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Blu Sleep expands offering at LVM

26 July 2016

LAS VEGAS – Canadian pillow and mattress resource Blu Sleep Products will add several new models as well as an updated in-store pillow display to their assortment when the summer edition of the Las Vegas Market opens at the World Market Center here this coming Sunday morning.

The Laval, Quebec-based specialist in Italian foam pillows and mattresses made of natural materials will add three models – featuring soft, medium and firm comfort levels – to their more competitively priced Nubia mattress collection.

 The new ‘Choose the Perfect Pillow System’ display from Blu Sleep Products.“Our goal is to offer well thought out extensions to our carefully designed and engineered pillows and mattresses without compromising quality, feel, support, comfort and look,” says Alex Ciccolella, owner of Blu Sleep Products. “We are not interested in competing with the lowest price foam pillows, or with the cheapest bed-in-a box mattresses. Superior quality and distinct comfort and performance remain our mission. We want our customers to know that our products are the real thing.”

Ciccolella says the company will also introduce several high-tech, market expanding, cross functional pillows to their Nature and Wellness collections with the addition of their new Bi-Touch dual comfort pillows. Blu Sleep’s pillow lines cover most of the standard sizes and profiles (standard, low, medium and high profile queen and king) at retail price points ranging from $49.99 to $149.99.

Their mattress collection retails between $999 and $4,499.

Blu Sleep will also show their expanded ‘Choose the Perfect Pillow System’ display at their showroom, located in space 960 of Building B.


IKEA furnishes suites for high risk moms at Mount Sinai

21 July 2016
Community, Retail

TORONTO – Four new self-care hospitality suites were transformed today for women with high-risk pregnancies at Mount Sinai Hospital, part of Sinai Health System thanks to a donation from IKEA Canada.

The self-care hospitality suites were developed to provide accommodation for high-risk pregnant women who are not acutely ill, but who are at risk of requiring immediate access to care due to a complicated pregnancy.

“These hospitality suites, located on the 17th floor at Mount Sinai Hospital, allow women immediate access to care if they need it, without having to be admitted to a hospital bed as a patient,” says Dr. Wendy Whittle, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital. “We are very grateful to IKEA Canada for helping to make these suites function as a home away from home. These patients are already in a high stress situation, and anything that we can do to improve their experience is very gratifying.”

Seen here is one of the four new self-care hospitality suites were transformed for women with high-risk pregnancies at Mount Sinai Hospital, part of Sinai Health System thanks to a recent donation from IKEA Canada.The Burlington, Ontario-based home furnishings retailer donated home furnishing products and décor for each room including beds, chairs, tables, shower curtains and wall art. Each suite was designed in collaboration with various hospital departments (infection control, support services and quality and safety) to ensure each piece of furniture and décor adheres to hospital safety and quality regulations.

Interior designers and co-workers at four IKEA locations in the Greater Toronto Area (Burlington, Etobicoke, North York,  and Vaughan) helped make each suite bright and comfortable.

“At IKEA we want to have a positive impact on the communities where we do business,” said Katherine Davey, country communications and interior design manager. “We're pleased to be offering our support and comforts of home to families at a time when they need it the most.”

Two thirds of the pregnancies overseen at Mount Sinai are considered high-risk or at risk, and the hospital is one of only a few hospitals that provides care for complex and complicated pregnancies in the Greater Toronto Area. Patients may come from across Canada to access the hospital’s skill and expertise. It is also a centre of excellence for in utero fetal therapy and provides care for babies with complex congenital anomalies while offering a program dedicated to complex maternal medical complications in pregnancy.

“As a high-risk pregnancy patient, it is comforting to know that I’m so close to Canada’s top experts in this area,” says Raman, the very first guest to use the hospitality suites.

This self-care hospitality pilot program represents an innovate style of delivering health care in a holistic manner where safety concerns, cost efficiency and effectiveness are balanced with creating a safe, comprehensive care plan targeted at healthy pregnancy outcome.

McKay wins ‘worcation’ to LVM

19 July 2016
Community, Events, Retail

LAS VEGAS – Randall McKay, owner of Daley’s BrandSource Home Furnishings in Fredericton, New Brunswick is the winner of the Win Your Worcation contest sponsored by the organisers of the Las Vegas Market and Home Goods Online.

In addition to visiting the summer 2016 edition of the Las Vegas Market, which will open at the World Market Center for its usual five-day run here on July 31, he and his wife will be able to enjoy everything this city – often called ‘America’s playground’ – has to offer while enjoying a four-night stay at the Mirage Resort & Casino.

  Randall McKay or Daley’s BrandSource Home Furnishings in Fredericton, New Brunswick is the winner of the ‘Win Your Worcation’ contest sponsored by the Las Vegas Market and Home Goods Online.McKay told Home Goods Online marketing director Corrie-Ann Knell that this will be his first trip not only to the Las Vegas Market but to any furniture trade event in the United States. His prize also includes airfare for two.

On his return to Fredericton, McKay will be interviewed by HGO and a report on his first foray to the market will be published later in August.

Some 51 Canadian furniture, gift and decorative accessory resources are expected to participate in the Summer 2016 edition of the Las Vegas Market. Some of this country’s best known furniture resources are expected to participate, representing a broad cross-section of upholstery, case goods and mattress producers including well-known names such as Canadel, Décor-Rest, Palliser, Magnussen, Sunpan, Stylus and Zedbed.

According to its organisers, no country outside of the United States world sends more exhibitors to the semi-annual trade event than Canada – a distinction it has held almost continuously since the event began over a decade ago.

Furthermore, Canadian retailers and designers are also expected to make up the largest contingent of trade visitors to the market from the nearly 54 countries from outside the U.S. that are also registered to attend.

While organisers didn’t say how many attending buyer and designer badges it will issue for the market, it did note “Canada represents the highest number of registered participants, with executives from the Cantrex Group, The Brick, and Leon’s Furniture already confirmed to attend.”

For the first time ever, the Las Vegas Market said it is partnering with a number of exhibitors to offer exclusive show specials to Canadian buyers.

Related Story: Win a ‘worcation’ to LVM
Related Story: 51 Canadian resources to show at summer Las Vegas Market
Related Story: LVM offering deals to Canadian buyers attending summer event

E-sales triple for furniture and home furnishings stores

19 July 2016
By the Numbers, Furniture, Retail

OTTAWA – E-commerce sales are most certainly growing for this country’s furniture and home furnishings stores as they almost tripled in the years between 2012 and 2014, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada. However, they still account for less than 2% of all store sales.

In its newly published Annual Retail Trade survey for 2014, the federal bean counter reported furniture and home furnishings stores had combined e-commerce sales of $295.9 million – up 19.4% over the $247.7 million sold in 2013 and almost three times greater than the $98.3 million sold in 2012 – the first year for which these figures are available.

E-commerce accounted for 1.8% of the $16.8 billion in sales generated by furniture and home furnishings stores in 2014 – up from the 1.2% of the $16.2 billion in sales the year before.

In this study, Statistics Canada doesn’t separate furniture stores from home furnishings stores as it does in its monthly retail store sales as well as some other reports. The agency also doesn’t provide details by product category. For example, it doesn’t report e-commerce sales of mattresses or upholstery.

As most would expect, electronics and appliance stores have a much stronger e-commerce business than furniture and home furnishings stores. Online sales for these merchants totalled $779.9 million last year, up 3.9% over the $743.9 million sold in 2013. Online also accounted for 4.8% of all electronics and appliance store sales in 2014, climbing from 4.6% of sales in the prior year.

In fact, electronics and appliances stores have a higher ratio of online sales than almost any other retail sector tracked by Statistics Canada.

When it comes to the entire retail sector in Canada, e-commerce sales jumped 23.5% in 2014 to $12.0 billion, compared to $9.76 billion for the prior year. E-commerce accounted for 2.2% of all retail sales in 2014, up from 1.8% in 2013 and 1.6% in 2012.

IKEA Canada is probably the furniture retail sector’s leading and dominant player in e-commerce. In a speech to the Toronto Board of Trade in November 2015, company president Stefan Sjöstrand said IKEA sales for the fiscal year ending that August saw a nearly 40% jump in purchases via its web and mobile platforms.

“E-commerce was up significantly and for the first time in IKEA Canada's history exceeded the $100 million mark with total online sales of $103 million,” he added.

There are a number of other online retailers selling furniture, mattress and major appliances to Canadian consumers. A number of these are Canadian companies but sales to consumers in this country typically account for a smaller portion of their overall revenue. For example, theVancouver-based Cymax sold an estimated $180 million in furniture last year – only 3% of it, or $5.4 million, was to Canadian consumers.

This past January, Wayfair, the U.S. based online furniture and furnishings retailer established as part of its overall growth strategy. Their results will likely be included in the next e-commerce section of Statistics Canada's Annual Retail Survey.

In our Spring 2015 edition of the HGO Merchandiser, we published an overview of the major players retailing furniture and mattresses online. Click here to download the issue.

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Home Goods and its accompanying newsletter - HGO This Week - covers the furniture, bedding, appliances, consumer electronics, accessories, lamps and lighting and floor coverings product sectors of the big ticket home goods market in Canada. HGO is also a forum for the dissemination of market research and hard-hitting articles on best practices for Canadian retailers.

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