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Volume 11, Issue 01, January 06, 2011

Association News

New Look for "Eye On Our Industry" Newsletter

As you can see, we have made a change to the "Eye On Our Industry" newsletter. In addition to the new design look, articles are now organized by news categories and appear in shorter synopsis format with a link to the full article (if applicable) on the CHHMA website. The shorter version will make it easier to browse the weekly news, especially if viewing on a blackberry or other hand-held device and allow readers to then pick and choose the full articles they wouldlike to read.

We will also continue to provide a full PDF format attachment as well as post the PDF version on the CHHMA website in the "Newsletter" section where past issues are archived.

Individual articles as well as press releases can also be found on the CHHMA website in the "News" section, conveniently organized by news categories.  There is also an article word search function available to help you find a specific article from the past.

Input regarding content and format are always welcome.  Please contact Michael Jorgenson at or (416) 282-0022 ext.34 with your comments.

 New Venue for Fall Industry Memorial Golf Classic

The 10th Annual Industry Memorial Golf Classic will take place this year on Tuesday, September 27th at a new venue – the Blue Springs Golf Club in Acton, Ontario.

The CHHMA runs this event each fall on behalf of the hardware and housewares industry and it honours stalwarts from the industry who have passed away. The event also raises money for the CHHMA Scholarship Program. 

Best Business Practices

Recessionary Thinking: Smart Marketing Tips for Tough Times

Further to last December 22nd’s Eye On Our Industry, we continue on with the third and fourth tips for effective marketing in a down economy:

3. Understand your Audience.
Be aware of how your clients are doing and if their business needs have changed. Help your customers weather the economy and they will remain loyal. This is a solid business practice regardless of how the economy is faring. Take the time to speak directly with your customers so that they know you are there to help. Learn about the industries that your clients work in, understand how you fit into that industry and offer helpful insight where appropriate.

4. Partnering.
Identify other industries or professional sectors that want to attract the same client profile as you, but who aren’t in competition with your services. By combining efforts to market towards the same audience you cut your investment in half. Some examples of ‘partner-marketing’ include seminars, events, trade shows and other presentations. Additionally, there is a benefit to potential clients by offering ‘one stop learning’. When selecting your partner organization, be sure to avoid direct competitors and organizations that may present a conflict of interest in developing business. Additionally, make sure any potential partners share similar business development practices, philosophies, goals and budgets. You want to be sure that you are working together to produce a desirable outcome for both organizations.

Look for two additional tips in next week’s issue.

Information provided by: Deb Scaringi, Consultant, Scaringi Marketing,,

Marketplace Trends

Hot Trends in Home Design for 2011
Here are some of the trends and techniques that interior designers and manufacturers say will be the height of decorating fashion for 2011:

#1 Luxury That’s Green:
Consumers have become savvy about checking on whether their home decor products are truly environmentally safe and sustainable.

#2 Artsy Accents:
One-of-a-kind decor and artisan works are more appreciated than cookie-cutter, mass-produced objects. This is an economical boon for homeowners with artistic talent. Instead of buying some pricey piece by a name-brand artist, create your own one-of-a-kind artworks for your home.

#3 Classic Colors:
Traditional, timeless shades will take prominence in 2011 after the bolder hues of recent years. These include sophisticated soft pinks, lighter shades of purple and lavender and various soothing shades of green. One advantage to decorating with any of these colors is that timeless shades will never go out of style.

#4 Decorated Walls
Architectural features such as crown moldings and columns are getting a big "thumbs-up" to enhance a room.

#5 Light Bright
Architects are coming up with new ways to capture every possible ray of natural light, especially now that so much more is known about the effect that natural light has on humans' mental and physical health.

#6 No More White Ceilings
After decades of white, ceilings today are getting more attention. However, there's a trick to painting them a non-white colour, so bone up on colour psychology and visualize the effect before getting out the paint brush or roller.

#7 Custom Cabinets
Issues such as style and accessibility have influenced the move toward having custom cabinets built for a home. Stock cabinets are definitely out for those who want a certain look or have special needs.

#8 Windows Galore
This trend resembles #5 (Light Bright), but it isn't solely about more light. Windows open vistas to the outdoors, which is in keeping with the global "green" movement. Windows also can be key features in certain architectural designs. Be sure to think up good ways to assure privacy and lighting control before adding lots of panes, however.

#9: Color Those Accents
Popular colors for 2011 are predicted to be purple and pink. While home decorators needn't turn entire rooms into lollipop land, it's simple to incorporate some trendy shades with accents such as pillows, vases, lamps and floor coverings, such as purple rugs and pink rugs.

#10: "Ah-h-h-some" Beds
The global economic recession has lots of people staying home a lot more today. Many of these stay-at-home folks are taking to their beds as places to relax. The best way to assure a bed that makes you go "ah-h-h" when you sink into it is to add the touches that provide luxury. Make sure the mattress and box spring are the best you can afford. Put a mattress pad under the sheets, add extra pillows, and invest in some ultra-luxurious bedding, including high-thread-count sheets

Economic News

IMF Report on Canadian Economy

The risks to Canada’s economic recovery are increasing and could curtail growth in the future, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned in a report released before the end of 2010. Overall, the IMF’s end-of-the-year report on Canada gives a generally positive assessment, especially in comparison to other countries. But it cited several “key risks” that could restrain the recovery and growth in employment, including an overheated housing market, high household debt and the weak recovery in the U.S. It says Canada’s economy will grow by about 2.3% in 2011, after a front-loaded 3% advance in 2010. It sees employment remaining at 7.9% in2011.

