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Durham latest bedroom collection targets millennials

19 November 2016
Furniture, Manufacturing

DURHAM, Ontario – With crisp geometric lines and urban-inspired details, Modern Simplicity is Durham Furniture’s first collection targeting millennials, who are just now settling into their long-term homes and willing to invest in solid maple furniture.

“The fresh, metropolitan feel of Modern Simplicity resonates with young consumers who stay on top of design trends and are looking for timeless pieces they love now and will continue to appreciate for years to come,” Durham president and chief executive officer Luke Simpson said. “Perhaps they have purchased a home, are thinking about starting a family or already have children. They are investing in their home, in their furniture and in their future.”

The collection was the Canadian solid wood bedroom specialist’s major introduction at the recently ended fall 2016 edition of the High Point Market.

Durham’s new Modern Simplicity collection features this new take on the platform bed with slats that are curved on one side and flat on the other. The group is seen here in the new Latte finishSimpson believes the group’s simple, uncluttered silhouettes – which are as striking from the sides as they are from the front – are the perfect canvas for solid maple in two new distinctive finishes. Dusk is a sleek, modern dark gray stain, while Latte is a gray taupe wire-brushed finish with plenty of depth and character. Each is complemented by long flat rectangular drawer pulls with a smooth polish.

The collection includes a five-drawer chest; a three-drawer bachelor’s chest; a three-drawer night stand; a three-drawer bedside chest and a six-drawer double dresser. Each pair of drawers is cut from a continuous length of lumber, so the grain patterns match across the front.

The collection also offers a wing platform bed. It features modern sloping panel wings on the headboard with horizontal panel that mimic the case pieces. It is also available with a fabric panel insert and a choice of more than 25 fabrics as well as customers’ own material (COM).

Also offered is a solid maple sleigh bed.

“The metropolitan feel of Modern Simplicity clearly illustrates an updated design point of view that is shifting away from traditional and more towards transitional and contemporary,” Simpson said, adding, “This shift has been a focus for us for the past several markets.”

It’s a shift that’s reflective of shifting consumer preferences. “We are broadening our product portfolio to appeal to consumers who are looking for transitional, casual and contemporary styles,” Simpson said. “The introduction of Modern Simplicity will fill a gap in our product line and continue to enhance our position as one of North America’s leading solid wood furniture producers.”

The collection will begin shipping to retailers in January 2017.


Leon’s 3Q earnings jump 25%

18 November 2016
By the Numbers, Retail

TORONTO – Leon’s Furniture turned in solid performance in the third quarter, reporting upticks in both sales and earnings, further solidifying its position at the top of the Canadian furniture industry’s food chain.

Total system sales for the three months ending September 30, 2016 were $673.9 million, up 4.3% from the $646.1 million recorded for the comparable period last year.

Sales by its 100 franchise stores were $98.2 million, up 1.0% from $97.2 million for the 2015 period.

Sales by its 204 corporate stores were $575.7 million, a gain of 4.9% from $548.9 million. Same store sales for this group were 4.1% for the period.

The publicly-held and family-led furniture, mattress, appliance and electronics merchant doesn’t report sales by each of its seven banners, which include: Leon’s, The Brick, The Brick Mattress Store, The Brick Clearance Centre, United Furniture Warehouse, Midnorthern Appliance and Appliance Canada.

Net income for the period was $31.3 million or 39 cents per share, compared with $24.7 million or 31 cents per share – a jump of 25.8% on a per share basis.

“We are very pleased we generated solid same store sales and earnings growth in Q3,” Edward Leon, president and chief operating officer of the retailer’s corporate parent, Leon’s Furniture Limited, said in a statement. “We have driven greater traffic and increased average ticket price at the store level across all our banners this year. We are focused on continuing to grow the top line while maintaining stringent cost controls and generating incremental synergies now that our IT integration with The Brick is complete.”

Total system sales for the nine months that also ended September 30, 2016, was $1.82 billion, up 5.2% from $1.74 billion for the same period last year.

Franchise sales were up 2.2% to $271.4 million, from $265.7 million.

Meanwhile, corporate store sales were $1.55 billion, up 5.7% from $1.47 billion as same store sales gained 4.7% year-over-year.

Net income for the first nine months was $52.0 million or 65 cents per share, up from $43.1 million or 55 cents per share – a gain of 18.2% on a per share basis.

During the first nine months of 2015, the company closed a total of ten units, including on Leon’s corporate store, one Brick corporate store, two Brick Mattress stores, three Brick franchise stores and three UNW/Brick Clearance Centre stores.

The company also opened 13 stores including seven Leon’s corporate stores, one Appliance Canada store, two Brick corporate stores and three Brick Mattress stores. The total store count at the send of September was 304, three more than at the beginning of the year.

“In October, we announced that we had opened ten new retail locations across the country, including four in British Columbia,” Leon said. “Both of our core banners now have a meaningful presence in all key areas of the country. We remain confident that we are poised to drive significant value for our shareholders in the coming years.”

