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Registration opens for LVM winter

11 October 2019
Events, Furniture, Mattresses

LAS VEGAS – Registration for winter 2020 edition of the Las Vegas Market, which will start its normal five-day run on 26 January, is now open at. The event is expected to host more than 4,300 cross-category furniture, home décor and gift resources across four locations (Buildings A, B and C and The Pavilions) on the campus of the World Market Center here.

Las Vegas Market offers buyers and suppliers an unparalleled platform to build their business in the West,” Bob Maricich, chief executive officer of International Market Centers, said in a statement. “As the leading home furnishings and gift market in the western U.S., Las Vegas Market is the perfect platform to launch new lines, discover the latest trends and find West Coast-exclusive products and programming.”

Registration for interested industry professionals is now open at www.lasvegasmarket.com/register.

The World Market Center is home to the Las Vegas Market, held in January and July every year.For furniture, the LVM will showcase more than 2,000 lines on 31 showroom floors, along with nearly 200 temporary home furnishings exhibitors on B2 and C13. All major furniture categories will be represented at the twice-yearly trade event including accent and occasional furniture; bedding, case goods; casual/outdoor; dining; leather; motion; and upholstery.

Within the gift and tableware sector, LVM will present more than 2,170 resources on seven floors in Building C and in The Pavilions. Key categories include fashion accessories and jewelry; gourmet and housewares; kids and toy; lifestyle; personal care; seasonal; stationery; and tabletop.

For home décor, the market features more than 500 resources on 13 showroom floors in Buildings A, B and C, and in The Pavilions. Notable home décor categories include accent furniture; decorative accessories; home textiles; lighting; and rugs/floor coverings.

The winter market will feature a robust slate of special events, awards programs, seminars, guided tours and industry networking opportunities. Highlights include the 15th annual Las Vegas Market Design Icon Award, recognizing award-winning interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard.

The organizers will also present two proprietary trend programs: First Look 2020, with directional trend previews; and Best of the West, featuring a curated panel of taste-making influencers and designers discussing West-Coast “life and style.” Also on tap will be a full schedule of seminars and guided tours for retailers and designers, including Pantone 2020 Color of the Year; Designing for Diverse Demographics; Desert Modern Design; and Meet the Makers Tour.

A full schedule is available at www.lasvegasmarket.com/seminars-and-events.

During market, buyers can attend special buyer events, hospitality and product demonstrations; and use onsite buyer amenities, including campus and hotel shuttles, fully equipped internet lounges, buyers’ lounges and convenient café and food kiosks.

Additionally, LVM’s digital platform offers attendees a way to make preparation easier and more efficient. With its website and app, marketgoers can use the Exhibitor Directory to search by company name or by keywords to explore a robust catalog that includes more than 400 exhibitors and one million SKUs. Market Planner tools also allow attendees to create and customize their preferred exhibitor and product lists, as well as access their Scan & Go QR code during registration.

Comprehensive building floor plans, registration details, and tips for attending market are also available through both the web site and app. Through LVM’s official housing partner attendees also have access to 26 hotels at affordable rates as low as US$39 a night.

Dates for the winter 2020 edition of the market are Sunday, 26 January through Thursday, 30 January.

The permanent showrooms are open Sunday to Wednesday from 8am to 6pm and from 8am to 4pm on the last day of the show. Opening times for the temporary exhibits are posted on the web site.

HPM updates app

11 October 2019
Events, Furniture

HIGH POINT, North Carolina – The High Point Market Authority (HPMA) has released an updated version of its award-winning app, which made its debut right before the April 2016 market, that includes five new features designed to enhance the user experience for people attending the upcoming fall edition of the twice-yearly furniture industry trade event.

In a statement, the authority said these new features were designed to expand the versatility of searching and selecting. Users are now able to sort exhibitors in their MyMarket plan by alphabetical, building, favorite, neighborhood, and shuttle stop. Existing features allowed for in-depth searching capability of the full exhibitor list, but now users can sort through their personalized list as well.

The new favorites feature allows app users to further identify certain exhibitors within their MyMarket list with the addition of a heart icon. The existing star icon saves an exhibitor to one’s personal list, and now the heart icon can narrow down the list even more, when needed.

A new notes feature allows users to keep track of why they “loved” a particular exhibitor or any number of other thoughts a user may have about a specific brand.

New features have also been added for the events portion of the app. The full event calendar has been available in the app since its debut, but now users can sort the calendar by educational or social events. Additionally, exhibitor events are now listed in an exhibitor’s profile, and can be added to one’s MyMarket list simply by clicking the star next to the event title.

“Our team has been working diligently to identify improvements for the High Point Market app that compliment and address the needs of our market attendees,” HPMA president and chief executive officer Tom Conley said. “With so much to see and do during market, our guests are always on the move, and they need an app that can keep up with them. These new features will facilitate a more seamless user experience and further enhance the usability and functionality of this important tool.”

