Canadian product sales expected to increase by the end of 2020
Even before the advent of Covid-19, the “Well Made Here” program aimed to increase the visibility of accredited products in a variety of ways. While the unexpected arrival of the pandemic adds complexity to the situation, it also lends itself as an opportunity to promote quality products made here and to stimulate the economy.
“It is plausible to believe, from a political point of view, that all governments will want to offset the forced downturn in the private sector by issuing tenders for all-around public works: schools, hospitals, roads, public transportation will fill the order books of engineers and promoters of major construction sites in the coming months and years in quantities unseen in decades,” believes Richard Darveau, chairman of the board of “Well Made Here”.
The “Well Made Here” team is therefore confident that the manufacturing sector will flourish and interprovincial trade will increase as a result of COVID-19, from the summer until 2021.
In Quebec, any manufacturer that makes materials and items for use on residential construction sites has been able to resume operations since April 20.
For a successful recovery, in terms of production, manufacturers ought to share their lists of available inventory with purchasers from buying groups, especially if they have converted their operations to meet the demand for essential products used for protection or health and safety.
With regard to marketing, given the possibility of exhibiting at buying shows or any other event of this kind is unlikely, manufacturers should make greater efforts to leverage their status as participants in the program and promote themselves using “Well Made Here” branding.
Indeed, the more the logo appears on products and in manufacturers’ communications placing it before the eyes of contractors and consumers across Canada, the more a healthy pressure will be exerted on purchasers from buying groups, owner-retailers and any other buyer responsible for supplying stores so that they may choose from amongst the accredited lines of product.
Even more reason that remains relevant in the current context: pride. Manufacturers here are proud of their products, but struggle to compete. Often cheaper alternatives, distributed on a large scale, do not necessarily have the same components. Occasionally, several pirated or counterfeit products appear on the market, but these are substandard compared to existing building codes and cosmetically made-up. And dare we say it, they are sometimes produced in regions where working conditions and environmental standards are not the same as in Quebec.
Retailers, on the other hand, want to build customer loyalty, make closer connections, and establish lasting relationships. However, how can they be perceived as good partners if non-quality is what is offered?
How can the retailer’s business be perceived as a good citizen invested in the community if it lives on exports? And how does it make money if it positions itself through low pricing and the same products as any other hardware store?
Consumers and contractors have trouble quickly finding the products they are looking for and have to flip through various publications or get busy typing up a storm on their keyboards to search through thousands of online sources.
About participating manufacturers
In April 2019, the number of participating manufacturers was nearly sixty. They originate from four provinces and offer products spanning a dozen product categories including electricity, building materials, tools, paint and decor, floors, plumbing, doors and windows, hardware, siding and roofing, seasonal (summer and winter), and courtyard and terrace. In short, there are accredited products in every home improvement center department.
Today, there are 107 participating manufacturers from eight of the ten provinces, and we are aiming to identify and add 40 new participants that manufacture products in Canada to complete the catalogue and offer greater choice to consumers. These additions would allow us to reach the 150-participant milestone, an essential step in establishing the notoriety of the brand and extending the program’s visibility on a national scale.
New participant – Polar Bear Products
Polar Bear Products, participating manufacturer from Toronto, makes weatherproofing products and a socially conscious brand that promotes sustainability, energy efficiency, and carbon footprint reduction through our line of weatherproofing products. That’s why we chose to support Polar Bears International – an organization that is fighting to reduce climate change and protect polar bears whose ecosystem is at risk due to the negative effects of global warming.
Some exits have occurred. Among them Roland Boulanger, Vanités BF, Fransyl, Omega Plastics and Shippers Supply have had to put an end to their commitment to the program.