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Volume 15, Issue 44, November 25, 2015

Inside This Issue:

• Register Now for the Industry Cocktail (December 10th) in Montreal
• CHHMA is Pleased to Announce the Industry Hall of Fame 2016 Inductees
• Sears Canada Faces Another $100-Million Class Action Lawsuit from its Dealers
• HBC Announces More Discount Saks OFF 5th Stores
• RioCan REIT Reaches $132-Million Deal with Target Regarding Leases
• Wal-Mart Pulls Cyber Monday Forward to Sunday, Record Industry Sales Expected
• Black Friday or Boxing Day? Where Canadians Can Get the Best Deals
• U.S. Retailers Give Shoppers New Reasons to Use Mobile Phones in Stores
• La Coop Fédérée Acquires the Majority of Assets of Co-op Atlantic’s Agricultural Division
• Lowe’s Introduces Updated Iris Platform
• Is the Loonie’s Crash Finally Over?
• Canada’s Retail Sales Growth Could Take Deep Cut Amid Oil Price Slump
• Slower Growth New Economic Reality, Bank of Canada Says
• Lower Gas Prices Leads to Surprise Fall in Canada’s September Retail Sales
• Canada’s Inflation Rate Steady in October as Energy Prices Weigh
• Latest U.S. Economic News

Association News

Register Now for the Industry Cocktail (December 10th) in Montreal

This year’s Industry Cocktail is taking place on Thursday, December 10th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Bar Dame de Coeur at the Casino de Montreal.

The location offers a fun and relaxing atmosphere where you can enjoy some wonderful food, drinks and conversation with fellow vendors and retailers (including BMR, RONA, TIM-BR Mart, etc,) from the industry while enjoying the festive season together.

Click here for further information and registration.  

CHHMA is Pleased to Announce the Industry Hall of Fame 2016 Inductees

On Tuesday, CHHMA President Vaughn Crofford was pleased to announce the 2016 Hardware & Housewares Industry Hall of Fame inductees.

The Hall of Fame was established in 1984 to recognize the achievements of our industry’s leaders and pioneers. Since that time 60 industry icons, inventors, business founders and builders from the retail and manufacturing sectors have received the honour.

In this, the 32nd year, the CHHMA is honoured to serve as the custodian of the hall and is pleased to announce that three deserving industry veterans: Ms. Laurie O’Halloran founder of Home Style Magazine, Mr. Bill Calisina of Bissell Canada, and Mr. James Mumby of Dynamic Paint Products will be inducted on April 12, 2016 at an industry luncheon sponsored by the CHHMA.

The luncheon will be held in conjunction with the annual CHHMA member Spring Conference and is included in the conference package. Tickets for the Hall of Fame Lunch will also be available for purchase individually. Further details and registration info will be available over the coming months.

To view the entire list of those previously inducted into the Hall of Fame, or the criteria to nominate someone for next
year’s award, visit our website at

Industry News

Sears Canada Faces Another $100-Million Class Action Lawsuit from its Dealers

Sears Hometown store dealers have filed a second $100-million class action suit against Sears Canada Inc., its biggest shareholders and board of directors, alleging they approved hundreds of millions of dollars in special dividends in 2013 that would only benefit the big shareholders.

Sears Canada decided to liquidate valuable long-term leases “rather than reinvesting these funds to offset the large and growing operating losses and attempt to turn the company around,” says the statement of claim filed last month in Ontario Superior Court.

The class action, which has not yet been certified, names U.S. retailer Sears Holdings Corp. — which until late 2014 owned 51% of Sears Canada, and the U.S. retailer’s majority owner, the hedge fund ESL Investments Inc., controlled by Sears’ Holdings chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert.  Read More >>

HBC Announces More Discount Saks OFF 5th Stores

Hudson’s Bay will convert its two outlet locations in Canada into Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th stores, the department store retailer announced on Tuesday.  The existing 25,000 square foot Hudson’s Bay Outlet store, which opened in 2013 at Toronto Premium Outlets in Halton Hills, will be closed after the holidays and reopen as an OFF 5th in the spring.

