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     Volume 11, Issue 08, February 24, 2011

                                     Association News

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

Registration is now available for this year's CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM taking place on Tuesday, April 5th at the International Centre Conference Facility, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, Ontario.

The value-packed one day conference for CHHMA members offers a great line-up of speakers and topics that address current issues and will provide you with helpful information to succeed in the new economy.

The conference offers something for everyone including senior executives, general managers, finance, sales and marketing, human resources and logistics, so please be sure to invite some of your colleagues to attend as well. 

Corporate packages are available for $1,000 + HST and include tickets for four attendees plus any additional tickets for a reduced price of $250 + HST.

Individual conference tickets are available for $350 + HST.

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

                             Member News

Philips LED Lightbulb First To Earn Energy Star Qualification for 60-Watt Equivalent 
The world's first LED replacement for a 60-watt incandescent bulb is now also the first to earn ENERGY STAR qualification.
Philips Lighting announced last week that the Philips AmbientLED 12.5 watt (also sold professionally under the Philips EnduraLED brand) has met or exceeded the quality and energy efficiency requirements for a 60-watt LED equivalent set forth by ENERGY STAR, proving that it is highly-efficient, cost-effective lighting options for consumers. The bulb lasts 25 times longer and uses 80% less energy than the 60-watt incandescent bulb it was designed to replace.

The Philips AmbientLED 12.5 watt bulb is just the latest in the Philips portfolio of energy-saving retrofit bulbs that are ENERGY STAR qualified and comply with EISA (Energy Independence and Security Act) standards. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. It advances the adoption of energy efficiency across residential, commercial and industrial sectors.

For further information, please contact Court Elliott at
                                  Industry News

Lowe's Profit Climbs 39%
Lowe's Cos. announced on Wednesday that net income rose 39% to $285 million (U.S.), or 21 cents per share for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, up from $205 million, or 14 cents per share, a year ago. Sales rose 3.1% to $10.48 billion in the quarter, up from $10.17 billion a year ago.

During the fourth quarter, Lowe's opened 17 stores and closed two. As of January 28, 2011, Lowe's operated 1,749 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

For the fiscal year, Lowe's net income rose 13% to $2.01 billion, or $1.42 per share, from $1.78 billion, or $1.21 per share a year ago. Annual sales rose 3.4% to $48.82 billion from $47.22 billion. Comparable store sales increased 1.1% in the fourth quarter and increased 1.3% for fiscal 2010.

Looking forward, Lowe's expects first quarter net income of 34 cents to 38 cents per share. The company predicts sales will rise 2% and sales in stores open at least one year will be flat. For fiscal 2011, the company expects net income of $1.60 to $1.72 per share on a 5% sales increase. Comparable store sales will increase 1 to 2%. Lowe's expects to open 25 to 30 stores in 2011.

Home Depot's Profit Surges 72%
Home Depot Inc.'s fourth quarter net income rose 72% to $587 million (U.S.), or 36 cents per share, from $342 million, or 20 cents per share last year. Sales for the quarter rose 3.8% to $15.13 billion from the same period last year. Sales in stores open at least a year rose 3.9% globally and 4.8% in the U.S.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the company operated a total of 2,248 retail stores, which included 1,976 stores in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands & Guam), 179 stores in Canada, 85 stores in Mexico and 8 stores in China.

For fiscal 2010, net income rose 25% to $3.34 billion, or $2.01 per share, from $2.66 billion, or $1.57 per share. Sales rose 2.8% to $68 billion, the first yearly revenue increase since 2006. Sales in stores open at least a year increased 2.9% globally and 2.5% in the U.S.

For 2011, the company expects net income to rise 9.5% to $2.20 per share. That's up from a prior forecast of 7 to 9%. Home Depot expects sales to increase 2.5% to $69.7 billion, from a prior forecast of 2 to 2.5%. The company expects positive low single digit comparable store sales growth, to open 10 new stores and to buy back about $2.5 billion in shares throughout 2011. Home Depot also raised its quarterly dividend 6% to 25 cents, payable March 24 to shareholders of record as of March 10.

