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Burlington Merchandising & Fixtures Inc.

Rob Wilbrink

President

Burlington Merchandising & Fixtures Inc.

The industry seems to have stabilized at a lower level with sales strongest in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, followed by Alberta and our business is following the same geographic pattern. With the pie no longer growing as it had up until 2008, the focus has changed from a race to add locations to improving the performance and profitability of existing stores.

Hardware distribution continues to shape the industry as it has for many years. Low population density in Canada makes profitable distribution of hardware difficult. There are clearer options now and there will be winners and losers in the coming year.

Regardless of the outcome, BMF needs to be positioned to support the independent dealer in their quest to grow and be profitable. Direct vendors have gained traction and are starting to redirect some of their resources back to the independents due to structural changes in the way box stores get serviced. We see strong demand for our overhead storage systems as a way to deal with higher inventory levels while maintaining optimal merchandising sets.

In the vendor community, we have experienced a year of cost cutting and consolidation. Most companies have less people on the ground which is creating new opportunities for us to assist them with the pre-built displays which require less effort in the field. Early indications are that many of our clients are looking at 2012 as a year to more aggressively invest at store level to drive sales and build market share.

Contractor yards are also looking for ways to offset soft sales of building materials by adding front ends to their business. Those most likely to succeed will focus their assortments on serving the requirements of their existing customers, instead of watering down their presentation by trying to attract a different category of customer. This will increase their average ticket and margin, better satisfy their existing customers, and attract more customers with the same profile. These new customers will complete the virtual cycle by buying more of the back end products the dealer is known for. One of the ways we're helping these dealers is by designing small footprint stores and improved signage systems that make it easy to locally brand these stores.

The trend to better merchandise building products in-store continues as dealers realize customers will buy more of what they can touch and see than what is hidden in the warehouse or yard. As a result, we are continually adding new accessories to our lineup to effectively house and display these products. Similarly, smaller stores have learned from the box stores and are looking for ways to display more of the hardware products they sell rather than invite customers to rip open packages or lose sales because customers can't see what is available. BMF has devoted a lot of effort to creating specialized accessories to make this possible.

My biggest joy in this business is helping independent dealers make the improvements at the grass roots level needed to succeed and compete against often much larger competitors. After a renovation, the pride we see on their faces and the excitement shown by their staff and customers says it all.

Contact Us

Burlington Merchandising & Fixtures

3100 Harvester Road, Unit 8
Burlington, ON, Canada L7N 3W8

P: 905 332 6652
F: 905 332 5821

Sponsors of

chima-logo hardware-2009

Our Mission

BMF PROFIT 500 winner

To drive sales and profitability for vendors and retailers in the home improvement industry via creative merchandising concepts and outstanding excecution.