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Volume 15, Issue 13, April 1, 2015

Inside This Issue:

• Last Call for CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM/Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon
• Bond with your Fellow Canadians at Maple Leaf Night in Las Vegas
• CHHMA Ontario Golf Tournament Set for May 26th at Angus Glen
• Register Now for CHHMA Quebec Golf Classic (May 28th)
• CHHMA Lobbying Saskatchewan Government to Make Changes to New MMRP Plan
• Sears to Form REIT for $2.5-Billion Sale-and-Leaseback Deal
• Walmart Canada to Drop Unlimited Free Shipping
• Canadian Airspace is Friendly to U.S. Drones
• Target Speeds Up Canadian Exit, Plans to Close All Stores by Mid-April
• Dollarama Ponders Raising Prices Above $3
• Call for Entries for Hardlines Outstanding Retailer Awards
• Canada’s GDP Shrinks 0.1% in January, Not as Bad as Feared
• Stephen Poloz Warns of ‘Atrocious’ First Quarter for Canadian Economy
• Executives Increasingly Gloomy About Oil Shock’s Impact on Economy
• Canadian Consumer Confidence Gains for Fourth Week
• Retail Sales in Canada Still in Good Shape … Except for Gasoline Stations
• Latest U.S. Economic News 

Association News

Last Call for CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM / Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon

This year’s CHHMA Spring Conference & Annual General Meeting is only one week away (Wednesday, April 8th, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 the International Centre Conference Facility in Mississauga, ON) and if you and/or your colleagues haven’t made plans to attend, you can still do so.

This event offers a great opportunity to hear from some true experts in their fields discuss timely topics that can help you in your business and give you something to think about in regards to best addressing consumer and customer expectations.

In addition, come out and support two worthy gentlemen who are being inducted into the Hardware & Housewares Industry Hall of Fame during the conference luncheon: Mr. Bryan Gilbart,Vice President of Marketing & Sales,Envirogard/Rainfresh Water Filters and Mr. Paul Straus,President, Home Hardware Stores Limited.

A number of senior retailer executives have been invited to attend the luncheon and afternoon presentation, so the conference always offers some excellent networking opportunities too.

So take advantage of CHHMA membership and join us next Wednesday!

Click here for full details and to register. 

Bond with your Fellow Canadians at Maple Leaf Night in Las Vegas     

Maple Leaf Night is taking place this year on the evening of Tuesday, May 5th at the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.This popular social event is open to CHHMA members and their retail customers in town for the National Hardware Show (May 5-7), which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.

It’s a great way to wind down after the first day of the show with your fellow Canadians.  Enjoy some cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with other CHHMA members plus mingle with retail customers who are invited to attend the event complimentary on behalf of the sponsors.

Click here for sponsorship and ticket information.

We look forward to seeing you in Vegas! 

CHHMA Ontario Golf Tournament Set for May 26th at Angus Glen

The 46th Annual Ontario Golf Tournament (in support of the CHHMA Scholarship Program) will take place at the Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ontario on Tuesday, May 26, 7:45 a.m. shotgun start. This year’s tournament will be limited to only 144 golfers on a first come, first serve basis.

Members attending the CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM on April 8th will be able to register early for the tournament.

The event is open to CHHMA members and their invited customers.  It includes breakfast, golf, an executive lunch, awards and prizes.

Click here for an Early Bird registration form if you have registered for the conference.

Full registration will commence after the Spring Conference & AGM.

So register soon and we hope you can make it out to enjoy a fun day on the golf course with your industry colleagues and customers.

Register Now for CHHMA Quebec Golf Classic (May 28th)

This year’s CHHMA Quebec Classique de golf / Golf Classic is once again being held at the excellent Club de golf Le Fontainebleau in Blainville, Quebec on Thursday, May 28th, limit of 144 golfers.

Registration and brunch will start at 9:00 a.m., with an 11:00 a.m. shotgun start.  After golf, there will be dinner with wine followed by prize presentations.

In order to maintain the most reasonable cost possible, the tournament depends on company sponsors, so please consider sponsoring a hole while registering.

Click here for full details and to register now:   French Registration       English Registration

 Always an industry highlight, we hope to see you there!

