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Volume 11, Issue 14, April 15, 2011

Association News

Quebec Golf Registration Now Open
Registration is now open for the 36th CHHMA Quebec Golf Classic taking place at Le Club de golf Le Fontainebleau in Blainville, Quebec on May 17th (11:30 a.m. shotgun start).

The cost to attend is $300 for CHHMA members, $350 for non-members and includes brunch, golf, cart, dinner and wine plus $10,000 worth of prizes and gifts. You can also purchase tickets for dinner only for $110. Hole sponsorship opportunities are also available. 

Registration for golf is restricted to 144 players, so sign-up soon by clicking here.

Come Join Your Fellow Canadian Customers and Colleagues in Las Vegas! 

Maple Leaf Night is taking place this year on the evening of Tuesday, May 10 at the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. This popular social event is open to CHHMA members and Canadian customers in town for  the National Hardware Show (May 10-12). This event presents an ideal opportunity for you to mix and mingle with peers and customers in a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

The cost to attend is $160 CDN ($200 CDN at the door) for CHHMA members. Retail customers are invited complimentary.

Click here for further details or to register. 

RONA's Jean-Luc Meunier Breakfast Seminar Set for May 31, 2011

The CHHMA is pleased to be presenting Mr. Jean-Luc Meunier, Sr. Vice-President, Dealer Development, RONA inc. at an upcoming breakfast seminar in Boucherville, Quebec on Tuesday, May 31st.

The breakfast seminar will take place at the Hotel Mortagne, 1228 Rue Nobel, Boucherville, QC J4B 5H1, Registration 7:30 a.m., Breakfast 8:00 a.m.

The cost to attend is $65 for CHHMA members, $85 for non-members plus 5% taxes.

Look for further details and registration info in the coming days.

Western Golf Tournament  at Morgan Creek on June 7

The 15th Annual CHHMA Western Golf Tournament will be held on Tuesday, June 7 at the Morgan Creek Golf Club in Surrey, B.C.

Tee-off times will be allocated between 11:14 a.m. and 1:17 p.m., followed by dinner and award/prize presentations which will start at 6:30 p.m.

The cost to attend is $230+HST for CHHMA members, $255+HST for non-members and $80+HST for dinner only.

Hole sponsorship opportunities are available for $150+HST. Money raised from the tournament will go towards the CHHMA Scholarship Program which awards scholarships each year to children of CHHMA member employees.

Registration will commence later next week, so please check your email for further details or visit the CHHMA website.

Ontario Golf Tournament at Angus Glen on May 25 

The 42nd Annual CHHMA Ontario Golf Tournament is taking place on Wednesday, May 25 at the Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ontario.

The South Course will be available for those wanting to play their own ball, the North Course for scramble teams.

The cost to attend is $245+HST for CHHMA members and includes breakfast, golf, followed by an executive lunch, awards and prizes. Each golfer will also receive a pair of golf shoes.

The shotgun starting time is 7:45 a.m. and registration and breakfast will start at 6:30 a.m.

Hole Sponsorships are available for $150+HST. Proceeds from the tournament will help support the Ontario Special Olympics.

Early Bird sign-up took place at last week's Spring Conference & AGM. Full online registration will be open early next week.

2011 Spring Conference & AGM Recap 

The 2011 CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM took place last Tuesday, April 5th, at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. This year's theme was "Boom, Bust & Bounce Back" and the line-up of speakers and topics provided those in attendance with timely and useful insight for managing their businesses during this recovery period and beyond.

Conference Presentations

The first keynote speaker of the day was Craig Alexander, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at TD Financial Group. Mr. Alexander's presentation reviewed the World, U.S. and Canadian economies in 2010 and what is projected to happen in 2011 and 2012. He discussed the two speed recovery that is taking place between emerging markets and the industrialized economies and explained the major risks that could have an influence on forecasts going forward. Mr. Alexander also provided details on the housing market in the U.S. and Canada as well as projections for the CDN dollar.

A donation was made on Craig's behalf to the United Way and as tradition, Craig was presented with the gift that will be given to all our players at the upcoming Toronto CHHMA Golf Tournament in May - a pair of FootJoy golf shoes.

The second speaker in the morning was Jim Moore from SkillPath Seminars. Mr. Moore is a successful author, computer executive, corporate trainer and professional coach. Jim's keynote address entitled "ecession + Recovery = Our New Reality ... How to Adapt, Grow, and Capitalize for Greater Success" discussed four pillars for a successful business and the important questions that you need to ask your company and customers.

