HGO merchandiser - selling online

HGO merchandiser - selling online

HGO merchandiser - selling online

HGOmerchandiser HomeGoodsOnline.ca Michael Knell’s SUMMER 2017 Volume Six, Issue 2 Our Canadian Furniture Show preview David Coletto introduces the millennials The mattress: a technological marvel Kimmberly Capone & embracing change THE BOXED BED: selling mattresses online

HGO merchandiser - selling online
HGO merchandiser - selling online
HGO merchandiser - selling online

4 HGO merchandiser 6EDITOR’S LETTER GET YOURSELF TO MARKET Change is coming. Learning about those changes, sharing ideas about the best coping methods while finding great product for the floor remain three of the best reasons to come to market.

If you’re a Canadian furniture, mattress and major appliance retailer attending theupcomingCanadianFurnitureShow really ought to be mandatory. That’s also true if you’re a vendor looking to do business with that same retailer. 8MARKET PREVIEW CELEBRATING THE CANADIAN INDUSTRY The 2017 edition of the Canadian Furniture Show will be easy to navigate and be a little more compact. The organisers are promising this industry’s only national trade event will offer all the right things to the attending retail buyer, including great product, a great shopping environment with opportunities to learn and network.

Michael J. Knell reports on the preparations.

18INNOVATIONS THE BOXED BED: SELLING THE MATTRESS ONLINE A massive shift in consumer behaviour haspromptedsomebrave–and,insome cases, quite successful – entrepreneurs to forego the traditional showroom in favour of shipping mattresses directly to the customer’s door without her ever seeing – or lying down on – the real deal. The crazy thing is, it seems to be working. Ashley Newport authored our report. 26PROFILE EMBRACING CHANGE Ashley Newport profiles Kimmberly Capone and looks at how one woman dramatically transformed her fledgling family’s business model by reinventing the wheel and taking risks – something that ultimately quadrupled her com­ pany’s sales.

All she did was adopt a new way of selling.

33IDEAS HAVE YOU MET THE MILLENNIALS? David Coletto, this country’s acknow­ ledged expert on the millennials, introduces us to this group of people, born in the years beginning in 1980, who are going to determine the fates and futures of furniture, mattress and major appliance retailers for literally decades to come. 36PRODUCT STRATEGIES THE MATTRESS: A TECHNOLOGICAL MARVEL Technology is driving growth in the mattress and bedding business. The product itself is becoming more sophisti­ cated. So is the means by which is marketed and sold to the consumer. Canadian manufacturers are adapting to this reality quite nicely.

Our report was written by Michael J. Knell. 45INDUSTRY CALENDAR & ADVERTISERS’ INDEX CONTENTS 8 26 33 ON OUR COVER: Industry veteran Deanna Bartucci founded The Naked Mattress last summer along with partner Juan Sanchez. It’s one of a handful of Canadian ‘pure play’ e-commerce mattress retailers who are changing the way the consumer thinks about buying the device upon which they spend about a third of their lives. 40

HGO merchandiser - selling online

HomeGoodsOnline.ca 5 AD THE ENDURING CRAFTSMANSHIP OF STEARNS & FOSTER® Stearns & Foster mattresses are built on the belief that there is no greater luxury than the finest bed. Each bed is meticulously handcrafted by master craftsmen, paying relentless attention to detail. We fuse innovative time-honoured traditions, for precisely engineered construction and lasting quality. stearnsandfoster.ca

HGO merchandiser - selling online

6 HGO merchandiser HGOmerchandiser SUMMER 2017 • VOLUME SIX, ISSUE 2 ISSN 2291-4765 www.HomeGoodsOnline.ca PUBLISHER & EDITOR Michael J. Knell mknell@homegoodsonline.ca MARKETING DIRECTOR Corrie-Ann Knell marketing@homegoodsonline.ca CONTRIBUTORS David Coletto Donald Cooper CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Ashley Newport ashley@homegoodsonline.ca ART DIRECTOR Samantha Edwards Sam I Am Creative samiamcreative@gmail.com IT DIRECTOR Jayme Cousins In House Logic websmith@inhouselogic.com PUBLISHED BY Windsor Bay Communications Inc.

P.O. Box 3023, 120 Ontario Street Brighton, Ontario K0K 1H0 T: 613.475.4704 F: 613.475.0829 Michael J. Knell, Managing Partner PUBLISHERS OF HGO This Week Home Goods Online.ca © 2017 Windsor Bay Communications Inc. All rights reserved.

Windsor Bay Communications does not accept any responsibility or liability for any mistakes or misprints herein, regardless of whether such errors are the result of negligence, accident or any other cause whatsoever. Reproduction, in whole or in part, of this magazine is strictly forbidden without the prior written permission of the publisher. AFFILIATE MEMBER MICHAEL J. KNELL EDITOR’S LETTER W ELL, HERE WE ARE. MARKET IS COMING. EVERYONE IN THE industry knows my view. If you are a Canadian furniture, mattress and major appliance retailer, it’s in your best interest to get out of your store and get yourself to Mississauga for the Canadian Furniture Show, which opens at the International Centre on May 26.