Stewardship News

CHHMA Lobbying Saskatchewan Government to Make Changes to New MMRP Plan

The CHHMA has joined forces with a number of like minded associations to hold a lobby day in Saskatchewan in hopes we can persuade the Government to change its plan to execute the following in regards to the province’s new Waste Packaging and Paper Stewardship Plan:

- Exempt certain products such as newspaper (which is probably the biggest contributor to blue box waste)
- Shifting authority to the government from the stewards to set the actual fees
- Setting small company exemptions at too high of levels

The province-wide Multi-Material Recycling Program (MMRP) is being operated by Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW) [similar to other programs in B.C., Manitoba, Ontario] and was to have commenced on January 1st of this year but after the Saskatchewan Government made a number of changes to MMSW’s approved stewardship plan, without advance notice or consultation, MMSW asked the Minister of the Environment for a 180 day extension to the start date (i.e. effectively pushing launch date back to July 1, 2015) in order to provide adequate time for MMSW (stewards) and the Ministry to agree to program plan amendments, recalibrate the financial obligations, and re-strike new commercial contracts with municipalities that take into account a revised funding obligation.

We will keep you posted on the outcome of our efforts and look for further stewardship and legislation news in our Government Watch Reports – the latest of which will be out shortly.

Industry News

Sears to Form REIT for $2.5-Billion Sale-and-Leaseback Deal

Sears Holdings Corp. is forming a real estate investment trust (REIT) to acquire about 254 of the retailer’s properties and the new company will probably use a rights offering to finance the purchase.  Proceeds from the property sale are expected to exceed $2.5-billion, Sears said in a statement Wednesday.  The REIT, Seritage Growth Properties, would lease the Sears and Kmart properties back to the retailer.   Read More >>

Walmart Canada to Drop Unlimited Free Shipping

Walmart Canada this week will drop its unlimited free shipping of online orders in a move that signals that competitive pressures are easing a bit even as digital wars remain intense.  The company’s cyber-shopping charges, which take effect on Thursday, come as Target Corp. prepares to close all its 133 stores in Canada and leave this country completely, giving competitors some relief, at least for now. Last Saturday, Future Shop closed all its 131 stores although about half will be re-opened soon as sister chain Best Buy.

On April 2, Wal-Mart will start charging $4.97 for standard home shipping for orders of less than $50, Simon Rodrigue, senior vice-president of e-commerce at the retailer, said in a note to customers on Monday.  Read More >>

Canadian Airspace is Friendly to U.S. Drones

U.S. companies like the online shopping juggernaut Amazon are increasingly choosing Canadian airspace to test new drones after being hamstrung by restrictive laws in their own country that could take up to two years to change, experts say. Inc. announced this week it had been “rapidly experimenting” with unpiloted aircraft at a rural test site in British Columbia as part of its plan to one day deliver small packages via low-flying drones to customers in the United States, Britain and Israel.    Read More >> 

Target Speeds Up Canadian Exit, Plans to Close All Stores by Mid-April

Target Corp. is planning to close all of its Canadian stores even faster than originally planned as locations ring up higher than expected sales.  A court-appointed monitor overseeing the windup of the Target Canada stores says all 133 locations across the country will be permanently shut down by "as early as mid-April," which is about a month ahead of schedule.

Some locations have already ceased operations — 17 stores closed in the middle of March. Another six Target locations shuttered on Monday, while 23 are slated for closure on Wednesday and 32 more on Thursday.  Read More >>

Dollarama Ponders Raising Prices Above $3

Dollarama says it could eventually introduce products priced above $3 as it raises prices in the face of a low Canadian dollar.  “We’ll hold on as long as we can, but you’re going to see some inflation I would say in Canada, unavoidably,” chief executive Larry Rossy said last Wednesday in a conference call after releasing strong fourth-quarter results.

The discount retailer said it has absorbed some of the currency headwinds through lower margins, but has been forced to raise prices, for example, by adding 25 cents to some $1 items.  “I think at $1 we’re struggling to get good value for the client today,” Mr. Rossy told analysts.  Read More >> 

Call for Entries for Hardlines Outstanding Retailer Awards

Hardlines Inc. announced last Friday that it is now looking for entries for the 2015 Outstanding Retailer Awards (ORAs).