The Hudson’s Bay Outlet in the Montreal suburb of Mirabel, which opened in 2014, will also be closed after the holidays, to be replaced by a 26,000 square foot OFF 5th at the same location, anchoring the Premium Outlets Montreal.

An OFF 5th in a 33,000 square foot space in the lower level of the existing Hudson’s Bay store in downtown Ottawa was also announced.  Read More >>

RioCan REIT Reaches $132-Million Deal with Target Regarding Leases

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust has reached a deal with Target Corp. regarding leases the retailer disclaimed as part of its retreat from the Canadian market.  The real estate trust says Target has paid $132 million, including $92 million which belongs to RioCan, under the agreement.  In return, RioCan and its partners have released Target from its obligations.  RioCan says the settlement cash will be used to mitigate losses caused by Target Canada’s departure.  Read More >>

Wal-Mart Pulls Cyber Monday Forward to Sunday, Record Industry Sales Expected

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has decided that Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, should not start on a Monday anymore.

The retailer will, for the first time this year, launch all its Cyber Monday deals on the Sunday after Thanksgiving rather than the early hours of Monday morning as in previous years.

Cyber Monday’s origins trace back more than a decade when people started using the high-speed Internet access at their workplaces to purchase things they saw but did not buy during trips to the shopping mall over the weekend after U.S. Thanksgiving, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November.  Now, with Internet access readily available, the logic of limiting the event to a weekday no longer holds, said Fernando Madeira, chief executive of  Read More >>

Black Friday or Boxing Day? Where Canadians Can Get the Best Deals

About 1.2 millions Canadians will book off sick from work to shop on Black Friday, but a new study suggests they’ll get slightly better deals if they can wait until Boxing Day.  Colliers International, in a first of its kind look at the so-called deals on these major retail holidays, studied 44 products on flyers for nine national Canadian chain retailers in 2014 and compared prices between the two big shopping days.  The company found better prices on Boxing Day for 36% of the products, while Black Friday offered a steeper discount for only 16% of products.  Read More >>

U.S. Retailers Give Shoppers New Reasons to Use Mobile Phones in Stores

At some Macy’s outlets this holiday season, shoppers who download the retailer’s app will be able to use their smart phones to guide them through the store to products they’re seeking.

At JCPenney, customers will be able to take a snapshot of, for example, boots worn by a person passing by and quickly find out if the store has similar ones in stock. And Staples is testing an app that will allow sales clerks to let customers know how the store’s prices match up against Amazon and other rivals.

Hoping to claw back market share from online rivals – and tired of watching customers use their phones to find better deals than those offered in stores – brick and mortar retailers are trying to give shoppers different reasons to use their phones while doing holiday shopping.  Read More >> 

La Coop Fédérée Acquires the Majority of Assets of Co-op Atlantic’s Agricultural Division

La Coop fédérée, through its Agri-business Division, announced last week the signing of a purchase agreement for the majority of Co-op Atlantic’s agricultural assets, including feed mills in Moncton, New Brunswick, in Truro and New Minas, Nova Scotia, the Farm Supply and General Merchandising division as well as the sector of activities related to grain marketing. This acquisition is conditional upon a decision from the Competition Bureau. The terms of the transaction will not be made public.  Read More >> 

Lowe’s Introduces Updated Iris Platform

Lowe's Companies, Inc. announced last week the next generation of its Iris smart home solution, built with Microsoft Azure's cloud technology.  This latest version of Iris enhances Lowe's smart home offering with new functionality and faster performance and includes updated software and hardware that make Iris simpler, more intuitive and more personalized to let people automate the lights, locks, cameras and even pet doors in their homes.

Available online at and in stores nationwide, the new generation of Iris provides consumers with unmatched productivity to more easily manage, monitor and maintain their homes in an open, secure environment.  Read More >>       

Economic News

Is the Loonie’s Crash Finally Over?

Traders are positioning themselves for what could be the last leg down in the Canadian dollar’s three-year collapse.

