2. Home Hardware
Last year’s ranking: 12 (▲ 10)
Home Hardware jumped 10 spots this year, perhaps reflecting the shuffling of the deck in the home improvement category as competitor Rona was bought by U.S. giant Lowe’s. There’s no single reason for Home Hardware’s climb; it’s a combination of consistency—the company has had just three CEOs since its founding in 1964—and its slow-and-steady approach to modernizing its retail experience (the company is four years into a five year plan in which it told dozens of locations to shape up or leave the chain). Home Hardware’s folksy reputation is due in large part to the fact that it’s not a traditional top-down franchise operation; its dealers collectively own the company and have more latitude to respond to the particular demands of their home markets. And apparently the approach is resonating: Home Hardware was named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies by Deloitte Canada for the fourth time running this year.