Jim also conducted two afternoon break-out sessions on Doing More with Less and Team Building

The final keynote speaker in the A.M. period was Robert Kozinets, Professor of Marketing at York University's Schulich School of Business. Mr. Kozinets is a globally recognized expert on social media, innovation, marketing and brand strategy. Robert's excellent presentation on "Social Media Marketing (SMM)" brought everyone up to speed on the various types of SMM available and tactics that can be used.

The presentation was filled with lots of examples including some CHHMA member company campaigns. 
 Frank Turco, Senior Manager, Trend & Design, Global Sourcing at The Home Depot Canada conducted a very informative afternoon break-out session on the latest trends in home improvement and design. Frank talked about the latest colour and design trends for the home as well as products that will be popular for the home interior and exterior.

Mike Trepanier, Vice President with Ernst & Young Orenda Structured Finance Service Groups, held a break-out session on Hedging Strategy with a particular focus on foreign currency. Mike explained how to develop an effective hedging policy including the various programs and instruments that are available to use.

Paul Publow, Founder and President of Logistics Services and Solutions (LSS) Inc., presented a break-out session on logistics/transportation issues and challenges as well as information on import & export regulations and requirements. LSS is the endorsed logistics program for the CHHMA.
Mike Morley, certified public accountant, author and speaker provided a break-out session on Finance Basics for Non-Financial Managers which reviewed the basics in understanding financial statements.

The closing keynote speaker for the conference was Ken Wong, an award-winning professor at Queen's School of Business and a frequently cited marketing authority. Mr. Wong's topic was Marketing in an Up and Down Economy and his highly educational and entertaining presentation discussed the importance of  margin as the key criteria for business success and ways one can maximize profit through different price, cost and volume approaches.

Annual General Meeting

During the Annual General Meeting, four new Directors were elected to the Board of the CHHMA for a two-year term:

Andre Daigle, President, RCR International Inc.
Eric Daignault, General Manager, Richelieu Hardware
Dave Evans, General Manager, Hardware division, Stanley Black & Decker
Val Jedras, Vice President/General Manager, World Kitchen Canada

Also, three current Directors standing for another two-year term were elected:

Steve Barker, Senior Account Manager-Canada, IPEX HomeRite Products
Craig Emmerson, Vice President, Bissell Canada Corporation
Peter Thomson, Vice President - Retail & Product Management, Taymor Industries Ltd.

Returning on the Board are:

Doug Whaley (Chairman), Rust-Oleum Consumer Brands Canada
Dave Simmons (1st Vice Chairman), Jarden Consumer Solutions
Mike Wilson (2nd Vice Chairman), Recochem Inc.
Kris Ovstaas (Treasurer), Philips Lighting
James Mumby (Past Chairman), Dynamic Paint Products Inc.
Greg Aubert, Canadian Thermos Products Inc.
Dave McKellar, Masco Canada Ltd.
Alan Moyer, Panasonic Canada Inc.

The meeting also acknowledged Mark Gagliardi, J.L. Gagliardi & Associates Ltd., who in accordance with CHHMA bylaws will be leaving the board after completing his third consecutive two year term; Mary Houston, Anchor Hocking Canada, who is retiring from our industry (Mary was acting Treasurer on the Board and will be replaced by newly elected Treasurer Kris Ovstaas, Philips Lighting); and Mike Trottman, Knape & Vogt Canada Inc., who has accepted additional work responsibilities and has decided not to seek another term on the Board. We sincerely thank them for their time and dedication given to our association.

Industry Hall of Fame Inductions

During the Conference & AGM Luncheon, two worthy candidates were inducted into the Hardware and Housewares Industry Hall of Fame: Mr. Joseph Kuchar and Ms. Annette Verschuren. The Hall of Fame was established in 1984 to honour outstanding Canadians from our industry, who through their leadership and entrepreneurial ways, have either founded or built successful business enterprises. 

Mr. Joseph Kuchar was born in Austria in 1916, and came to Montreal in 1951 with his wife Maria. He established the Record Chemical Company as a manufacturer of mothballs and deodorant blocks. The business grew steadily and 10 years later he acquired a refinery in Napierville, Quebec and began importing and exporting bulk chemicals to Europe, South America and later China. Through the 60's and 70's the company continued to expand opening plants in Ontario, Western Canada and Australia to produce automotive and household liquids and chemicals. His daughters Eva and Marina joined the company, which was renamed Recochem Inc. in 1981. Recochem has continued to grow, adding a refinery in Belgium, a division in Australia and an expansion in Alberta to facilitate a move into automotive coolants typically under private label for leading national brands and retailers.

