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     Volume 11, Issue 07, February 17, 2011

                                     Association News

2011 Spring Conference & AGM: "Boom, Bust & Bounce Back"

We are pleased to announce that Paul Publow, founder and President of Logistics Services & Solutions Inc., together with a customs expert will be conducting a break-out session on importing and exporting during the CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM.

The session will focus on the required customs documentation, the type of carriers to use, fees to expect and
service options. In addition an outline of what Canada Customs expects from importers and the possible
consequences of non-compliance of current import regulations.

Paul has enjoyed a career spanning thirty five years and has held senior executive positions within the domestic Canadian and international transportation industry. His strong background and experience allows the company to translate industry insight into improved distribution performance ... at a cost savings to the customer. Through LSS's relationship with the CHHMA, many member companies have taken advantage of their expertise and have achieved combined savings into the millions of dollars.

For further information or to register for the Spring Conference & AGM, click here.

Mastering the Art of Negotiations Seminar - Delta, BC
On Friday, March 11, 2011, CHHMA members have an opportunity to attend a seminar on the art of negotiating in Delta, BC.

The seminar will be conducted by Don Carmont, a training and development specialist from SkillPath.

"Mastering the Art of Negotiations" delivers the essence of negotiating in one power-packed day. From what’s really happening when two parties come together to how to look out for your interests ...from what to say and how to say it to what’s better left unspoken ... this workshop delivers. Understand the power that’s yours whenever you sit down at the bargaining table. Banish uneasiness so you can enjoy the negotiating process and see results.

Date: Friday, March 11, 2011
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (lunch will be provided)
Location: Offices of Task Tools
                  6800 Dennett Place,
                  Delta, BC V4G 1N4

Cost: $300 for CHHMA Members, $400 for non-members.

Click here for a PDF registration form.   
                                  Industry News

Home Depot Canada to Hire 6,000 Workers 
Home Depot Canada said yesterday that it is hiring more than 6,000 employees as part of a broader plan to beef up staff across North America before its busy spring and summer seasons. They plan to hire both part-time and full-time employees in both seasonal and permanent positions.

The move comes as the U.S. head office announced plans to hire more than 60,000 seasonal workers to help with its busiest season of the year. Workers will be hired and trained in February and March in every market. The Atlanta company currently has more than 300,000 employees.
Canadian Tire Reports Strong Fourth Quarter/Full Year Results
Last Thursday, Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited reported that it nearly doubled its fourth-quarter profit compared with a year ago, helped by improved margins and lower interest costs.

The company said it earned $181.1 million or $2.22 per diluted share for the quarter ended Jan.1, up from $96.2 million or $1.18 per diluted share a year ago. Revenue totalled $2.54 billion, up from $2.44 billion. Canadian Tire same-store sales fell 0.4% in the quarter, while same-stores sales at Mark’s were up 0.7%. Boosting the company’s earnings was a $42 million income tax adjustment and $12.6 million in interest on a tax deposit. Excluding one-time items, the company said it earned $1.51 per share for the quarter.

For the full-year, Canadian Tire net earnings were $453.6 million or $5.56 per share on $8.98 billion in revenue. That compared with profit of $335 million or $4.10 per share on $8.69 billion the previous year. Canadian Tire same-store sales rose 0.8% for the full year while Mark’s were up 1.9%.

In 2010, Canadian Tire Retail completed 72 projects, including 59 Smart store retrofits, 3 new Smart stores, and 3 new Small Market stores. For 2011, Canadian Tire Retail intends to build, refresh or retrofit 73 stores.

TIM-BR MARTS Ltd. Management Changes 
TIM-BR MARTS Ltd. has made some changes to its management team, under president and CEO Tim Urquhart. Steve Stremecki, formerly vice-president, retail sales, has been moved into a new role overseeing and growing corporate partnerships. Andrew Allen, formerly general manager of CanWel Hardware, will now be in charge of sales and operations, and will oversee merchandising in the stores, stocking and distribution. Jon Irwin, marketing manager, John Morrissey, VP building materials and Randy Martin, VP hardware remain in the current roles.

McLean Watson Investments Ltd. Purchases Controlling Interest of William Ashley
On Monday, it was announced that McLean Watson Investments Ltd. has purchased controlling interest of William Ashley.

McLean Watson is a private, Toronto-based investment group, with a long history of working with leading entrepreneurs and companies to assist in the operations and growth of their businesses. Louden Owen, Managing Partner of McLean Watson, together with Ed Nordholm, have been appointed Co-Chief Executive Officers of William Ashley. Karen McGuire has been appointed President.

William Ashley has been in business for more than 60 years and is known as a high quality source for China, Crystal, Silver and Gifts.

Economic News

Resale Housing Market Heats Up in January
On Tuesday, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reported that Canadian home resales rose 4.5% in
January from December, to the highest level since April 2010. The gains were led by Vancouver and Toronto.
National sales activity has improved steadily since last summer, and now stands almost 25% above the low point reached in July 2010.