Including all of its banners and based on available furniture store sales data from Statistics Canada, Leon’s Furniture has an estimated market share of 22.4% and remains the largest full-line big ticket home goods retailer in the country.

BMTC 3Q sales up 4.3%

18 November 2016
By the Numbers, Retail

MONTREAL – BTMC Group reported increased sales and earnings for the third quarter of 2016 amid what senior management described as a difficult economic climate in Quebec, the only province in which it operates.

Revenue for the three months ending September 30, 2016, totaled $197.6 million, up 4.3% from the $189.4 million for the same period of 2015. Same stores sales were up 3.5%.

Net income was $14.7 million or 40 cents per share, compared with $13.0 million or 31 cents per share last year – an uptick of 22.5% on a per share basis.

Revenue for the nine months also ending September 30, 2016, was $549.6 million, up 4.3% from $527.0 million for the comparable 2015 period. Same store sales were up 2.9%.

Net income was $26.2 million or 70 cents per share, compared to $25.3 million or 58 cents per share – an increase of 17.1% on a per share basis.

The company noted net income was boosted by an after-tax gain $1.6 million or four cents per share on the sale of land while its current share re-purchase plan contributed another nine cents per share.

In his note to shareholders, BMTC chairman, president and chief executive officer Yves Des Groseillers said the company’s restructuring for all its web site and IT systems is ongoing and is now expected to cost as much as $17 million by the time it is completed, which could take as long as another three years.

However, once complete, all of the company’s banners and e-commerce sites will be integrated into one system, which will maximise efficiencies and reduce ongoing expenses.

BMTC has begun closing its six Sleep Gallery stores; a process that it expects will be completed by November 2022. “Even though these stores are profitable, management believes that the level of profitability does not warrant keeping these stores open,” Des Groseillers said, adding their assortment will continue to be sold in its Brault & Martineau stores and their closure isn’t expected to have any material impact on the company’s financial performance.

Also ongoing is the refitting of its furniture and electronics departments in all of its Brault & Martineau stores, which is expected to cost $15 million by the time it’s completed at the end of 2017. “The objective of this improvement is to offer our clients a unique shopping experience which will help differentiate us from online shopping,” he explained.

Ameublements Tanguay opened a new 80,000 square feet store in Trois-Rivières in late October. The old store will be transformed into a liquidation center which will open sometime in November.

“During the nine month period ended September 30, 2016, the company recorded good results in spite of a difficult economic context,” Des Groseillers said. “These results are primarily due to the company’s growth in market share as well as inflation in the price of household appliances.

“Management is confident that the company’s operational efficiency and financial position provide a competitive advantage, particularly in difficult market conditions,” he added. “It permits the company to continue its aggressive marketing campaigns, allowing it to remain a leading participant in its market.”

At the end of the quarter, BMTC operated some 38 stores in Quebec under four banners: Brault & Martineau, Brault & Martineau Sleep Gallery, Ameublements Tanguay and Economax.

HPM fall registration fell 2.4%

18 November 2016

HIGH POINT, North Carolina – The High Point Market Authority reported that registration for the recently concluded October market was 2.4% compared to the Fall 2015 edition of the semi-annual furniture trade event.

The authority said the total number of registrants – including retail buyers, interior designers, exhibitors, sales representatives, media, students and guests – totalled 77,036. The total number of October 2015 was 78,953 for a 2.4% decline.

However, no detailed figures of attendees were given. Traditionally, Canada is the single largest source of both attendees and exhibitors from outside the United States. At the October market, there were just over 80 Canadian exhibitors. Until the market crash of 2008, the best estimates of Canadian retailers regularly visiting the High Point Market was about 500 stores, represented by about 1,100 buyers. Most industry insiders believe the number has been much lower over the past few years.

But the HPMA was still pleased by October’s results.

“The fall 2015 market was the best October market we’d seen in five years, so the 2016 fall market was certainly still very good,” HPMA president and chief executive officer Tom Conley said in a statement. “Compared to the fall 2014 data, this market’s registration was up by 0.8%.”

“Traffic was strong at the Universal Furniture showroom in October; fall market was very positive for us,” added Jeff Scheffer, HPMA board chairman and president and CEO of Universal Furniture. “That being said, retail has been a struggle for many, especially during the first half of the year, and that historically has a negative effect on attendance. For registrations to be off only slightly, as both an exhibitor and the new board chairman, I’m pleased with the numbers.”

“The overwhelming majority of exhibitors I have spoken with had a great market, so there’s a lot of optimism going into 2017,” added Conley.

According to an economic impact study conducted in 2013, the High Point Market generates some $5.38 billion for the State of North Carolina’s economy each year, attracting approximately 75,000 attendees from more than 100 countries every April and October.

The High Point Market has approximately 11.5 million square feet of showrooms housed in approximately 180 buildings in and around downtown High Point. The next market will be held from April 22 to 26, 2017.

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