Mr. Kuchar remained involved with Recochem until his recent death this past March 9, at the age of 94. He brought a passion for business, a drive to succeed and unique deal making skills to our industry. For him, Recochem's managers and staff were more than employees, they were like family and he took care of them. The company he and his family built, has gone from one employee and two products, to over 600 employees and 200 products and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. 

Joseph Kuchar's granddaughter Arian Botha and Recochem President & CEO Rick Boudreaux accpeted Mr. Kuchar's Hall of Fame honour on behalf of the family.

Ms. Annette Verschuren served as president of The Home Depot Canada from 1996 to 2010, overseeing the growth of the company from 19 to 179 stores. Annette began her career as a development officer with the Cape Breton Development Corporation in her home Province of Nova Scotia. She then moved onto Canada Development Investments Corporation, as executive vice president, privatizing crown corporations and then later moved to Imasco Ltd. as vice president corporate development. Prior to joining The Home Depot, Annette was president and co-owner of Michaels, a chain of craft stores she brought to Canada.

A passionate advocate for giving back to the community, Annette has served on many boards and charities including Cape Breton University, the Retail Council of Canada and Habitat for Humanity. Appointed by Prime Minister Harper, she served as a member of the North American Competitiveness Council. She also served on the Finance Minister's Economic Advisory Council. In 2010, Annette was confirmed as chair of the 2012 Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference.

Annette was named outstanding retailer of the year in 2005 by the Retail Council of Canada and outstanding business leader of the year by Wilfred Laurier University in 2006. Annette was named into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends and the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame in 2010.

Annette Verschuren is the first female to be inducted into the Hardware and Housewares Industry Hall of Fame. 

Industry News

Target Sees Canadian Sales at $6 Billion  

Target Corp. Chief Financial Officer Douglas Scovanner said last week that the company expects to generate at least $6 billion in annual sales in Canada in as little as six years and now plans to open about 200 Canadian stores, expanding on earlier estimates. Initially, Target announced that they would be converting 100 to 150 of the 220 Zeller store leasehold interests they acquired from Hudson's Bay co. in January.

"The sun, the moon and the stores all lined up properly ... Canada represents a vibrant retail market, where we think we can highly succeed," Mr. Scovanner told Reuters in an interview. "Commencing right now, we are looking at other sites in Canada to be able to ultimately have a presence of what will likely be 200 or more stores," he said.

Meanwhile, a dispute over who may use the Target trademark in Canada is going to Federal Court on May 2. Target Corp. will be seeking an injunction to block the Canadian company that owns the Fairweather women's wear chain from using the name "Target Apparel" in its stores. Toronto based INC Group has owned the Canadian rights to the name for 10 years. Last year, the U.S. retailer filed a challenge with Canada's trademark office, claiming the Fairweather owner hasn't been using the Target name. INC has been operating a Toronto clothing store under the name "Target Apparel" since 2005 and has ramped up the number of stores in Canada bearing that name in the last few months. Target's request for an injunction is part of the company's response to a $250 million lawsuit filed against the U.S. company, alleging trademark infringement. The trial of the trademark case is expected to begin next year.

Economic News

Bank of Canada Warns that Loonie Could Slow Growth

Economic growth in Canada is set to tail off after the first quarter burst as momentum in exports fades in the face of a strong dollar according to the Bank of Canada's latest Quarterly Monetary Policy Report released on Wednesday. The central bank revised upward its projection for first quarter real GDP growth to 4.2% annualized, which is closer to private-sector estimates and nearly two percentage points above its previous forecast. However, the bank cut its estimates for economic expansion in six of seven coming quarters through the end of 2012 due to an expected slowdown in export growth. Second quarter growth is expected to slow to 2%. And like it has in previous forecasts, the Bank of Canada said its projections incorporate "gradual" increases in its key lending rate to achieve a 2% inflation target by mid-2012.

Overall, the Canadian economy is set to expand 2.9% in 2011, 2.6% in 2012 and 2.1% in 2013. The U.S. economy is expected to advance at a 3% plus rate through the horizon period; and the eurozone will struggle for the next two years with growth of less than 2%, but will then overtake Canada in GDP growth in 2013 as fiscal austerity fade and exports to emerging markets pick up.

The Bank of Canada's outlook assumes a Canadian dollar that trades in the $1.03 U.S. range which will mean the recovery in exports "will be subdued relative to earlier global recoveries" as the high dollar adds to Canada's "long-standing competitive challenges." The currency is helping to keep a lid on inflation by making imports cheaper for Canadians, including for firms actively working to boost productivity by purchasing new machinery and equipment from foreign suppliers. The report also assumes that oil will trade above $100 U.S. a barrel through the projection period.