The Awards, which recognize the finest retailers in the hardware and home improvement industry, are national in scope and all Canadian home improvement retailers and managers who have operated under their current ownership for at least two years are eligible.

Dealers may submit their entries directly to HARDLINES or their chain or buying group head offices may select their best dealer(s) and prepare their entries for them, in collaboration with the dealer. Head offices may enter more than one store per category.

In addition, vendors may identify specific outstanding retailers for entry. ORA submissions are due July 31st, 2015Read More >>

Economic News

Canada’s GDP Shrinks 0.1% in January, Not as Bad as Feared

Canada’s economy stalled in January, as harsh winter weather and the oil shock took their toll on retail and wholesale trade, but the decline was not as “atrocious” as some economists had feared.  Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz had warned a day earlier that the steep slump in oil prices was having an “atrocious” effect on Canada’s economy [see next article].  Statistics Canada reported on Tuesday that real GDP fell by 0.1% in January, slightly better than the 0.2% economists had anticipated, but a reversal of course from December’s 0.3% growth.   Read More >>

Stephen Poloz Warns of ‘Atrocious’ First Quarter for Canadian Economy

Canada's economy is closing out an “atrocious” quarter, slammed by the crash in oil prices, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz warns.  The first quarter of the year ended on Tuesday, and economists have already warned it’s going to look ugly when the numbers come in. Indeed, some observers have suggested the economy may actually contract, though modestly, this quarter.  In an interview with The Financial Times from Monday, Mr. Poloz underscored those concerns, highlighting why he cut his benchmark interest rate by one-quarter of a percentage point in a move that surprised the markets in January.  Read More >>

Executives Increasingly Gloomy About Oil Shock’s Impact on Economy

Canadian executives are increasingly gloomy about the prospects for Canada’s economy, and are fearful that the recent drop in oil prices will stunt the country’s growth in the coming year.  The latest quarterly C-Suite survey reveals the most pessimistic mood in the corner office since mid-2009, when the country was still in the grips of a deep recession.  Almost 40% of the executives surveyed said they expect the economy to decline in the next year, a sharp increase from the 23% who felt that way in December. Last summer, only 3% thought a decline was in the offing.  Read More >>

Canadian Consumer Confidence Gains for Fourth Week

Canadian consumer confidence rose for a fourth week in the longest string of increases since September on optimism the outlook is improving for the economy and home prices.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index advanced to 55.6 in the week ended March 27, from 55.0 a week before. That was the highest reading since the end of January. The gauge is recovering after it fell to a 21-month low of 53.6 at the end of February on concern about the effects of falling crude prices.  Read More >>

Retail Sales in Canada Still in Good Shape … Except for Gasoline Stations

Reports that the sky is falling in Canadian retail sales are greatly exaggerated. Almost all the recent decline in total retail growth is due to lower gas prices, while other retail sectors are performing within or better than their normal range of variation. Gasoline stations account for about 12.5% of total retail, so a major sales decline in this subsector is a significant drag on the overall total.  Read More >>

Latest U.S. Economic News

U.S. home price increases continued to rise at a steady pace in January, as the housing market deals with affordability problems and few properties listed for sale.

More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in February, evidence that the spring buying season could open strong after sluggish sales for much of the winter.

U.S. consumer spending barely rose in February as households boosted savings to their highest level in more than two years, the latest sign that the economy hit a soft patch in the first quarter.

U.S. economic growth cooled in the fourth quarter as previously reported and after-tax corporate profits recorded their biggest drop since early 2011, as a strong dollar dented the earnings of multinational corporations.  Read More >>


 Upcoming CHHMA Events 

CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
International Centre (Conference Facility), Mississauga, Ontario

CHHMA Maple Leaf Night
Held in Conjunction with the National Hardware Show
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
The Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

CHHMA Ontario Golf Tournament
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Angus Glen Golf Club, Markham, Ontario

CHHMA Quebec Golf Classic
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Club de golf Le Fontainebleau, Blainville, Quebec


CHHMA Industry Calendar

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 at (416) 282-0022, ext. 34. CHHMA is located at 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON, M1B 5M4

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