Conversely, if you are a Canadian furniture manufacturer, mattress maker, major appliance resource or other potential vendor partner to the aforementioned retailer, your obligation is to have a presence on the floor, ready to share your knowledge, insight and strengths – and maybe even your product. A year ago, in this same issue of the Merchandiser, I advocated furniture trade events really shouldn’t be about buying and selling. In my view, the purchase order should be seen as a bonus – as a ‘nice to have’ not as a ‘must have’. We need to come together as an industry and start talking to each other about what’s coming, because I don’t think the industry is really aware of potential dangers lurking on the horizon.

They will impact all points of the purchase path to the consumer, from manufacturing and distribution to retail. Some of them we’re aware of: increasing household debt; stagnant wages; housing affordability; and, uneven job growth. Others are no so obvious. The new U.S. administration wants to renegotiate NAFTA. During the first go- round, this industry was very nearly sacrificed in the government’s haste to sign the deal. Fortunately, that exercise seems to have worked out reasonably well. After all, the damage in recent years was caused by the dollar, which went on a crazed oil-driven growth spurt and drove it to highs no one anticipated.

Now, our sitting federal government is talking about free trade with the People’s Republic China, which is a really bad idea. The PRC has done this industry a lot of damage over the past two decades and we’re going to have to fight this. And the best way to fight it is to get united. That’s why we need the Canadian Furniture Show. It’s a place for people from across the industry to meet and talk. We need to strengthen our manufacturing. We need to bolster Canadian furniture retailing. Our best place to meet is at our only truly national industry event. It’s not a panacea. It’s a start.

I hope to see you there. Michael J. Knell Publisher & Editor mknell@homegoodsonline.ca Change is coming. Learning about those changes, sharing ideas about the best coping methods while finding great product for the floor remain three of the best reasons to come to market. GET YOURSELF TO MARKET

HGO merchandiser - selling online

HomeGoodsOnline.ca 7 Participants Over Lunch & Learn Speaker Series including Highly Acclaimed Designer Sarah Richardson Great Show Specials! Exhibitors 230 7,000 Facebook “f” Logo CMYK / .eps Facebook “f” Logo CMYK / .eps May 26-28, 2017 The International Centre — Toronto, Ontario canadianfurnitureshow.com Register Now! Business.

Network. Inspiration.

HGO merchandiser - selling online

8 HGO merchandiser T HIS YEAR’S CANADIAN FURNITURE SHOW will be easy to navigate and even though it will occupy a more compact space, president and chief executive officer Pierre Richard is promising attending retail buyers there will be plenty for them to see, shop and study as they walk the halls of the International Centre beginning on the morning of May 26. There will be several noticeable differences from last year’s show. The schedule is the most immediate. In 2017, the show opens on Friday (May 26) and closes on Sunday (May 28). The exhibits will open at 9am and close at 6pm. This is a shift from the Saturday to Monday timeframe used last year and the Saturday to Tuesday used for decades prior to 2014.

AccordingtoRichard,theschedulewaschangedinresponse to feedback received from retail buyers and other attendees when they were surveyed after last year’s event. “A lot of buyers said they didn’t want to spend a weekend at the show,” he said, adding, “People told us they prefer Friday to Sunday.” For the past 46 years, the Canadian Furniture Show has been – and remains – the industry’s only truly national event. Indeed, the only furniture and mattress industry trade events held outside of CFS are the member-only conventions and buying fairs held by Cantrex Nationwide and Mega Group and the Toronto Winter Furniture Show – an ad-hoc event for a group of companies with permanent showrooms in and around the International Centre.

It’s organised by the Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance.

Richard acknowledges when the doors open on the morning of May 26, the show will be slightly smaller in terms of its floor plate, but will show the wares of about the same number of exhibitors. CELEBRATING THE CANADIAN INDUSTRY MARKET PREVIEW This year’s Canadian Furniture Show will be more compact but the organisers are promising it will offer all the right things to the attending retail buyer, including great product, a great shopping environment with opportunities to learn and network. BY MICHAEL J. KNELL The Alliance dining table from Zuo Modern Canada offers a regal profile using an elegant ‘X’ style wood base supporting a plank style table top with a distressed natural finish that adds intrigue and dimension to the room.

The Perth queen Platform bed from Zuo Modern Canada offers a simple yet bold silhouette as its rich chestnut finish with elegant distressing gives a distinguished detailed look to the plank style headboard. Its sturdy metal base adds a retro mid-century modern look in iron finish.

HGO merchandiser - selling online

HomeGoodsOnline.ca 9 CFS will occupy Halls 1 to 4 of the International Centre this year having closed Hall 5 and the bridge connecting it to the rest of the building on Mississauga’s Airport Road. “The floor plan is more concentrated, more efficient,” Richard said, adding the show team has spent a lot of time configuring the traffic flow for 2017 and believes attending buyers and other visitors will find the show easier to walk and still find everything they want. THE EXHIBITORS The permanent showrooms of the International Centre’s SOFA (Source of Furniture & Accessories) annex will, as always, be open throughout the show.

Since the close of CFS 2016, SOFA has added at least two tenants of interest to furniture buyers: Canadian solid wood case goods manufacturer Ruff Sawn; and, Zuo Canada, the Montreal- headquartered branch of Zuo Modern, the California-based modern furniture resource. Both of these firms could be found on the main show floor last year. As has been the case for the past few years, a least four furniture suppliers with permanent showrooms outside of the International Centre will be ‘official’ participants in CFS 2017. They include three leading Canadian upholstery producers: Brentwood Classics, Décor Rest, and Superstyle Furniture – along with its sister companies, Trend-Line Furniture and Simmons Upholstery Canada.