In addition to these new features, the app also offers a plethora of other options, such as an exhibitor profile search, an online event calendar, outdoor GPS mapping for all, indoor blue-dot navigation for showrooms within select multi-tenant buildings, seamless syncing with the desktop version of MyMarket, among others.

The High Point Market app is currently available for download in the Apple Store, for use on iPads and iPhones, by searching “High Point Market”. Users who have already downloaded the app are encouraged to update it in order to access all the new features. Once downloaded or updated, a tutorial is available upon opening the app to highlight new and existing features. A user’s guide and comprehensive outline of the app’s features can be found at www.highpointmarket.org/plan-your-trip/market-app.

Android users are encouraged to pin the MyMarket page of the mobile High Point Market web site to their phone’s home screen for quick and easy access to their personalized MyMarket lists of exhibitors and showrooms. Instructions are included on the app webpage linked above.

The fall edition of the market is set to open on Saturday, 19 October and will run through Wednesday, 23 October.

Article ranks No. 1 on the Growth 500 for second straight year

7 October 2019
Furniture, Retail

VANCOUVER – Article, the direct-to-consumer furniture e-tailer based here, was ranked No. 1 on the annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies, for a second consecutive year.

In a statement, the company said the back-to-back No. 1 placements demonstrate its ability to continue winning new customers with their innovative approach to merchandising and selling furniture. The online furniture and home decor brand topped the annual ranking with five-year revenue growth of 24,182%. The Growth 500 is published by Canadian Business.

“Being named Canada’s Fastest-Growing Company for a second year in a row validates the team’s efforts to make it easy for customers to create beautiful spaces,” chief executive officer Aamir Baig said. “Our tremendous growth has been fuelled by customer obsession. We seek direct customer input to create a remarkable end-to-end furniture experience, and this approach has led to projects that have made an immediate, positive impact on customers.”

The Article Delivery Team has started serving the direct-to-consumer e-tailer’s customers in the Greater Vancouver Area, slicing 2.5 days from its previous delivery time.What’s more, Article was also ranked at No. 11 on the new Top 400 list of Canada’s top growing companies published by the Globe & Mail’s Report on Business. Its three-year revenue growth was pegged at 3,004%.

In an interview with Retail Insider, Baig admitted the past few years have been hectic for the privately held company which was founded by four engineers in 2011, who launched the web site two years later.

“Business has grown a whole lot wilder than I would have ever dreamed,” he said. “We’ve had north of 50,000% growth until the year ending 2017 and the 24,000% growth in the year ending 2018. So, growth has been brilliant. Been great. It’s really a validation of the underlying proposition and the focus that we brought in delivering an end-to-end customer experience that’s a lot more convenient, a lot more valuable to the end customer. That’s given us a lot of confidence to continue going forward.

“The industry is massive,” he continued, adding, “So I think we’re just the tip of the iceberg here of what the opportunity is. So far we’re certainly proud of the growth we’ve been able to achieve.”

To help facilitate the next phase of growth, Article announced the expansion of its in-house delivery program – called the Article Delivery Team – into its home city of Vancouver, the first in Canada. Drawing on the results from teams in New York and Los Angeles established in earlier this year, Baig said the program uses customer feedback to rapidly iterate the final-mile experience. Unlike third-party partners, Article’s own delivery team can solve common customer inquiries on the spot like rescheduling delivery appointments or shipping alternate product sizes or colours.

In the Vancouver pilot, delivery times were reduced by 2.5 days when compared to outsourced delivery partners and the incidence of negative feedback decreased almost four-fold.

In addition, Article has named two new members to its senior executive team as part of the effort to drive its growth.

Caroline Schein joined Article this past spring as its first vice president of human resources. With previous roles at Boston Pizza, Best Buy Canada and Vancity, she will be responsible for building Article’s people and culture practices across North America.

Joining Article from Finning International is Cristian Chavez, who was named as their first senior vice president of supply chain.  He is responsible for developing key supply chain strategies that will directly support the company’s ability to deliver unbeatable value on high-quality furniture and home décor.

“To make it easy for our customers to create beautiful modern spaces, we need the right talent and strong supply chain,” said Baig. “We'll continue to use customer feedback to determine what we improve on next.”

The company, which employs more than 350 staff across North America, has been profitable since 2015. Since launching in 2013, the company has delivered in excess of 350,000 orders to customers across the U.S. and Canada. Revenue for 2017 was estimated at US$100 million. About 85% of its sales are to consumers in the U.S.

Related Story: Article ranks first on Growth 500
Related Story:  Article’s new home

Meet Amanda Mansfield

7 October 2019
Furniture, People, Retail

In Atlantic Canada, life moves a slower pace and shoppers tend to seek out for retailers who feel more like family (or at the very least, a close friend). Fortunately, those frequenting Hampton House Furniture, in New Minsa, Nova Scotia, Amanda Mansfield – a chatty and engaging sales associate who is proud to represent the store – has a lot to offer customers looking for a more personal connection.