Wal-Mart's U.S. Sales Decline Continues
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. posted its seventh consecutive quarterly drop in sales at existing U.S. stores and said it will take some time to turn around sales in that unit. The world's largest retailer has struggled with pricing as it has lost customers to dollar stores while it also is still recovering from a decision, since reversed, to pare down the number of items it offered.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. earned $5.02 billion, or $1.41 per share, in the fourth quarter ended on Jan. 31, up from $4.82 billion, or $1.26 per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, earnings were $1.34 a share. Net sales overall rose 2.5% to $115 .6 billion. Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year fell 1.8%. Sam's Club comparable sales, without fuel, increased 2.7% in the same period.

For the full year (fiscal 2011), earnings per share were $4.18, compared with $3.73 the previous year. Net sales were $419 billion, an increase of 3.4% over fiscal 2010. Wal-Mart recognized strong full year operating results from Walmart International and Sam's Club. International net sales exceeded $109 billion, an increase of more than 12% over the prior year. Sam's Club reached almost $50 billion in annual net sales. For fiscal 2012, the company expects earnings per share of between $4.35 and $4.50.
Stewardship News

New Phase 1 MHSW Program Plan in Development
Stewardship Ontario is developing a new Municipal Hazardous & Special Waste (MHSW) program as requested by the Ontario Minister of the Environment. To help form the new plan, Stewardship Ontario is hosting a series of consultation meetings with stewards. Invitations were sent out via email the week of February 7th to all registered Phase 1 MHSW stewards. The purpose of the meetings will be to review draft MHSW material definitions and receive feedback and suggestions from attendees. These meetings will also update stewards on recent Stewardship Ontario activities and the direction that they have received from the Ministry on amending the MHSW program over the last few months.

Meetings have already been held for automotive-related products and for solvents. A consultation meeting is set for this Friday (Feb. 25), 9 to 11 am, for pesticides and fertilizers. Consultations for batteries, pressurized containers and paints and coatings will occur during the first week of March - exact dates will be announced soon.

For further information on the consultation meetings, please contact Ahpy Bokpe at or 416-323-1010,  ext. 160.

This is a reminder that Q1 reports for all nine Phase 1 materials were due on Jan. 31, 2011 (data from Oct. 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2010). Q1 payment is due by Feb. 28, 2011. If you have any questions, please contact Stewardship Ontario at 1-888-288-3360 or

Annual Blue Box & MMSM Reports Due March 31, 2011
Stewards of the Ontario Blue Box program and the Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba (MMSM) program should be gathering their material tonnage data for 2010 (Jan. 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2010). Online portals for reporting are open and reports must be submitted by March 31, 2011 at and First payments are due by April 30, 2011.

If you require any assistance with your reporting, feel free to contact our CHHMA stewardship consultants: Al Marks at (416-282-0022 ext.24) or Duncan Deans at (416-282-0022 ext.22).

Economic News

Housing To Move In Line with Demographic Fundamentals
Housing starts are forecast to be at levels consistent with demographic fundamentals in 2011 and 2012, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) first quarter housing market outlook released on Feb.17.

Housing starts will be in the range of 157,300 to 192,900 units in 2011, with a point forecast of 177,600 units. In 2012, housing starts will be in the range of 154,600 to 211,200 units, with a point forecast of 183,800 units.

"Modest economic growth will continue to push employment levels higher this year and next. This, in conjunction with relatively low mortgage rates, will continue to support demand for new homes. Housing starts will remain in line with long term demographic fundamentals over the course of 2011 and 2012," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist for CMHC.