The fourth is Korson Furniture Design, the full-line resource that also represents Coast-to-Coast and Kannoa outdoor furniture. Décor Rest and Korson are both expected to have small displays on the show floor in Hall 3.

CFS will host about 45 first-time exhibitors in 2017. They run the full gamut of products and services used by the majority of furniture retailers. Some also hail from a fair distance away from Canada’s borders. For example, Furninova is an upholstery maker based in Scandinavia. There are also at least two exhibitors from Pakistan including Happiness Office Furniture. Several are also based in China and Indonesia. Some are from closer to home, such as Blu Sleep Products, the Quebec-based specialist in pillows and other sleep accessories.

Several are also from aligned services such as Tactik Logistique, a delivery and logistics specialist; and, Picture This Toronto, a company specialising in three dimension photography for a variety of purposes.

However, the big news on the exhibitor front was the return was the return of two high profile upholstery producers: Décor Rest and Palliser. Both skipped CFS in 2016. In terms of display space, Palliser will the largest exhibitor in CFS 2017, occupying Orion ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ in International Centre’s conference facility.

NEW SHOW FEATURES AND SOCIAL EVENTS As has become traditional over the past 20 years or so, CFS will kick-off with the annual Canadian Home Furnishings Awards gala {see sidebar} which will be held on Thursday evening (May 25). This year’s dinner will also feature a keynote address by Robert Maricich, president and chief executive officer of International Market Centers, the owners of the World Market Center in Las Vegas and several showroom buildings in High Point, North Carolina including the International Home Furnishings Center. In addition to saluting the recipients of the 2017 Retailer of the Year Award – Leon’s Furniture Limited – and the Lifetime AchievementAwardhonouree–DennisNovosel –thegala will also introduce the winners of the first RetailSalesProfessional Awards, a program to recognise excellence among sales associates working at Canadian furniture, mattress and major appliance retailers.

The following evening, to wind-down the first day of the show, the organisers will hold a cocktail reception in the lobby of the International Centre’s conference facility. This replaces the ‘Industry Bash’ held in 2016 and 2015. Richard believes after a tough day of working the show floors, attendees are looking for something more low key that will enable them to catch-up with old friends and business partners. For the past three years, Richard has hosted a ‘Town Hall’ at the end of each show to give both exhibitors and visitors the opportunity to provide feedback about the event and offer their own suggestions for improve.

This year, the format will change. For an hour each day of the show, beginning at New to Magniflex is the Grandioso, which features the Italian mattress maker’s dual-core technology with a double-sided cover. The winter side features cashmere and merino wool, whereas the summer side features quilted silk and linen. This harvest table is the latest addition to the Springwater Woodcraft assortment. It features chunky four-inch square legs and a 1.5-inch thick, hand-planed top that resembles barn board.colour scheme. Elegant and impressive, the model 9707 is the latest addition to Superstyle’s ‘Inspiration Home Collection’.

Its attractive fabric combinations give a slightly formal attitude to the suite’s carriage coil support system and ‘Super-Cel’ premium seating. }

HGO merchandiser - selling online

10 HGO merchandiser

HomeGoodsOnline.ca 11

12 HGO merchandiser A leading Canadian television personality, an expert on millennials and a second generation furniture retailer who turned around her family business will headline the first ever Lunch & Learn series at the 2017 Canadian Furniture Show (CFS), opening at the International Centre on May 26. “We are very proud of this line-up which will provide show visitors with a great opportunity to take a break at lunch time a get inspired,” CFS president and chief executive officer Pierre Richard said in announcing the series, which will be held at the stage set up in Hall 4 (follow the signs).

Each segment will begin at 12noon on each of the three days the show is open. Kicking off the series on Friday (May 26) will be Sarah Richardson, an award-winning designer and television personality. Based in Toronto, she is best known for dramatic transformations that turn ordinary spaces into magazine-worthy rooms with an incredible wow factor.

Richardson has hosted and produced eight HGTV lifestyle series where she shares a practical and inspiring approach to décor and design. Her shows, which have been seen in over 100 countries, include: Room Service, Design Inc., Sarah’s House, and Sarah 101. Her most recent series, Sarah’s Rental Cottage aired on HGTV Canada in 2015. Her new show premiers fall 2017. In addition to being a past contributor and columnist for the Globe & Mail and Chatelaine, Richardson was home design director and décor columnist for Good Housekeeping. She is also the author of Sarah Style and At Home Sarah Style, which was on the Globe & Mail best-seller list for over four months.

Richardson has created two fabric lines for Kravet and has a growing line of signature products including custom furniture. Her company, Sarah Richardson Design Inc., has clients throughout Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Saturday (May 27) will see David Coletto take the Lunch & Learn stage. A leader in online research methodologies as well as founding partner and CEO of Abacus Data, Coletto is an expert on Canadian millennials with a doctorate from the University of Calgary who also teaches and provides expert analyses to media.

The Ottawa-headquartered Abacus Data delivers strategic advice and research design expertise to many of Canada’s foremost corporations, advocacy groups, and political leaders.

Coletto has a wealth of experience in public affairs research, corporate and organizational reputation studies as well as youth research. He also leads Abacus Data’s Canadian Millennial Research Practice and helped a number of organisations – including the LCBO, the RCMP, the Calgary Police Service, Hudson’s Bay and the Ontario Ministry of Child & Youth Services – connect and engage with Canadian millennials. He is an adjunct professor at the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs at Carleton University, where he teaches courses on polling and public opinion, political marketing, research and public affairs.

He is also an instructor at the university’s Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in political management.

“David is an outspoken proponent of transparency in the polling industry and is regularly called upon by media and organizations alike to provide expert analyses of public opinion and research methodologies,” Richard noted. Wrapping up the series on Sunday (May 28) will be Kimmberly Capone, president and head buyer for Treasures, the retail operation started by her father more than 40 years ago. In her presentation – entitled Red to beyond Black... in just one year! – Capone will share her journey, process and secrets on how she reinvented her struggling, family-owned retail business and quadrupled sales in a relatively short period of time.

By providing design services paired with 3D technology, she’s now offering an unparalleled shopping experience that has customers waiting in line.

Capone used her personal experience in the home accessories business, her interior design education, and experience in the real estate sales and staging businesses to forge a successful interior design career. She has designed commercial and residential spaces for celebrities and executives as well as everyday customers who take advantage of her complimentary in-home design service at Treasures, the retail showroom she operates in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. “When she’s not travelling around the globe to curate the most interesting selection of furniture, art, and home accessories for her clients, she’s busy designing her new line of sofas, chairs, ottomans, beds, curtains, and pillows,” Richard said.


HomeGoodsOnline.ca 13 ANN I V E R S A R Y C E L E B R A T I N G O UR 50 TH Thanks for the memories... 123 Ashbridge Circle, Woodbridge, ON L4L 3R5 905.850.6060 superstylefurniture.com 4pm, Richard can be found in the registration area of Hall 1 for a ‘Chat with the CEO’ which will give attendees the opportunity to speak with him one-on-one. To supplement this effort, CFS organisers will also place suggestion boxes at the information booths in Halls 1 and 3. Two of the fun features from 2016 will return this year, including ‘The Spa’ where attendees can relax with a chair massage, breathe in fresh air at the oxygen bar or take a beauty break with a manicure.

‘The Pub’ will offer a full espresso bar as well as wine, beer and classic cocktails plus market-style sandwiches and salads.

Both are located in Hall 2. LUNCH & LEARN Perhaps the biggest addition to the CFS line-up this year is the Lunch & Learn seminar series {see sidebar}. Each show day at 12noon, a seminar will be held on the stage set-up next to the food court in Hall 3. Kicking off the series on Friday will be interior designer and television personality Sarah Richard. She will be followed on Saturday by David Coletto, the CEO of Abacus Data. Rounding out the series will be Kimmberly Capone, president and head buyer for Toronto furniture retailer Treasures. THE BOOTH AWARDS In collaboration with SOFA, the CFS will once again stage the Best Booth Awards this year.

First seen last year, this program aims to reward exhibitors who have gone above and beyond to create a truly outstanding display. A jury of industry professionals will evaluate the booths on Friday with the winners being announced later that day. The awards will be presented based on the following criteria: creativity, imagination and originality; use of product, images and other visuals; and, overall appearance and visitor experience.

‘Gold’ and ‘Silver’ awards will be presented in several categories, including: booths 999 square feet and under; booths between 1,000 and 2,499 square feet; booths 2,500 square feet and over; ‘Best New Booth’ – exclusive to first- time exhibitors; and, best SOFA showroom award. HGO MICHAEL J. KNELL is the publisher and editor of Home Goods Online and all of its platforms. He has attended every edition of the Canadian Furniture Show for the past 30 years. The Gabe collection from El Ran features modern styling with a track-style arm. It features power recline as well as a power assisted headrest.

It dual control also features a USB port. Group includes a loveseat and sectional.

14 HGO merchandiser R etail buyer attendance at the Canadian Furniture Show (CFS) is driven, for the most part, by this country’s three buying groups: Cantrex Nationwide (CNW); the Dufresne Retail Solutions Group (DRSG); and, Mega Group. All three use the event in slightly different ways, but all three agree the show is vitally important not just to their members, but to industry at large as well. All three will have a presence on the show floor. It should be noted all three also sit on the CFS organiser’s national advisory committee.

All are expecting a solid turnout from their members to the event and between the three should host a total of about 260 stores over the three days of the show.

“Initial indications are there will be less members attending this year versus last year,” DRSG director Steve Braniff reports while noting he’s still anticipating more than half of the 135 retail operations on his member roll to attend CFS this year. DRSG will occupy over 5,000 square feet in the International Centre’s conference facility where plans to unveil the group’s 2017 mattress line-ups, which will be the major focus of their efforts. Beyond this, Braniff anticipates his members will use CFS to preview new product and build relationships with vendors. “Our members tend to come to preview what’s new as our core programs are already put into place,” Braniff says.

CNW assistant vice president Pat Kelly is expecting more of his members to come this year. “I’m expecting an increase this year as the timing is somewhat better and with the return of Palliser we should see a stronger turnout,” he said, adding his members are keenly interested in new product and show specials, which he described as “the two keys to attending any show.” The group itself will be adding to its various private label initiatives. “We will also be introducing new product and programs that will add to our members’ toolbox,” Kelly said. Meanwhile, Mega Group expects to host a slightly larger number of its members to CFS, many of whom will start the weekend attending to the group’s annual general meeting of shareholders.

At that time, they will also vote to replace vacancies on their board of directors.

Michael Vancura, the group’s executive vice president of retail, said they will host a range of marketing and merchandising sessions for the members of BrandSource Canada just before the show as well as the now traditional ‘Mad Dash’ where group vendors offer attending member deeply discounted show specials. They will also host their usual fundraising dinner for Ronald McDonald House. The burning question for CFS exhibitors is whether attending group member are at the show to buy. All three execs report good results for 2016 although business so far this year has been spotty.

“We had a very good year in 2016 and we were very pleased with the results,” Kelly says.

“January was very strong, then we had some real ups and downs by week over February and March but for the year-to-date we are very pleased with our performance.” “DRSG member same store sales achieved better results than the industry did,” Braniff reports. “We had above industry average results in the furniture, mattress and appliance categories.” Like his colleagues, Braniff also reports a tough first quarter, which despite some uneasiness in the opening months actually generated a little year-over-year growth. Looking out past CFS, group execs are reasonably optimistic about the rest of 2017.

“We see 2017 being another good year for DRSG members,” Braniff says. “The first quarter had a slow start but picked up in the last month and that momentum at retail looks to be building.” While there is a lot of concern about the future of NAFTA and what that will mean for the furniture industry as a whole, they are mostly pleased that the value of the dollar gives their members the freedom to support Canadian suppliers. “This is great for the Canadian furniture industry,” Braniff says, adding, “DRSG has supported ‘Buy Canadian’ since our inception in 2006 and will continue to do so where we can.” “There’s no doubt 2017 will continue to be a little unpredictable and while the currency may continue to be an issue, we are overall optimistic about the year,” CNW’s Kelly says.

“Hard work and good marketing will always support growth and that will be our focus for the year.” “I’m cautiously optimistic,” Vancura adds. ■ BUYING GROUP DRIVE CFS ATTENDANCE Elegant and impressive, the model 9707 is the latest addition to Superstyle’s ‘Inspiration Home Collection’. Its attractive fabric combinations give a slightly formal attitude to the suite’s carriage coil support system and ‘Super- Cel’ premium seating. Charlotte is the latest addition to Avant Glide collection from Dutailier, which describes its style as “slightly bohemian” with streamlined curves and lines that come together in perfect harmony, creating a look to blend with the coziest of decors.

HomeGoodsOnline.ca 15

16 HGO merchandiser T he Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance (CHFA) has named Leon’s Furniture Limited as its Retailer of the Year for 2017 and will bestow its Lifetime Achievement Award on veteran retailer Dennis Novosel, founder of Stoney Creek Furniture, the destination store just outside Hamilton. Both will be honoured at a gala to be held immediately prior to the opening of the Canadian Furniture Show. This is the second time Leon’s has been awarded the accolade. The publicly-held and family-managed full line furniture, mattress and major appliance retailer was also the first ever to receive the distinction when the CHFA – then known as the Ontario Furniture Manufacturers Association – launched to awards program in 2001.

Furthermore, awarding Novosel the Lifetime Achievement Award is also a departure for the organisation. Since it was launched in 2001, it has been awarded to Canadian furniture and mattress manufacturers in recognition of those individuals who over their career made an exemplary and sustained contribution to both their industry and the community in which they lived. Novosel is the first retailer to be awarded the distinction.

LEON’S HAS GROWN AND CHANGED “A lot has changed at Leon’s since being recognised as the CHFA’s Retailer of the Year in 2001,” CHFA chairman Laine Reynolds said in his announcement. “Over the last 15 years, Leon’s has embarked on a period of rapid expansion – adding 30 new locations across Canada, including four new stores in British Columbia. Now, with showrooms from coast to coast, Leon’s is the only furniture retailer in Canada with a brick-and-mortar presence in every province.” He noted Leon’s made a significant investment in high-end and commercial appliances with its acquisition of Appliance Canada in 2007.

“The integration of Appliance Canada allowed Leon’s to enhance their competitive position in the appliance category and provided Leon’s with a presence in the growing wholesale sector,” he said. Leon’s celebrated a significant milestone in 2009 when they became one of the few Canadian retailers to celebrate its 100th anniversary. “To celebrate, president and chief executive officer Terry Leon embarked on a cross- Canada tour and visited every corporate and franchise store to personally congratulate each associate on being part of this historical achievement,” Reynolds said, adding the company also unveiled a bronze statue in Welland’s Chippawa Park immortalising company founder Ablan Leon.

Then in 2013 Leon’s acquired their biggest competitor – and recipient of the Retailer of the Year award in 2004 – The Brick in a $700 million deal that resulted in the establishment of one of the world’s largest network of home furnishings retailers. “This acquisition allowed Leon’s Furniture Limited to maximise efficiencies through large scale purchasing and procurement which, to this day, continues to provide enhanced values to both Leon’s customers and shareholders,” Reynolds said. “As a result of these acquisitions, Leon’s Furniture Limited has grown annual sales from $450 million in 2002 to over $2.0 billion in 2015 – which represents growth of over 340%.” He also praised the retailer for remaining committed to their humble beginnings and the values they established over 100 years ago by continuing to give back to the communities in which they operate.

They are active supporters of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, local hospitals and various other charities such as Wounded Warriors and Breakfast for Learning. NOVOSEL’S LIFETIME OF COMMITMENT “Dennis Novosel decided early in life that he loved the furniture business and he never looked back,” noted Reynolds, who also serves as vice president of sales and marketing for Superstyle Furniture. “When Dennis was 13, he worked in a used furniture store and moving business with his father. Already an entrepreneur at 16, he bought a pick-up truck and started his own furniture delivery business.

“In 1969, Dennis opened a 5,000 square foot furniture store of his own with just four employees, which was expanded to 30,000 square feet in the mid-1980s,” he continued. “Stoney Creek Furniture eventually expanded to a 125,000 square foot store before opening a second location in Vaughan in 2015.” Most recently, Novosel acquired Artage International, the Toronto-based occasional case goods specialist. In the summer of 2016, he retired from Stoney Creek’s day-to-day AWARDS GALA TO SALUTE LEON’S AND DENNIS NOVOSEL DENNIS NOVOSEL

HomeGoodsOnline.ca 17 AT-A-GLANCE SITE: International Centre; 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L4V 1E8 (near Pearson International Airport, Toronto) OWNED AND OPERATED BY: Quebec Furniture Manufacturers’ Association DATES: May 26, 27 and 28, 2017 SCHEDULE: 9am to 6pm, all three days. WHO AND WHAT: Approximately 230 exhibitors showing residential furniture, mattresses, lighting, rugs, juvenile furniture, and decorative accessories in Hall 1 to Hall 4. Other exhibitors include suppliers of related products and services of interest to furniture and home furnishings retailers. The event’s 300,000 square feet of display space includes the permanent showrooms found in the SOFA annex of the International Centre and a number permanent showrooms located in the Greater Toronto Area.

MARKET WEBSITE: www.canadianfurnitureshow.com SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook.com/CanadianFurnitureShow; Twitter.com/CdnFurnShow; Pinterest.com/CdnFurnShow FUTURE DATES: 2018 – May 26 to 28; 2019 – May 25 to 27; 2020 – May 23 to 25 LUNCH AND LEARN All three sessions will be held at 12noon at the stage in Hall 5. FRIDAY, MAY 26: SARAH RICHARDSON Richardson is an award-winning designer and television personality, known around the world for dramatic transformations. She is the host and co-producer of eight HGTV lifestyle series seen in over 100 countries, and has a growing line of signature products.

SATURDAY, MAY 27: DAVID COLETTO Founding partner and CEO of Abacus Data, and leader in online research methodologies, Coletto is an expert on Canadian millennials.

With a doctorate from the University of Calgary, he also teaches and provides expert analyses in the media. SUNDAY, MAY 28: KIMMBERLY CAPONE Capone will share her how she reinvented her struggling Canadian family retail furniture business and quadrupled sales by providing design services paired with 3D technology to create an unparalleled shopping experience.

MARKET EVENTS CHFA AWARDS: The Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance will host its annual gala honouring the recipient of the 2017 Retailer of the Year – Leon’s Furniture Ltd. The evening will also salute the 2017 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award – Dennis Novosel, founder and chairman of Stoney Creek Furniture. It will be held on Thursday, May 25 beginning at 5:30pm at the Universal Event Space, located at the corner of Highways 7 and 27 in Vaughan, Ontario. COCKTAIL RECEPTION: Friday, May 26 beginning at 6pm in lobby of the International Centre’s conference facility. MEET THE CEO: Visitors can chat with Pierre Richard, president and CEO of both CFS and the QFMA in the registration area of Hall 1 each day of the show from 4 to 5pm.

This is an opportunity for attendees to voice their concerns and offer suggestions to improve future events. operations although he remains chairman of its board of directors. Novosel was named the CHFA’s Retailer of the Year in 2006. In 2010, Stoney Creek Furniture was also the first Canadian furniture merchant to be named Retailer of the Year by what is now called the Home Furnishings Association (HFA), the U.S. retail group based in California. He was also the first Canadian to serve as its president, which he did in 2004 when it was still called the National Home Furnishings Association.

He has also been deeply involved in several other industry organisations such as the High Point Market Authority and the Interior Design Society. He also served on the board of the American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation. For the past two years, Novosel has sat on the advisory board to the Canadian Furniture Show and was recently elected to the CHFA board of directors. “Dennis’ commitment to business excellence is matched only by his dedication to giving back to local charities and global organisations,” Reynolds said. “He supports many Hamilton and area causes including Ronald McDonald House, Dr.

Bob Kemp Hospice, Hamilton Food Share, and the Heart & Stroke Foundation, among others. Since 2002, Dennis has twice gone to Haiti with Joy & Hope of Haiti to help build two schools, an orphanage and a training centre.” In 2006, he travelled to Mozambique to help construct a church and school. The following year he helped build latrine and safe sanitation centres for schools in Kenya.

“We are very fortunate that our industry has so many remarkable people and organisations within it and their success deserves to be celebrated,” Reynolds said. “The awards not only spotlight individual talent but they also serve to enhance our industry and raise our collective profile. This year’s gala will be held on May 25 at the Universal Event Space in Vaughan, Ontario. The evening begins with a reception at 5:30pm, followed by dinner at 7pm and the awards presentation at 8pm. ■


business news web site, sang the praises of Casper’s boxed mattress and vowed to never buy a mattress in store again. She wasn’t the only convert. As anyone who manufactures or retails mattresses knows, the innovative, Manhattan-based start-up has been wildly successful so far, attracting such big name investors as Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Adam Levine. The concept – shipping a compressed mattress in a modestly-sized box directly to the consumer’s doorstep – resonated with the modern shopper who preferred the ease, simplicity and quickness of purchasing A massive shift in consumer behaviour has prompted some brave – and, in some cases, quite successful – entrepreneurs to forego the traditional showroom in favour of shipping mattresses directly to the customer’s door without her ever seeing the real deal.

The crazy thing is, it seems to be working. INNOVATIONS The boxed bed: SELLING THE MATTRESS ONLINE BY ASHLEY NEWPORT The Naked Mattress was launched last year by mattress industry veterans Juan Sanchez and Deanna Bartucci.

HomeGoodsOnline.ca 19 goods online. Indeed, Casper was named one of Fast Company’s Fifty Most Innovative Businesses earlier this year is widely believed to have had sales of US$200 million last year. Casper entered Canada with a casper.ca site in November 2015. Needless to say, the online mattress business has exploded in recent months with competing start-ups popping up at an almost furious rate. The trend has also been embraced by a number of Canadian entrepreneurs, some with experience in the mattress business and some without. Among them are Endy Sleep, Naked Mattress and Sleep Envie, all headquartered in Toronto.

Joining them is Novosbed, which calls Edmonton home and then there’s Haven Mattress, located in New Brunswick. It’s also important to note that are a number of traditional brick-and-mortar furniture and mattressretailerssellingmattressestoconsumers using an e-commerce platform. Among these are Sears Canada, Leon’s, The Brick, Brault & Martineau and Mattress Mart. Sleep Country Canada, this country’s biggest mattress retailer is expected to go live with its e-commerce platform sometime in the first half of 2017. Interestingly enough, HGO recently reported – contrary to the seemingly powerful online shopping trend – that e-commerce only accounted for 2.2% of all retail sales in this country in 2014.

While statistics were for 2015 weren’t available at press time, Statistics Canada also reported e-commerce accounted for just 1.8% of sales by furniture and home furnishings stores that year.

It is important to note Statistics Canada divides the retail community into two groups: ‘location-based retail’ or ‘brick and mortar’ stores; and, ‘non-store retailers’ which includes ‘pure play’ e-commerce merchants such as Novosbed and The Naked Mattress as well as other catalogue and mail order vendors. In its most recent report, the agency said ‘non-store retailers’ had sales of $7.51 billion in the trailing 12 months ending February 2017. Their sales are currently growing at a rate that is about 10 times higher than location-based retail. Selling online has also become a growth driver for many brick-and-mortar stores, both inside and outside of the furniture and mattress segment.

For the first nine months of 2016, Canadian location-based retailers had e-commerce sales of $2.95 billion. So with e-commerce doing well, it makes sense that more business owners are taking the plunge. WHY SELL MATTRESSES ONLINE?

“In the last five years, we saw a deterioration of the customer experience in store and we didn’t know why,” says Juan Sanchez, co-founder of The Naked Mattress. “Was it the consumer not having patience to go into the store and learn? Was it the salesperson trying to get a quick deal? Was there too much selection? Obviously Caspar has let people know that it’s okay to buy a mattress online and we’re in the same kind of category.” Sanchez worked in sales for another mattress manufacturer before launching the Toronto- based platform with Deanna Bartucci, the company’s president, about a year ago.

“We knew we wanted to take the mattress thing online, we just didn’t know how. We wanted to make it simple, make it quicker, make it much more enjoyable,” he says.

Others, such as Haven Mattress, are also trying to give consumers something unique and, above all else, simple. “We started Haven for a number of reasons. Mostly we see the furniture industry being prime for disruption,” says co-founder Kellie Amis. “Someoftheoldparadigmsaroundthe‘customer journey’ needed serious reconsidering. Haven’s goal was to simplify an intimidating shopping experience and through our vertical integration, offer value for the money.” Some of the new players, like Sleep Envie are looking to reinvigorate what they see as a tired business model.

Seen here in their New Brunswick office, Kellie and Scott Amis are the founders of Haven Mattress.


20 HGO merchandiser HELPS SOLVE 5 COMMON SLEEP PROBLEMS.* ALL-NEW 2017 COLLECTION IS HERE! © 2017 Serta Canada Inc. A division of Serta Simmons Bedding Canada Co. All rights reserved.

HomeGoodsOnline.ca 21 So Comfortable, You’ll Never Count These Guys Again.™

22 HGO merchandiser “I was intrigued by the disruption of the mattress industry and saw an opportunity to offer a customised sleep solution, while other companies take a-one-size-fits-all approach,” says Joy Elena, founder of Sleep Envie. “I also wanted to provide a more enjoyable shopping experience with a minimal impact on both the wallet and the environment.

We believe by customising [the customer’s] sleep choice, all other aspects of their lives can be optimised. Sleep is a crucial part of everyone’s life so we wanted to create a lifestyle with sleep.” MANUFACTURING THE E-COMMERCE GOODS Most e-commerce mattress players design the product they sell as each brings something different to the market. Some, such as Casper, actually manufacture the product itself. Others partner with an existing mattress manufacturer while they concentrate on marketing, sales and customer service.

“We partner with Foamco out of Vaughan, Ontario in terms of warehousing and manufacturing so we can focus on marketing andcustomerservice,”explainsNakedMattress’ Sanchez. (Foamco also sells mattresses to independent retailers across the country under the ‘Dreameasy’ brand and launched its first- ever mattress for the e-commerce market at the Canadian Furniture Show last year.) The Naked Mattress uses a two-piece design. “We separated the pocket coil from layer of foam at the top,” he says. “Throughout the years, we would see mattresses come back or be thrown out because a few inches of foam at the top were wearing or undesirable, but pocket coil was in great condition.

The design [of the traditional mattress] is flawed in that sense. If foam fails, you shouldn’t have to buy a whole new mattress. You don’t buy a new car when your tires wear out. With us, people can replace a part of mattress at a fraction of the cost.” On their site – thenakedmattress.com – Sanchez and Bartucci ask the customer to select both the size and comfort level of her mattress. Haven also partnered with a Canadian mattress manufacturer – Springwall Sleep Products – and promotes its assortment as ‘Made in Canada’ on its site – a havenmattress.ca. “We did all the design and testing in house and used Canadian industry experts from Springwall Sleep to help us with some of the key engineering issues around the new roll pack technology,” says Kellie Amis.

“They are a great partner as we have complete creative license and get exclusives on many of the design and manufacturing details. We hand- make Havens daily in New Brunswick and ship free to anywhere in Canada.” For now these merchants are focused on selling their own brands and aren’t all that interested in offering product made by the more established manufacturers. “No, [we won’t sell mattress brands from other manufacturers],” says Amis. “We tend to be fussy about all the details and quality control.” Sanchez says while he can’t see Naked Mattress selling mattresses with brands “We are truly building a relationship.

In the early days, it’s all about building trust. Testimonials and social media are great ways to open a dialogue with the target group.” The real competitive strength of e-commerce mattress retailing is shipping. The product can be delivered right to the customer’s front door.

HomeGoodsOnline.ca 23 other than his but he does see expanding the assortment to include more accessories. “I can’t see myself selling other people’s mattresses, but I can see myself selling other people’s accessories, such as box springs, sheets and pillows. Some box springs that we’re looking at are shipped in a box and come with 25-year warranties. If the Naked Mattress is the last mattress you have to buy, we’d like a box spring like that too,” he says. GOING BRICK-AND-MORTAR Recently, Caspar was back in the news after launching a network of in-store galleries at West Elm, a subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma.

The network includes one Canadian location to date, at the brick and mortar West Elm store in Toronto’s Liberty Village neighbourhood. This was after it hosted its Canadian Nap Tour in the spring of 2016, bringing its ‘Napmobile’ to Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

Others have expressed interest in trying to reach the consumer in similar ways. “I do think we could sell our product in store, but not in a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer,” says Sanchez. “Their philosophy is to show as much product to as many people as possible. If they offered my product, it would almost contradict what they’re trying to sell. They want to sell entire mattresses, and I’m saying you don’t need to do that, you just need to replace the three inches on top.” Still, he does see opportunity with less conventional partners.

“A less traditional retailer who can offer just one mattress, I can see a great partnership.

HomeSense would be a perfect marriage for us, for example. But there’s nothing in the works right now. We’re looking at number of pop up scenarios that we could do this summer. That’s something we’re actively considering. We understand some people want to see and touch the mattress,” Sanchez remarks. Haven Mattress is also on board with the idea of creating a brick and mortar presence, but is proceeding cautiously.

“We have spoken to a number of brick- and-mortar retailers. So far no one has embraced the changes we are looking to make in the customer’s journey,” says Amis. “A potential partner would need to be focused on convenience and low risk purchase decision- making for the Haven prospects. Exceptional ‘no problem’ service levels and 100% follow through. Our team is always on the hunt for these exclusive partners.” At Sleep Envie – which can be found at sleepenvie.com – the idea of displaying product in store seems a little more counterintuitive, but a pop-up isn’t out of the question. “We would consider [selling products in a store], but it is not our target market,” says founder Joy Elena.

“A pop-up shop is a realistic possibility. We are also working on sleep stations at events and other interesting and unique ways to spread out brand.” SETTING THEMSELVES APART With change comes upheaval and with upheaval comes challenge. While it’s true there’s an incredible opportunity for savvy sleep marketers to deal directly with the consumer, it’s also true companies have to make themselves stand out – especially since the e-commerce marketplace is welcoming more and more players and, therefore, getting more and more crowded. “We weren’t blessed to start with, say, Caspar’s funding,” says Sanchez of The Naked Mattress.

“We love what Caspar is doing because they’re telling people it’s okay to buy a mattress online. We’ve been on The Shopping Channel, gone to trade shows and used social media and a referral program. Social media marketing has worked well. Everyone thinks it’s free and it is, but the time that you have to spend on posting stuff and engaging people is expensive and time consuming. Sometimes we get it right.” Sleep Envie uses this photo of a couple jumping on their mattress to demonstrate its quality. Their box can be seen in the left-hand corner. }