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Volume 14, Issue 45, November 26, 2014

Inside This Issue:

• Join Us in Montreal at the Industry Cocktail – December 9th
• Home Depot Facing a Number of Lawsuits in Canada,U.S.Over Data Breach
• Lowe’s Canada Introduces  In-Store ‘Holoroom’
• Hudson's Bay Unveils Plan to Cut Debt on Saks Deal
• Rumours of Sears Canada's Demise Greatly Exaggerated, Company Says
• Retail Sales in Canada Rise for First Time in 3 Months Led by Big-Ticket Items
• Canada’s Housing Market ‘Modestly’ Overvalued, CMHC Says
• Condos Make Up More than Half of Housing Starts in Canada’s Biggest Cities: CMHC
• Housing Bubble Begone. Turns Out We Just Might Need All Those New Condos and Houses
• Inflation in Canada Jumps to a 4-Month High
• Latest U.S. Economic News 

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Association News

Join Us in Montreal at the Industry Cocktail – December 9th   

A number of personnel from BMR and RONA among other retailers will be attending this year’s Industry Cocktail on Tuesday, December 9, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Bar Dame de Coeur at the Casino de Montreal.

So join your industry colleagues and customers for the annual industry year-end celebration.

The location offers a fun and relaxing atmosphere where you can enjoy some wonderful food, drinks and conversation with friends from the industry while enjoying the festive season together.  

We look forward to seeing you there.
Click here for further details and registration.

Industry News
Home Depot Facing a Number of Lawsuits in Canada, U.S.Over Data Breach

Home Depot faces at least 44 lawsuits in the United States and Canada from the massive data breach earlier this year that affected 56 million debit and credit cards.  The home improvement retailer said Tuesday in a regulatory filing that several state and federal agencies also are looking into the data breach and it may face more litigation from customers, banks, shareholders and others.

Home Depot said the litigation and the investigations may distract management and affect how it runs its business. It also could lead to additional costs and fines. But those expenses aren’t clear yet because the cases are in early stages, the company said in a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Read More >>  

Lowe’s Canada Introduces In-Store ‘Holoroom’     

Lowe's Canada unveiled the first installations of the Lowe’s Holoroom, a home improvement simulator that applies 3-D and augmented reality technologies to provide consumers with an intuitive, immersive experience when planning a bathroom renovation.  In the works for the past two years, the project was designed by Lowe’s Innovation Labs who were working with Sci Futures, a consulting firm. 

 The Lowe’s Holoroom is available at two Greater Toronto Area Lowe’s Canada stores in North Etobicoke (48 Lowe’s Place) and Burlington (3270 Harrison Crescent). Customers may walk-in for appointments or schedule appointments in advance with the Lowe’s Holoroom Concierge. Customers planning a bathroom remodel can then choose paint colors, wall and floor tile and select products from a Lowe’s 3-D catalogue to design their room.  Read More >>

Hudson's Bay Unveils Plan to Cut Debt on Saks Deal 
The Hudson’s Bay Company outlined a $1.25-billion refinancing plan on Monday, in a move to reduce debt taken on when it acquired U.S. rival Saks last year.  The retailer said it would take out a 20-year mortgage on the ground portion of its flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store in New York City after an appraiser valued the property at $4.1-billion.  The mortgage transaction would allow it to capitalize on the value of its flagship asset now, and give it structural flexibility to capture additional value in the future.  Read More >>  

 Rumours of Sears Canada's Demise Greatly Exaggerated, Company Says 

Sears Canada has lost a small fortune, sold off real estate, and it's now suddenly looking for a new partner for its credit card operations.  That has industry commentators talking about a death watch, and the retailer had more bad news last week with the announcement it had a net loss of $118.7 million in the third quarter.   But the company is defiant, and assures customers that all is well.  Read More >>

Economic News

Retail Sales in Canada Rise for First Time in 3 Months Led by Big-Ticket Items

Canadian retail sales rose faster than economists forecast in September led by big-ticket items such as cars, furniture and appliances.  Sales rose for the first time in three months, by 0.8% to $42.8 billion, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.  Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast a 0.5% increase, based on the median of 21 projections.