The central bank said other factors besides exports that will curb economic activity include: less government spending, moderating growth in disposable income, and a housing market (a key growth engine that helped pull Canada out of recession in 2009) unlikely contributing to growth through 2013. Meanwhile, business investment is one component that is expected to "rise rapidly" through 2013.

As widely expected, the Bank of Canada held its benchmark lending rate at 1% on Tuesday for the fifth consecutive meeting, while it boosted its growth outlook for 2011 by half a percentage point. The central bank sees the pace of price increases picking up, with headline inflation hitting as high as 3% this quarter due to temporary factors such as higher energy prices, before returning to the bank's target of 2% in mid-2012, six months earlier than previously anticipated. And while core inflation, which strips out volatile items such as food and gas, hit a record low in March of 0.9%, the central bank said it would gradually rise to 2% by mid-2012 as slack is absorbed, wage growth stays modest and productivity recovers.

The Bank of Canada's next policy decision will take place on May 31. 

Young Adults Putting Off Purchase of a Home

Young adults are the most likely age group to buy a home in the next two years but more than half of those surveyed think the time isn't right yet, according to a poll released last week by the Royal Bank of Canada. RBC's annual home ownership poll found that 55% of respondents aged 18 to 34 said it makes sense to delay a home purchase until next year. That's 10 percentage points higher than the national average for all age groups. Meanwhile, about half of young people who already own a home, responded that their mortgage is eating up too much of their income, suggesting their peers may have a good reason to wait.

This year's survey done for RBC by Ipsos Reid in mid-January, was conducted during a cooling off period in the Canadian housing market versus the state of frenzied buying that took place in the early months of last year. Many first-time buyers rushed into the market in the first half of 2010 while the Bank of Canada's key interest rate, which influences commercial lending rates, was set at an emergency low of 0.25% because of the recession. While 43% of younger Canadians (aged 18 to 34) told Ipsos Reid they are paying off their mortgage faster than expected, 66% said it is larger than they would like it to be. Rising real estate prices, along with having a large enough down payment, were the biggest concerns among young people surveyed.

Still, 43% of the young adults responding to the survey said they were looking to buy in the next two years, suggesting the housing market will continue to be healthy going forward. That's higher than the national average of 29% for all age groups. In comparison, only 29% of Canadians aged 35 to 54 said they want to buy within the next two years and only 17% of respondents over the age of 55 were looking.

The survey also revealed that young people have different ideas about how to seek out advice on home ownership than those belonging to older generations. Most young people said they were inclined to use websites, family or friends for advice, while more than 70% of Canadians over 45 said they would rely on a real estate agent. 

Housing Starts Rise in March

Canadian housing starts rose for a third month in March led by multiple dwelling starts in urban areas and single-unit starts in rural areas. The annual pace of work on new homes rose 2.8% to 188,800 in March on a seasonally adjusted basis from a revised 183,700 in February, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) said last Friday. Rural starts rose 21% to 25,300 in March from 20,900 the month previously. Urban starts increased 0.4% to 163,500 as single-family projects fell 8.3% to 62,100 and multi-family units rose 6.6% to a 101,400 unit annual pace. Regionally, urban starts were down in B.C. and the Prairies but were offset by increases in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.  
Building Permits Climb in February 

Statistics Canada reported last week that Canadian municipalities issued building permits worth $5.8 billion in February, up 9.9% from January. Gains in the non-residential sector in Alberta and Ontario were the main reason for the increase. Five other provinces also posted gains in the non-residential sector in February. In total, the value of non-residential permits totalled $2.8 billion in February, up nearly 73% from January. In contrast, the value of residential building permits fell by 18.3% to $3 billion in February. The biggest declines in residential permits were in Ontario and Quebec. The decrease was attributable to both multi-family (-34.4%) and single-family dwellings (-8.6%).

 CHHMA Events For 2011

Maple Leaf Night
Tuesday, May 10
The Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Quebec Golf Tournament
Tuesday, May 17
Le Fontainebleau Golf Club, Blainville, Quebec

Ontario Golf Tournament
Wednesday, May 25
Angus Glen Golf Club, Markham, Ontario

Jean-Luc Meunier, RONA, Breakfast Seminar
Tuesday, May 31
Hotel Mortagne, Boucherville, Quebec

Western Golf Tournament
Tuesday, June 7
Morgan Creek Golf Club, Surrey, B.C.

Night at the Races
Wednesday, June 15
Woodbine Racetrack, Toronto, Ontario

Industry Memorial Golf Classic
Tuesday, September 27
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 at (416) 282-0022, ext. 34. CHHMA is located at 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON, M1B 5M4

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