Gregory Klump, CREA's chief economist, said "we anticipated the recent announcement of tighter mortgage regulations, which will come into effect this March, would pull forward sales activity into the first quarter of 2011, particularly in some of Canada's more expensive housing markets."

CREA said 39,481 homes were sold in January, up from 37,773 the previous month, but down 6.6% from January 2010. It was the smallest year-over-year decline since May 2010. Meanwhile, the national average sales price was $343,675 during the month. "hile this is little changed compared to the previous three months, it represents an increase of 4.5% compared to January 2010," the group said. The seasonally adjusted number of months of inventory stood at 5.5 months at the end of January on a national basis. This is the lowest level since last March.

"The next couple of months may see a run-up in activity ahead of the new mortgage insurance rules that reduce the maximum amortization term by five years to 30 years," said Benjamin Reitzes, an economist at BMO Capital Market. "However, the trend will be towards a stabilizing market in 2011, as mortgage rates rise and listings increase. Home prices are expected to climb modestly from a year ago, providing a better picture of the state of the market." 
Housing Market Will Be Stable Next Two Years: RBC
A report last week from the Royal Bank of Canada sees a stable housing market over the next two years. RBC is forecasting price gains of 0.5% in 2011 and 1.3% in 2012. A stronger economy (higher employment and family incomes) will offset the effects of higher mortgage rates and keep Canadian house prices stable over the next two years.

RBC sees the Bank of Canada likely raising interest rates by 100 basis points this year and another 150 basis points in 2012, making mortgage payments more expensive for the majority of homeowners. But real GDP is expected to increase to 3.2% in 2011 from 2.9% in 2010. "The net effect of these forces is expected to be close to nil, thereby leaving resale activity largely flat," they said. 

Canada's Trade Balance Moves to Surplus  
Statistics Canada reported last Friday that Canada's trade balance shifted into a surplus in December as
merchandise exports rose 9.7% (the biggest gain in 30 years) to $37.8 billion. Canada’s trade balance went to a surplus of $3 billion in December from a deficit of $115 million in November, the first trade surplus since February 2010. 

The export increase was led by a 16.5% gain in the volumes of energy products, while overall export volumes were up 6.6% and prices rose 2.9%. Energy products accounted for over half the growth in the value of exports, followed by industrial goods and materials, which reached a record high. Notable increases were also recorded in exports of machinery and equipment, agricultural and fishing products as well as forestry products.

The value of imports edged up 0.7% to $34.8 billion as import prices rose 0.4% and volumes increased 0.3%. All import sectors except "other consumer goods" posted gains in December. The main sources of growth were energy products, agricultural and fishing products, and automotive products.

On the strength of energy products, exports to the U.S. rose 10.8% to $26.7 billion (a 30-year high), while imports were up 2.3%. Canada's trade surplus with the U.S. increased to $5.1 billion in December from $3 billion in November. Exports to countries other than the U.S. increased 7.3%, while imports declined 1.9%. Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the U.S. declined to $2.1 billion in December from $3.1 billion in November.

The huge leap in exports to the U.S. suggests the recovery there is peaking up steam and lifting Canada along with it, while Canada is also benefitting from a stronger global economy. "It appears that the upswing in U.S. spending is indeed providing a sizeable boost for exporters, at long last," said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist for the Bank of Montreal. "This strong year-end performance points to a solid December GDP result, and has prompted an upward revision to Q4 growth (to 3.0%) and for 2011 (to 2.8%)."

U.S. Housing Starts Jump in January
U.S. housing starts rose more than expected in January to their highest rate in four months but permits for future home construction dropped sharply after a strong gain the prior month.

The Commerce Department reported earlier today that U.S. housing starts jumped 14.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 596,000 units, the highest since September. January's housing starts were led by a 77.7% jump in multi-family homes while single-family home construction fell 1.0%. However, the U.S. home building industry still remains below what is considered a healthy economic pace of about one million starts a year.

New building permits dropped 10.4% to a 562,000 unit pace in January, partially reversing December's 15.3% surge that came ahead of changes in building codes in California, Pennsylvania and New York that caused an artificial spike. Permits were pulled down last month by a 23.8% plunge in the multi-family segment. Single-family unit permits fell 4.8%.

The U.S. housing market continues to be hobbled by an over-supply of homes that is depressing prices. High unemployment is also impacting the sector which is expected to continue to struggle even as the broader economy improves.

U.S. Retail Sales Edge Higher in January
The U.S. Commerce Department said yesterday that total retail sales rose 0.3% to $318.6 billion (U.S.) in January, advancing for a seventh straight month, although the increase was the weakest since June. Extreme weather in large parts of the country kept some shoppers at home.

Sales were weaker at specialty clothing stores, furniture stores and hardware stores but posted gains at health care stores and food stores. Overall retail sales also reflected higher gasoline prices where sales at gasoline service stations climbed 1.4%. Excluding the rise at service stations, retail sales would have risen only 0.2% in January.

Retail sales are up 14% from the recession low hit in December 2008, and rose in a month in which severe weather limited economic activity in many parts of the country.

Upcoming 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

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

CHHMA Cost Savings Links
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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 (416) 282-0022, ext. 34.



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