After meeting and talking with her in person it’s easy to see why she was a shoo-in for the Retail Sales Professional Awards despite the fact she’s only been on the floor for a little over three years. She is the 2019 recipient for the Atlantic Region.

“Hampton House Furniture is a family run business and we’re a small team, but we love what we do,” she enthused during a recent interview with Home Goods Online. “They nominated me for this award and I’m super excited.”

It’s clear from the outset she’s passionate about her career. “I would have to say I love everything [about my job]. From coming in the morning to my co-workers to just a really great atmosphere,” she says.

Amanda Mansfield, the Retail Sales Professional Award honouree for Atlantic Canada is seen here receiving the award from Brad Geddes, president of ZurcoraHome, the program’s presenting sponsor. “It’s a family run business and once you are hired, you feel like part of the family. Hampton House puts customer service first in all things and we really do enjoy working with one another. Our customers also feel that vibe and in turn, many of them feel like family when they come through the door.”

Mansfield’s team was happy to see her walk away with the award.

“It was a great pleasure to have nominated Amanda for the RSP Award. Hampton House Furniture is incredibly fortunate to have Amanda as a furniture sales associate,” says Anton Varner, president of the single-unit Hampton House Furniture.

“Her customer service skills are exemplary. Amanda takes initiative to figure out and learn about new products when they arrive in the showroom and has unquestionably become the ‘go-to’ person for anything regarding product information,” he continues, adding, “She is one of the friendliest people we know and always arrives with a smile and an eagerness to assist her clients in making informed furniture choices.  Her natural charm and wit make everyone who visits Hampton House become at ease and they leave feeling like they just made a new friend.”

Mansfield is a pleasantly gregarious salesperson who immediately engages with everyone she meets, expressing genuine interest in their lives and making them feel at home. She’s also dedicated to helping people find what it is they’re looking for as soon as they walk into the store. “I really enjoy helping customers figure out exactly what they want and giving it to them. Our store is very large, so people can get a bit overwhelmed when they come in,” she says. “I really love being that person who is able to kind of narrow it down for them and help them find exactly what they want.”

Click here to see Ashley’s conversation
with Amanda at this year’s Canadian Furniture Show

This point was stressed in her nomination for the RSP Award. “Amanda is one of the most enthusiastic individuals that this retailer has employed over the past 10 years. She is genuinely interested in helping people solve their interior design dilemmas. She is also extremely self motivated and is constantly learning about the products that she sells,” her advocate said.

Mansfield says it’s easier to connect with people in Atlantic Canada as the community is smaller and tighter-knit – and everyone is interested in everyone else’s background.

“Everyone in Nova Scotia’s provincial pastime is just trying to find out they’re related to each other,” she says. “So, I try to keep that feeling throughout the whole experience with my customer. It’s not so much that I'm a salesperson and they’re my customer, it’s about making that connection, and that way when we start to get down to the nitty-gritty of it, it’s not me selling to them.”

Fortunately for the store, stories about good experiences travel fast. “There’s a lot of word of mouth in Nova Scotia because it is such a small-knit community, and it’s also just about being true to your word. I send a lot of Christmas cards to our customers,” she says.

When a customer first walks through the door, Mansfield starts off by engaging them in conversation. “A lot of times we start by talking just about pretty much anything. We start making that connection and their guard comes down a little bit. We start talking about what they’re looking for and once they start talking about their lives, you learn more about what they need.”

Mansfield says when customers mention key facts, such as whether they have children or pets, it’s easier to find pieces that are perfect for their households. “I just really listen for those little things that give you an idea of the feel of the room and the vibe that they want,” she says.

Mansfield also offers incredible product knowledge as she often labels the products that go onto the floor. “I do a lot of the pricing and labelling, so I’m constantly flipping through workbooks and I always see what’s new and what’s coming. Even if we don’t have something on the floor, it might be tucked away in the back of my mind. So, when someone comes in wanting something a little bit different, I can show them a picture get it in.”

She also believes the products also speak for themselves. “About 90% of our stores’ products are made in Canada and I just love being able to say that with confidence. It’s not that it’s just assembled in Canada, it’s made here. People really love that.”

Outside the store, Mansfield likes to keep active – and introduce people to Nova Scotia’s wineries. “I enjoy running and playing tennis. I also love to knit and my husband and I both love to cook and entertain. I also work as a tour guide on the Wolfville Magic Winery Bus which allows me to combine my love of talking to people and my pride for the place I live.”

As for what’s next, Mansfield hopes the industry will present even more opportunities. “I have loved working in the furniture business,” she says. “I have always wanted to be my own boss so I am excited to see what future opportunities there are that may allow me to achieve this dream within this industry.”

Click here to read the 2019 RSP Awards section in the HGO Merchandiser.

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Home Goods Online.ca 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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