They’re paying the biggest premium since September for options contracts that protect against currency swings expiring a month from now than for similar contracts that expire three months out, as oil suddenly threatens to fall below $40 per barrel again and the U.S. Federal Reserve looks set to raise interest rates in a matter of weeks. The last time the premium for 30-day protection spiked this high the currency ended up falling to an 11-year low before month’s end.

The options market is lining up with the consensus forecast of economists, who also see weakness in the short term followed by stabilization and ultimately gains into 2016. For many, the Fed’s first interest-rate increase in almost a decade and the most recent surge in oil inventories could mark the last stage of the Canadian dollar’s 25%, three-year slide.  Read More >>

Canada’s Retail Sales Growth Could Take Deep Cut Amid Oil Price Slump

The oil slump in Alberta and Saskatchewan is threatening to slice national retail sales growth this year by more than half from 2014.  Overall retail sales are expected to rise just 2% to $515.32-billion in 2015 from the previous year compared with a 4.6% increase in 2014, pinched by oil troubles in Alberta and Saskatchewan, says a recently released Colliers International forecast for Canada.  Read More >>    

Slower Growth New Economic Reality, Bank of Canada Says

That’s the conclusion of a Bank of Canada research report released last Thursday titled ‘Is Slower Growth the New Normal in Advanced Economies’?

“Over all, there is increasing evidence that growth in advanced economies may remain slow in the immediate future compared to its pre-[financial] crisis average, as a result of a combination of cyclical and structural factors,” according to authors Abeer Reza and Subrata Sarker.

The cyclical factors – including households and governments getting their debts under control – will eventually ease, according to the report contained in the autumn edition of the Bank of Canada Review.  But longer-term factors, including the aging population, will continue to put downward pressure on growth.  Read More >>

Lower Gas Prices Leads to Surprise Fall in Canada’s September Retail Sales

Canadian retail sales posted their first decline in five months in September, led by cheaper gasoline. Sales decreased 0.5% to $43.3-billion, Statistics Canada said last Friday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had forecast a 0.1% increase, based on the median of 18 projections.

Spending remains close to a record high in a year were consumers are threatened by record debt burdens and incomes hurt by a drop in crude oil prices.

Excluding price changes, sales rose 0.1% in September. That so-called volume measure of sales is a better indication of retail’s contribution to economic growth.

Sales in September were 1.2% higher than a year earlier, Statistics Canada reported.  Read More >>    

Canada’s Inflation Rate Steady in October as Energy Prices Weigh

Canada’s annual inflation rate held steady at a tame 1.0% in October, as a general rising tide for consumer prices continued to be suppressed by slumping energy costs.

Statistics Canada reported last Friday that its Consumer Price Index (CPI) edged up 0.1% in October over September, despite gains in most major categories, including a 0.4% rise in food prices and a 0.3% increase in shelter costs. But gasoline prices slid 2% month over month, and were down 17% compared with a year earlier.

Excluding the energy sector, CPI was up 0.2% month over month, and 2.1% year over year, the statistical agency said.  Read More >>      

Latest U.S. Economic News

U.S. consumer spending barely rose in October as households took advantage of rising incomes to boost savings to their highest level in nearly three years, pointing to moderate economic growth in the fourth quarter.

The U.S. economy grew at a healthier clip in the third quarter than initially thought, but strong inventory accumulation by businesses could temper expectations of an acceleration in growth in the final three months of the year.

Annualized U.S. single-family home prices rose in September at a faster pace than in August and above market expectations, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.

U.S. home resales fell more than expected in October, with large declines in regions which have experienced the biggest price gains, suggesting some softening in the pace of the housing market recovery after strong gains early this year.  Read More >>


 Upcoming CHHMA Events 

Industry Cocktail
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Casino de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec

Canada Night
Held in Conjunction with the International Home+Housewares Show
Sunday, March 6, 2016
InterContinental Hotel, Chicago, Illinois

CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
International Centre (Conference Facility), Mississauga, Ontario

CHHMA Maple Leaf Night
Held in Conjunction with the National Hardware Show
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
The Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

CHHMA Quebec Golf Classic
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Club de golf Le Fontainebleau, Blainville, Quebec

CHHMA Ontario Golf Tournament
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
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

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