Home Hardware Celebrates 45th Anniversary at Dealer Market



    Focuses on future growth

    ST. JACOBS, ON, April 20 /CNW/ - Home Hardware Stores Limited will
celebrate the company's 45th anniversary as it welcomes more than 10,000
Dealers and vendors from across Canada to the bi-annual Dealer Market in St.
Jacobs and Kitchener-Waterloo from April 18-21.
    The Home Hardware Dealer Markets are focused on helping the company's
independent Dealers grow their business by providing an opportunity to preview
new products, exchange ideas and learn from one another.
    "With 45 years of steady growth behind us, Home Hardware Dealers are
still looking forward," said Paul Straus, Vice President and CEO, Home
Hardware Stores Limited. "We're very proud of our heritage we've stayed true
to the company's original vision of helping the independent retailer stay
independent and to thrive. The market is a great opportunity to celebrate
that."
    In 1964, 122 independent hardware dealers joined together to form a
co-operative that would allow them to pool their buying power and build
competitive, independent businesses as Home Hardware Stores Limited. Today,
the company remains 100% Dealer owned and while times have changed, technology
has changed and Home's buying power has grown tremendously, that original
mandate has remained constant. The success of the business model has allowed
Home Hardware to not only contend with the competition, but outlast them.
Having obtained the advantages of volume purchasing, Home Hardware has been
able to offer a wide assortment of high-quality products to their consumers at
competitive pricing.
    "It's no secret that the home improvement retail sector in North America
has been an active battleground for the past several years," added Straus.
"We've always been about supporting independent retailers. Canadians value
their local hardware store and the customer service they receive. It's
interesting that the big box chains are now trying to offer a more community
focused and intimate feel. This really shows us that Home Hardware's original
business model is right on the money."
    On the heels of a record-breaking $4.85 billion in retail sales in 2008,
Home Hardware has grown to more than 1,000 locations, 9.2 million square feet
of retail space backed by more than 2.5 million square feet of
state-of-the-art warehousing and distribution centres in six locations across
the country, and a fleet of trucks that delivers new product weekly.
    "Our Dealers are our focus," continued Straus. "We don't listen to
outside investors who are motivated solely by profit, nor are we subject to
the uncertainties of the investment community, which often focuses on
short-term results at the expense of long-term performance. We're looking at
sustained, long-term growth for our Dealers."
    The company has also recently launched several marketing initiatives
designed to position the company for long-term success.
    Late in 2008, the company launched its new tag line Home Owners Helping
Homeowners that more accurately reflects the organization's focus on Dealer
ownership - the differentiating feature that makes the shopping experience at
Home Hardware so satisfying for customers. This tagline will also serve as the
theme for the Spring Market.
    In February 2009, Home announced a partnership with Toyota Canada, as the
two companies pledged to work together on cross-marketing promotions.
    In March, Home announced that popular Food Network host, professional
chef and cookbook author Anna Olson will be joining the Home team as the
retailer's new Kitchen Expert. Dealers will have the chance to meet Anna Olson
at the Market on Tuesday, April 21st.
    Also in March, Home Hardware was official sponsor of Team Canada at the
World Baseball Classic, extending the company's sports sponsorship portfolio
which also includes the Toronto Blue Jays.
    "While many companies are dialing back their marketing programs, we've
been busy working with strategic opportunities that position Home for future
growth," said Straus. "We are well-positioned to weather the current economic
storm, and this year's Spring Market is just another example of the size and
strength of our network."
    The Fall Market follows Home Hardware's Pre-Market Conference (PMC) at
the Waterloo Inn on Saturday, April 18. The conference allows Dealer-Owners
and staff to learn from industry experts at more than 80 seminars during a
full-day session with nearly 600 people pre-registered to attend.
    Visitors to Home Hardware Markets occupy more than 3,000 hotel rooms in
the Kitchener-Waterloo area and consume more than 8,000 meals over the course
of the three-day trade show.

    Home Hardware Stores Limited is Canada's largest independent hardware,
lumber and building materials and furniture retailer with more than 1,000
stores across Canada, under the Home Hardware, Home Building Centre, Home
Hardware Building Centre and Home Furniture banners. Dealers have access to
more than 100,000 quality brand name and private label products and the
company has annual retail sales of $4.85 billion. The cooperative was founded
on January 1, 1964 by 122 independent hardware Dealers.

    NOTE: THIS EVENT IS NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. MEDIA ARE WELCOME.





For further information:

For further information: Claire Trainor, Home Hardware Stores Limited,
(519) 664-2252 or claire.trainor@homehardware.ca

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Home Hardware Stores Limited

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