More >>

                                 Economic News

  Companies Expect Marginal Sales Growth Over the Next Year: Bank of Canada

A new Bank of Canada poll suggests businesses are expecting only a marginal acceleration in sales growth over the next 12 months.

The central bank’s latest Business Outlook Survey released on Monday, but conducted before the UK’s shock vote to leave the European Union, found that sales prospects remain gloomy among companies hit by the oil-price slump. But the poll also indicates firms outside the affected commodity industries and in the service sectors are more optimistic about the coming year.  Read More >> 

  Canada’s Economy Bounces Back in April but Growth Spurt Unlikely to Last   

Canada’s economy bounced back to modest growth in April on gains in consumer and government spending, manufacturing and conventional oil and gas extraction that were offset by a big drop in heavy oil activity, Statistics Canada reported last Thursday.

The agency said real (adjusted for inflation) GDP rose 0.1% in April after a 0.2% drop in March and a 0.1% decline the previous month. The April result matched market expectations. The April figure was in line with economists’ forecasts.

“It’s a welcome bounce from a soft end to the first quarter, but it will only be temporary relief as the impact of the Alberta wildfires loom,” CIBC economist Nick Exarhos said in a report.  Read More >>

Get Ready for the Loonie to Slide Further Against the U.S. Dollar Later this Year: CIBC

Rising oil prices have pushed up the loonie against the U.S. dollar in recent months, but CIBC Capital Markets says that will likely change later this year.

CIBC analysts said in a new report that a Fed hike in December will push the loonie down to 74 cents U.S., from its current level of about 77 cents U.S.

“With oil prices expected to languish around current levels, look for the loonie to reach the 1.35 (74 cents U.S.) level by the end of the year,” write analysts at CIBC World Markets. “That’s a less dramatic move than we earlier thought, since we eliminated a September hike from our Fed outlook.”   Read More >>

Mortgage Industry Says There’s No Housing Bubble in Canada

A Canadian mortgage industry group says there is no bubble in any Canadian housing markets and is warning the government against any changes in lending conditions that might derail the market.

Will Dunning, the chief economist for Mortgage Professionals Canada, which represents more than 11,000 members across the country, says everybody is waiting for the bubble to burst, but maintains there isn’t enough evidence to say it exists.

“There is a risk that changes in policies of lenders or mortgage insurers that reduce access to mortgages could cause an unnecessary drop in housing demand and housing prices, and bring consequent economic damage,” Dunning said, in a release last week that accompanied the group’s 38-page report on the state of the mortgage industry.   Read More >>

 North America is Not Immune to Brexit Effect, Despite Optimistic GDP Figures

First, the good news: The U.S. economy performed a lot better in the first quarter of 2016 than previously forecast, and Canadian GDP edged up in April for the first time in three months — setting an initial optimistic tone for the second quarter.

Now, the bad news: With the impact of the Brexit vote to leave the European Union setting in — accompanied by dire projections of a U.K. recession — all bets could be off for near-term growth in North America. It also shelves plans by the U.S. Federal Reserve to push ahead with its already-detailed plan for interest rate hikes, and likely leaves the Bank of Canada firmly on hold for a lot longer than planned only a few weeks ago.   Read More >>

U.S. Spending is on the Rise for Kitchen and Bath Renovations      

U.S. homeowners are investing larger budgets into their kitchen and bathroom renovation projects, according to the fifth annual Houzz & Home Survey of more than 120,000 respondents released last month.

The average spent on kitchen and master bath remodelling projects in 2015 increased by 12% year over year. Consistent with the last five years, kitchens remain the most popular interior remodelling project (31%), followed by master/non-master bathrooms (22% and 26%, respectively) and living/family rooms (23%). Renovating homeowners also tackled a more diverse set of projects in 2015 than in 2014, with a greater emphasis on upgrades to interior spaces (72% versus 69%) and exterior features like windows and roofing (56% versus 53%).  Read More >> 

Upcoming CHHMA Events 

Industry Memorial Golf Tournament
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Blue Springs Golf Club, Acton, Ontario
To register for all events visit our website at or call Pam Winter at (416) 282-0022 Ext. 21


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"Eye On Our Industry" is published by the CHHMA as an information resource for our members. Member input regarding content and format is welcomed. Please contact Michael Jorgenson by email: or call (416) 282-0022, ext. 34.

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Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association | 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON M1B 5M4
Telephone: (416) 282-0022   Email: