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A survey of Canadian buying intentions.
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IMG making Canadian push PDF Print E-mail
Written by HGO Staff   

KELOWNA, British Columbia (13 September 2011) - Motion and home theatre producer IMG Comfort of Norway is launching a major push onto the Canadian retail scene under the leadership of industry veteran Karl Woll, an independent sales agent based here.

IMG's upholstery features steel-framed furniture, padded with cold-cure molded foam and covered in top grain Italian leather. It assortment includes swivel chairs, glider rockers, recliners, home theatre and stationary groups.

Woll notes IMG offers one of the most extensive consumer warranties in the industry: two years on the double-rubbed leather; five years on the motor for the power recline feature offered on a number of models; five years on the foam; and, ten years on the frame.

IMG's engineered high-performance recliners retail from $1,099 to $1,799 which Woll believes makes them highly desirable for the larger independent.  "While this is not an entry level product, it is priced under Ekornes' Stressless line," he observed.

IMG Comfort is a division of the Norway-headquartered International Mobel Group. Company president Nils Hjellegjerde's family has been in the furniture industry 1941.

"Our chairs are very space efficient and follow the Scandinavian design direction," Hjellegjerde said, adding each chair features a patented support system that pushes the head support forward to cradle the head and neck as the user reclines.

All design, sales, marketing and administrative functions are located in Norway while their production facilities are in Thailand and Vietnam.  Hjellegjerde is careful to stress his company owns and operates those factories.

Hjellegjerde said the third generation furniture maker is vertically integrated and controls all of the critical components of assembly process up to curing its own foam and cutting and sewing the leather covers.

A number of Canadian retailers throughout Western Canada are already flooring the line, as are a number in Atlantic Canada such as Gallery One in Halifax. A number of Leon's Furniture franchises have also picked it. For a number of years, DeBoer's was an IMG Comfort dealer. However, the Toronto destination furniture retailer went out of business earlier this year.

Image
The Divani is one of the home theatre groups being introduced to the Canadian market by IMG Comfort of Norway. It features cold-cured foam on a steel frame covered in Italian leather in a Scandinavian-inspired silhouette.

"We are targeting the better independent retailer who is willing to put some muscle behind the line," Woll told Home Goods Online. "Our goal is to find and work with the leading retailers in each city - with some exceptions; we don't want more than one key retailer per market."

Two key concerns for the majority of independent retailers are delivery and service. Woll said IMG average delivery time to a Canadian retailer's dock is eight to ten weeks from date of order. The product is also delivered suspended in its box - that is, it's totally encased meaning there is rarely any damage done during shipping.

To expedite service issues, Woll is maintaining a small parts inventory - such as replacement motors and mechanisms - at his office here for shipping as required. IMG will also ship parts directly to the retailer by UPS from either Thailand or Vietnam if need be.

Although IMG doesn't plan to show at the Canadian Home Furnishings Market in Toronto next January, it will open its first North American showroom in High Point in time for the April 2012 High Point Market.

In addition to Woll, IMG Comfort is being represented by Michele Champoux in Quebec and Shaun Pauley in Atlantic Canada.

Woll can be reached at .

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