Gains were reported in 5 of 11 subsectors, representing 59% of retail trade. Excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers, sales were essentially unchanged from August. After removing the effects of price changes, retail sales in volume terms increased 1.0%.  Sales in September were 4.5% higher than a year earlier, Statistics Canada said.  Read More >> 

Canada’s Housing Market ‘Modestly’ Overvalued, CMHC Says

Canada’s housing market is “modestly” overvalued, but there is no serious problem at the moment, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said in a new report released on Monday.  The risk of overvaluation is most evident in Montreal and Quebec City, the report said, although the trends are improving, even in those cities. There is also a modest risk of homes becoming overvalued in Toronto, Calgary and Halifax, the study said.

The data comes from CMHC’s latest House Price Analysis and Assessment (HPAA), a regular internal study that has not been made public in the past. CMHC released some of the details of its HPAA as part of a move to issue more data about the state of the country’s housing market. Some economists have complained that there are big gaps in housing data, which is a problem because the housing market is crucial to the Canadian economy.  Read More >>

Condos Make Up More than Half of Housing Starts in Canada’s Biggest Cities: CMHC

Condominiums accounted for more than one-third of all Canadian housing starts last year, and more than half of the total in several of the country’s biggest cities, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) says.  The federal agency says condominium apartment starts represented less than one in five Canadian housing starts in the early 1990s, but that proportion had grown to more than one in three in 2013.

“This long-term trend toward a higher share of condominium starts, especially in higher-priced urban centres, is likely due to the relatively lower price of condominium apartment units compared to freehold single-detached dwellings,” CMHC said in its 2014 Canadian Housing Observer.  Read More >>

Housing Bubble Begone. Turns Out We Just Might Need All Those New Condos and Houses

Are we really overbuilding, constructing too many condominiums and creating too much sprawl?  A new report maintains we need that housing more than ever.

Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist with CIBC, says we might be substantially underestimating household formation because we are not factoring in up to 100,000 immigrants.

“Ask any real estate developer in any of Canada’s major cities about the risk of overbuilding, and the first line of defence would be immigration and its critical role in supporting demand,” writes Mr. Tal, in a note he coauthored with Nick Exarhos. “It turns out that at least for now, this claim is more valid than widely believed.”

Mr. Tal points out that not only do new immigrants account for about 70% of our population growth about half of them are in the 25-44 age cohort, a key demographic that will lead to more household formation.  Read More >> 

Inflation in Canada Jumps to a 4-Month High

Canada’s annual rate of inflation hit a four-month high in October, led by increased shelter and food costs, after overall price pressure slowed in the previous month.  Statistics Canada reported last Friday that its Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.4% in the 12 months to October, after increasing 2.0% in September.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI increased 0.1% in October, following a 0.2% rise in September.  The seasonally adjusted core index increased 0.2% on a monthly basis in October, matching the gains in September and August.

Economists had expected a slight pullback in Canadian prices in October, largely driven by the falling gasoline prices. They thought the year-over-year inflation rate would be up only slightly, to 2.1% from September’s 2.0%. They had anticipated that the core rate would hold steady.  Read More >>

Latest U.S. Economic News 

U.S. economic growth was far stronger than initially thought in the third quarter, pointing to strengthening fundamentals that should support the economy for the rest of the year. The Commerce Department on Tuesday raised its estimate of GDP to a 3.9% annual pace from the 3.5% rate reported last month, reflecting upward revisions to business and consumer spending.

U.S. single-family home prices showed a stronger-than-expected rise in September on a year-over-year basis, but indicated a deceleration from the prior month, a closely watched survey said on Tuesday.  The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 4.9% in September over the prior year. 

U.S. home resales jumped to their highest level in more than a year in October and outpaced the sales level a year ago for the first time in 2014, further evidence the housing market is on a recovery path.  The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said last Thursday that U.S. existing home sales rose 1.5% to an annual rate of 5.26 million units, the highest rate since September of last year. Sales rose 2.5% compared to a year ago, the first time since October 2013 that resales have risen above the prior-year levels.

U.S. consumer prices were unexpectedly flat in October, but there are signs that underlying inflation pressures are starting to push higher.  The Labor Department said last Thursday that falling gasoline prices, which offset rising shelter and medical costs, had restrained its Consumer Price Index last month.  The CPI had gained 0.1% in September and economists polled by Reuters had it slipping 0.1% last month. The CPI increased 1.7% in the 12 months through October, advanced by the same margin for a third straight month.  Read More >>


 Upcoming CHHMA Events 

Industry Cocktail
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Casino de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec

Canada Night
Held in Conjunction with the International Home+Housewares Show
Sunday, March 8, 2015
InterContinental Hotel, Chicago, Illinois

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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