Existing home sales will be in the range of 398,500 to 485,500 units in 2011, with a point forecast of 441,500 units. In 2012, sales will move up and are expected to be in the range of 406,300 to 519,700 units, with a point forecast of 462,900 units. Mr. Dugan also noted that the existing home market will remain in the balanced to sellers' market range in 2011 and 2012. As a result, growth in the average MLS price is expected to remain in line with economy-wide inflation in 2011 and 2012.  
Retail Sales Dip in December 
Lower auto sales helped push Canadian retail sales down by 0.2% in December to $37.3 billion, but November's strong growth was revised up by the same amount (1.3% to 1.5%), Statistics Canada reported on Tuesday. The slight decline comes on the heels of six consecutive months of gains. Excluding auto sales, which were down 2.8% from November, retail sales actually rose 0.6%. In volume terms, sales declined by 0.4% in December, but November's figure was also revised up 0.2%.

Five of eleven sectors declined in December. The largest drop was among motor vehicle and parts dealers (-2.8%). Sales at food and beverage stores fell 1.6%. Sales were lower 1.4% at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers. General merchandise store sales decreased 0.4%. The largest increase occurred at gasoline stations where sales rose 7.6%, mainly reflecting higher prices at the pump. Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores increased 1.9%. Sales at these store types have been trending upward since a sharp decline in July 2010. Electronics and appliance stores had higher sales of 0.6% in December, marking the fourth increase in five months.

For 2010 as a whole, retail sales were up 5.1% from 2009 and up 4.5% in volume. Ten of eleven subsectors advanced with motor vehicle and parts dealers sales leading the growth (+7.8%). Gasoline station sales grew by 14.2%. General merchandisers, which include department stores, posted a 4.4% sales gain.  

Canada's Tame Inflation Bucks Global Trend
Canada's annual inflation rate slipped to a relatively tame 2.3% in January from 2.4% in December, bucking a global trend which has seen several major countries struggle to keep rising prices under control.

Statistics Canada reported last Friday that the annual inflation rate edged down one-tenth of a point in January, mostly because the pace of growth in energy costs slowed. But on a month-to-month basis, gasoline costs were 3.5% higher in January than in December, contributing to a 0.3% monthly increase in overall prices.

Driven by rocketing commodity prices such as oil and food, inflation has been rising in many countries around the world, but has yet to make its way to Canada. While the headline inflation number remains above the Bank of Canada's 2% target, the bank's other closely watched index - underlying core inflation that excludes volatile items such as energy - remains well under control at 1.4% in January, down from 1.5% in December.

The big mover for Canadian inflation remained energy which is up 9% from a year ago, with gas prices 13% higher in January. As well, electricity costs rose 6.4%, car insurance increased 4.8%, restaurant meals 2.7% and home replacement costs 3.6%. Consumers paid 1.6% more for household operations, furnishings and equipment while transportation prices increased 4.8% over the past 12 months. Overall, seven of eight major indexes showed price increases, with clothing and footwear the only component where they were lower (-2.4%) than January 2010.

The latest inflation results do little to change market expectations that the Bank of Canada will hold rates steady until at least May. 
U.S. Home Prices Fall in Most Big Cities
Home prices in a majority of major U.S. cities tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Index have fallen to their lowest levels since the housing bubble burst. The index fell 2.4% in December from November in all but one of the 20 cities it tracks. The only market to see a gain was Washington, D.C. Eleven of the markets hit their lowest point since the housing bust in 2006 and 2007: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle and Tampa. In many places, prices are expected to keep falling for at least the next six months. Some of the worst declines are in cities hit by foreclosures, which are forcing prices down. Many people are holding off making purchases because they fear the market hasn't hit bottom yet.
U.S. Consumer Confidence Highest in 3 Years 
The U.S. consumer confidence index rose in February to its highest level in three years as consumers are feeling more positive about their income prospects and the direction the economy is headed. The Conference Board reported on Tuesday that the index climbed to 70.4 in February, up from a revised 64.8 in January, hitting its highest level since February 2008. It was the index's fifth consecutive monthly increase but is still below the 90+ reading that signals a stable economy.

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 Hotel & Casino, 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.



Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association | 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON M1B 5M4
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