“Household debt has run up to high levels, housing markets are cooling and fiscal stimulus is waning. Risks are elevated and tilted to the downside with household debt levels (which have reached a record 148% of disposable income) the main domestic risk, and a weaker U.S. outlook the largest external risk,” the report states.

Canadian Dollar Starts 2011 Strong

On Monday, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. projected the Canadian dollar will trade about $1.05 U.S. in 2011 as it will be a strong year for commodity-linked currencies.

Scotia Capital recently noted that the Canadian dollar’s strength to date has been largely driven by a weaker U.S. dollar and higher commodity prices. While the difference between interest rates in Canada and the U.S. hasn’t yet been a factor it will become one later in the year. “Risks stemming from Europe and the global recovery remain a key threat; however the combination of loose U.S. monetary policy, a global search for yield and diversification combined with a generally weaker U.S. dollar should help to support the Canadian dollar through parity. The loonie’s strength will stop the Bank of Canada from raising its benchmark rate again until October,” they said.

Canadian Housing Market Outlook
Canada had one of the better performing housing markets according to a Scotia Economics year-end review, though the outlook for 2011 anticipates a fairly lacklustre year. Scotia’s Global Real Estate Trends report tracked housing in 12 advanced nations and found Canada was one of six countries this year where inflation adjusted home prices increased (+6.0%). The report also found that Canada’s housing market was also one of the most volatile. Factors such as the introduction of the HST in Ontario and B.C., expectations of rising interest rates, and changing criteria for mortgage lending all played a part in the volatility.

Looking forward to 2011, Scotia Economics is neither optimistic nor pessimistic about housing in Canada. “Overall, we anticipate a fairly lacklustre year for residential housing, with modestly higher sales volumes and flat inflation-adjusted prices,” said Adrienne Warren, senior economist for Scotia Economics, in a release. “The bigger risk likely awaits 2012 when more significant interest rate increases, combined with record high home prices, will notably strain affordability.”

Recent Economic Data Bodes Well for U.S. Economy

The U.S. economy is picking up momentum according to recent data that showed American households increased their purchases for a fifth consecutive month in November, while companies recorded an increase in orders for capital goods such as computers and communications gear. The U.S. Commerce Department reported that consumers increased their spending 0.4% in November. Shoppers are spending more as stock portfolios grow, loans become a bit easier to obtain and massive layoffs have moderated. Discounts have also given shoppers more incentive to spend.

For the final three months of 2010, analysts predict consumer spending rose at an annual rate of up to 4%. Analysts also project the U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.5% in the fourth quarter, up from a 2.6% pace in the third quarter of 2010.

The health of the U.S. consumer will be crucial to Canada’s recovery in the months ahead. That’s because exports, 75% of which still go to the U.S., will be relied on to power growth as Canadian households and governments work to trim debt loads and spend less.

Also on Monday, there was positive data on manufacturing and construction which helps bolster that the recent run of momentum is real. U.S. manufacturing activity hit a seven-month high in December and indications are that the trend can continue in early 2011 based on the flood of new orders which manufacturers received last month. The Institute for Supply Management says its index for manufacturing activity rose to 57 in December from 56.6 in the previous month. Any reading over 50 indicates growth. The latest report shows that manufacturers carry considerable momentum into 2011. The new orders index rose sharply to 60.9, also the highest since May. The production index also jumped.

The Commerce Department reported that construction spending increased 0.4% to an annual rate of $810.2 billion (U.S.) in November, the highest level since June, after rising by an unrevised 0.7% in October. November’s construction spending was lifted by a 0.7% rise to $318.5 billion in public project investment. Despite persistent housing market weakness, investment in private construction increased 0.3% in November to $491.8 billion. Spending on private home building increased 0.7% in November after a 3.9% surge in October. 

Canada, U.S. Show Higher Holiday Retail Sales

Canadian consumers made more purchases over the holidays with analysts estimating a 3% to 4% increase in retail sales over the previous year. In December 2009, retail sales for the month grew 2.4% over the previous year to $23.6 billion, not including the automotive sector, according to Statistics Canada. This past December, that growth could be closer to 4%.

Reports also show American consumers spent money at the fastest pace in five years this holiday season. Sales at U.S. retailers increased 5.5% during the pre-Christmas period according to MasterCard Advisors’ Spending Pulse. That was the best performance since 2005 and compares with a 4.1% gain in the previous year. During the week that ended on Christmas Day alone, chain-store sales in the U.S. rose almost 5% from the same period a year ago, according to a survey released by the International Council of Shopping Centres and Goldman Sachs.

 CHHMA Events For 2011

Canada Night
Sunday, March 6
InterContinental Hotel, Chicago, Illinois

Spring Conference & Annual General Meeting
Tuesday, April 5
International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario

Maple Leaf Night
Tuesday, May 10
The Mirage, 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

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: