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Volume 14, Issue 3, January 22, 2014

Inside This Issue:
• Register Now for Alain Brisebois (RONA) Breakfast Seminar - February 13th
• When in Chicago for the International Home+Housewares Show Be Sure to Attend Canada Night
• Donald Cooper to Speak at the 45th Annual CHHMA General Meeting & Spring Conference
• CHHMA Welcomes New Members
• Target Warns that Canadians who Shopped at U.S. Stores May Have Had Personal Information Stolen
• Dollarama Sales Hit Hard by Weather, Power Outages
• Sears Canada to Lay Off More Than 1,600 in Latest Cost-Saving Move
• Lifetime Brands Acquires Kitchen Craft
• Bank of Canada Warns Low Inflation to Persist for Some Time
• Loonie is World’s Worst Performing Currency in Early 2014
• IMF Sees Stronger Global Economic Growth in 2014
• Why Are So Many People Saying Nasty Things About Canada's Housing Market?
• Latest U.S. Economic News

Association News 

Register Now for Alain Brisebois (RONA) Breakfast Seminar - February 13th


The CHHMA is pleased to present Mr. Alain Brisebois, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at RONA, as guest speaker at our next breakfast meeting on Thursday morning, February 13, 2014 at the Hotel Mortagne in Boucherville, Quebec.

Mr. Brisebois is a retail veteran who has held numerous strategic positions at major retailers over the past 30 years. Prior to joining RONA, he worked at Alimentation Couche-Tard where he served as Vice President, Purchasing and Supply Chain, in 2008-2009, and then Senior Vice President of Operations until 2012. Until his latest appointment at RONA, Mr. Brisebois was Senior Vice President, Marketing and National Procurement. He has also held key positions at Metro Inc. between 1999 and 2008, including Senior Vice President for the Ontario division. Mr. Brisebois holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from HEC Montréal.

As Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer since May 2013, Alain Brisebois is responsible for improving operational efficiency and synergy among the Corporation’s purchasing, merchandising, procurement and marketing activities.

Join us as Mr. Brisebois provides an update on RONA and its latest initiatives (the presentation will be bilingual), followed by an answer and question period. Mr. Brisebois will also be accompanied by his management team so a number of buyers will be on hand.

For further details and to register, go to:

When in Chicago for the International Home+Housewares Show Be Sure to Attend Canada Night 

The 65th Canada Night reception will be held on Sunday, March 16, 2014 at the InterContinental Hotel, Renaissance Ballroom in Chicago.

Canadian vendors, agents and suppliers to the industry in town for the International Home+Housewares Show are invited to purchase tickets to the event while Canadian retailers are invited as complimentary guests of the sponsoring companies. 

The event provides an opportunity to mix and mingle with peers and customers in a convivial environment celebrating the common bond of being Canadian while enjoying the wine & beer bar and some excellent cuisine.

The advance registration fee is $165 (CDN) per person or $200 if you purchase tickets at the door.

For further information and to register, go to:  

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!



Donald Cooper to Speak at the 45th Annual CHHMA General Meeting & Spring Conference

The CHHMA will celebrate the 45th Annual General Meeting & Spring Conference on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at the International Centre (Conference Facility) in Mississauga, Ontario. One of the speakers back by popular demand, who spoke at the 2010 CHHMA conference, is Donald Cooper At this year’s event, Mr. Cooper’s presentation is titled “Vision Critical … How to define our future, grow our business and improve our bottom line!” and you won’t want to miss it.  

Additional speakers will include: Craig Alexander, Senior Vice President & Chief Economist for the TD Bank who will once again kick off the day with his Review and Outlook on the Canadian, U.S. and Global Economies; Michael Sloopka who will present “The Secrets of Power Negotiating® – Key Insights for Improving Negotiating Effectiveness” and Frank Foster who will discuss “Goal Setting! If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.”  Read More >>



CHHMA Welcomes New Members


The CHHMA Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Saint-Gobain - Norton Abrasives and Adfors Divisions and Protect-IP Global Solutions Inc. have joined the Association.

Saint-Gobain – Norton Abrasives and Adfors Divisions (Manufacturing Member):
This company manufacturers sandpaper, grinding wheels and discs as well as drywall tape and window screen among other things. The Norton division is located in Laval, Quebec and the Adfors operation out of Newmarket, Ontario. Saint-Gobain was a previous member of the CHHMA and we welcome them back.

Protect-IP Global Solutions Inc. (Affiliate Member):
This company supplies and installs security systems for commercial buildings including: cameras, access control for doors and elevators etc., alarm systems, lift gates and other security and IT equipment. Their head office is located in St-Laurent, Quebec with a secondary office in Oakville, Ontario. See for further information.


Industry News

Target Warns that Canadians Who Shopped at U.S. Stores May Have Had Personal Information Stolen


Target is warning its Canadian customers that a massive security breach at the retailer over the holiday season may have led to their personal information being stolen.  An email sent to some customers by the retailer on Monday said it believes cross-border shoppers who went to U.S. Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 were affected.  However, the message also went to at least some Target Canada customers who weren’t in the United States over the affected period. 

Target said its investigation found that personal information — like the names, addresses, emails and phone numbers of some Canadians — may have been stolen. 
The breach does not extend to payment data for the debit and credit cards of Canadians, which is what was taken from U.S. customers, it said.  Read More >>






Dollarama Sales Hit Hard by Weather, Power Outages


Dollarama provided the latest signal that the fourth quarter will be a challenge for Canada’s retail sector, after the national dollar-store chain said December sales were severely impacted by bad weather. 

Montreal-based Dollarama said store traffic fell significantly due to the temporary closure of about 80 stores or nearly 10% of the chain during recent storms and power outages in Eastern Canada. The biggest impact was felt in the two weekends before Christmas when stores were shut for several hours for up to two consecutive days.

“The corporation believes the decline in December sales to be an exceptional event as sales are now trending back to normal levels in January,” Dollarama said in a news release last Friday.  Read More >>



Sears Canada to Lay Off More Than 1,600 in Latest Cost-saving Move 

Sears Canada Inc. announced the layoffs of more than 1,600 employees last week, the latest cost-slashing move from the struggling department store chain as it tries to boost its operating performance. The company, which has sold back the leases of prime stores to landlords to raise cash and has outsourced some IT, apparel design and finance positions in a bid to trim its bloated cost structure, has let go 283 employees at four logistics centres in Calgary, Montreal, Belleville and Vaughan, effective immediately.  It will lay off another 1,345 over the next nine months from three internal customer contact centres, and has contracted that work out to third-party vendor IBM.  The cuts will leave Sears with just over 20,000 staff, down from about 24,000 a year ago and 31,000 two years ago as the retailer finds new ways to operate more efficiently, spokesman Vincent Power said.  Read More >>


Lifetime Brands Acquires Kitchen Craft


Lifetime Brands, Inc., of Garden City, N.Y., a global provider of branded kitchenware, tableware and other products used in the home, announced last Wednesday that it has acquired Kitchen Craft, formally known as Thomas Plant (Birmingham) Limited. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. 

Kitchen Craft (Thomas Plant) is one of the United Kingdom’s leading suppliers of kitchenware products and accessories. Based in Birmingham, the company sells products under well-known proprietary, customer-exclusive and owned label brands. The company supplies over 2,600 customers in all classes of trade in the UK and in over 70 countries worldwide. As part of the Lifetime Brands family, the company will operate as a separate division.   Read More >>.




Economic News
Bank of Canada Warns Low Inflation to Persist for Some Time

The Bank of Canada signaled on Wednesday it is more concerned about weak inflation than it was three months ago and explicitly stated that its next move on interest rates could be either down or up, depending on how economic data unfolds.  

The bank held its main overnight rate unchanged at 1.0%, as expected. While it said a more firmly entrenched U.S. recovery and a weaker Canadian dollar would help lift exports this year, its guidance on monetary policy was incrementally more dovish than it had been.

“Although the fundamental drivers of growth and future inflation appear to be strengthening, inflation is expected to remain well below target for some time and therefore the downside risks to inflation have grown in importance,” it said.  Read More >>


Loonie is World's Worst Performing Currency in Early 2014

The New Year is only a few weeks old and already the Canadian dollar has fallen almost 3 cents US (3+%), making it the worst performing primary currency among 16 major peers. The loonie is currently trading around US $0.91, the lowest level since late 2009. 

After hovering near parity in recent years, the loonie has been in decline for the past year, tumbling nearly 10% since the start of 2013 (almost 7% in 2013 and 3% so far in a still young 2014), one of the biggest annual falls in more than two decades.

The currency has been eroding for several reasons, notably the Bank of Canada’s dovish tone on interest rates, disappointing Canadian trade and employment data, concerns about the country’s oil exports and signs of a strengthening U.S. economy and rising U.S. dollar as the Federal Reserve starts to cut back on its monthly bond buyback program known as quantitative easing or QE.  And analysts say we should prepare for a weak loonie to be the new normal for most of 2014.  Read More >>


IMF Sees Stronger Global Economic Growth in 2014


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the global economy has turned a corner, propelled by faster-than-expected growth in the United States and Europe.  Global economic output will increase by 3.7% this year, the IMF said Tuesday in a revised outlook. The estimate is a slight revision from the 3.6% increase the fund predicted in the fall. Its forecast for 2015 is unchanged at 3.9%.  While the increase is slight, it represents a break from 2013, which was marked by disappointments. If the revised forecast holds, the global economy will grow the most this year since 2011, when the world’s GDP expanded almost 4%.   Read More >>


Why Are So Many People Saying Nasty Things About Canada's Housing Market?

There are two distinct camps where Canada’s housing market is concerned: The doom-and-gloomers and the I’m-alright-Jack folks.  It’s interesting to note, too, that those in the first camp are largely observing from afar, while the latter group lives here.  There’s no doubt that sales are cooling somewhat – indeed, it had been expected. The question remains whether there’s a bubble yet to burst or a soft landing.  Read More >>


Latest U.S. Economic News

Cold Weather Cuts into U.S. Housing Starts in December
U.S. housing starts fell less than expected in December, pausing after recent strong gains that had propelled home building activity to multi-year highs.  The Commerce Department said last Friday that groundbreaking dropped 9.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000-unit pace. It was the largest percentage decline since April. 

U.S. Consumer Prices Post Largest Gain in Six Months
U.S. consumer prices recorded their largest increase in six months in December as gasoline prices rebounded, but there was little to suggest a broader pick-up in prices with underlying inflation muted.The Labor Department said last Thursday that its Consumer Price Index increased 0.3% after being flat in November. In the 12 months to December, consumer prices accelerated 1.5% after advancing 1.2% in November.The increases were in line with economists' expectations.



 Upcoming CHHMA Events 

Alain Brisebois (RONA inc.) Breakfast Seminar
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Hotel Mortagne, Boucherville, Quebec    
Canada Night
Sunday, March 16, 2014
InterContinental Hotel, Chicago, Illinois

CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
International Centre (Conference Facility), Mississauga, Ontario

CHHMA Maple Leaf Night
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
The Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

CHHMA Quebec Golf Classic
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Club de golf Le Fontainebleau, Blainville, Quebec

CHHMA Ontario Golf Tournament
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Angus Glen Golf Club, Markham, Ontario

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

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