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DeFehr Furniture to close

9 May 2022
Furniture, Manufacturing

WINNIPEG – DeFehr Furniture, one of this country’s oldest and largest case goods manufacturers, has announced it will shut down this coming August, a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis in the global supply chain which has led to rising prices for raw materials.

“This wind down will be carried out in a controlled and orderly manner, and all obligations to suppliers and employees will be honoured as we work to complete and fulfill customer orders on hand,” the company said in a statement posted on its web site.

“The decision to cease operations was the result of severe supply chain disruptions and raw material sourcing challenges over the past two years, combined with balancing the pace of price increases that were passed along to customers,” the family-owned manufacturer explained, adding, “Many of Defehr’s raw material inputs are not only purchased by furniture manufacturers, but other home and building product manufacturing companies also compete to secure the same raw material inputs, which exacerbated supply shortages and have resulted in disruptions to production runs.”

Employees are seen here working on the line at Winnipeg case goods producer DeFehr Furniture, which announced late last week it will shut down permanently this August.Company president and cheif executive officer Andrew DeFehr told the local CBC News outlet late last week the pandemic and the supply chain issues that resulted are the primary reason for the decision to shut down operations.

“It’s kind of that perfect storm, where you have just too many things close together that led up to this happening,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s not easy as an owner having to tell 200-some people that the business is shutting down.”

DeFehr Furniture was created in 2004 when it was spun off from Palliser Furniture and sold to Frank DeFehr, brother of the latter’s chairman, Art DeFehr. It expanded in 2006, when it acquired Palliser’s Logic division.

The company – which manufactures bedroom, entertainment, dining and occasional furniture to more than 200 retailers across North America – focused on supplying those organizations capable of buying container loads of product, maximizing margins for the retailer and cost efficiencies for the factory.

Andrew DeFehr told CBC that over the years the company struggled with slim profit margins, but when it entered the hospitality segment about a decade ago – providing furniture for hotels – things got better.

Serving the hospitality segment evaporated when the pandemic was declared, which was compounded in recent months by disruptions in the supply. In fact, the plant shut down for four days last month because it didn’t have handles.

“At some point, you just say, I don’t know if I have enough gas in the tank to try one more time," Andrew DeFehr told CBC. “It’s been an emotional kind of roller-coaster ride for the last, probably, six months to 12 months.”

The company said it has a skilled workforce of 224 employees who will be offered support programs to help them through the transition. The factory, located at 125 Furniture Park in Winnipeg, is expected to close on August 10, 2022.

BrandSource launches sleep shop

9 May 2022
Mattresses, Retail

For most furniture, mattress and appliance (FMA) retailers, particularly the single-unit independent, mattresses typically account for 14.5% of their annual revenue. It’s equally well known that 14.5% generates more gross margin dollars than any other department on the floor.

Maximizing the performance and profitability of the sleep shop is high on every owner-operator’s ‘to do’ list and the primary motivation for the launch of BrandSource Sleep (BSS), created specifically for members of the primary go-to-market banner operated by Mega Group, the Saskatoon-based FMA buying and marketing group.

Seen here is an artist’s rendering of BrandSource Sleep, the new in-store bedding gallery currently being rolled out by Mega Group to the members of its primary go-to-market banner, BrandSource Canada.John Power, the group’s veteran general manager of sales and strategic development, recently told Home Goods Online the new gallery program will debut at nine BrandSource Canada stores across the country in late April with at least another ten expected to come online in October.

The members scheduled to open BSS galleries in April include:

  • Harris BrandSource Home Furnishings, Fort McMurray, Alberta;
  • Barber & Haskill, Midland, Ontario;
  • SleepMatters/Grove TV & Appliances, Goderich, Ontario;
  • McLellan BrandSource Home Furnishings, Lower Woodstock, New Brunswick;
  • Stubbe’s BrandSource Home Furnishings, Tilsonburg, Ontario;
  • New Age Home Furnishings & Electronics, Weyburn, Saskatchewan;
  • BrandSource Estevan, Estevan Saskatchewan; and,
  • Meubles & Nous, Beauport and St-George de Beauce, Quebec

Power said 15 members signed on to the program when it was first presented to them in 2021 and are in various stages of conversion. To date this year, another eight have come aboard, he added, noting the goal is to have 75 BSS galleries in operation across the country by the end of 2025.

Tania Dionne, a mattress industry veteran who was named Mega Group’s director of merchandising for bedding in November 2020, was charged with developing BrandSource Sleep by its recently departed president and chief executive officer Kim Yost and is part of a five-year plan designed to give member retailers the tools and training needed to give the category the spotlight it deserves and growth sales.

“Bedding industry sales have grown by more than $200 million in the past 24 months or so, pushing past the $2 billion mark,” Dionne noted. “People are more and more into wellness, lifestyle and performance and show increasing awareness about the value and role of sleep in their overall health. So, having a sleep gallery program dedicated to these ideas makes sense.”

She also firmly believes this program is a step-up from others – both past and current. “BrandSource Sleep is all about results,” she said, “keeping track of sales, performance and training. It’s a national program supported by key suppliers. We have guidelines to be followed and targets that need to be achieved. We also have a dedicated marketing plan in place designed to increase our presence in the market.

Click here to read the rest of our report…

Sunpan launches Made in Italy furniture collection

9 May 2022
Furniture

TORONTO – Contemporary furniture resource Sunpan has introduced its first ever Made in Italy collection of upholstery and accent tables.

“This is an exciting and long-awaited launch for our company,” company president and chief executive officer Sundeep Bagga said in a statement. “Our team has always aspired to release an Italian-made collection. Through careful planning and sourcing, we have designed a curated collection that we are truly proud to share with the industry.”

The Brandi sofa with chaise in a vintage charcoal leather (seen here) is part of Sunpan’s new Made in Italy collection.He noted the appropriately named Made in Italy collection features a selection of premium furnishings that are both timeless and transitional in design. The collection adds 26 new SKUs to SUNPAN’s line, with offerings across seating – both sofas and chairs – occasional tables and ottomans.

“Each piece is exquisitely upholstered in high-quality Italian leathers with the finest craftsmanship,” Baga said. “Available in a range of rich colours, the natural characteristics of leather are beautifully embraced, with each piece being unique from one another. This luxe collection is also made with FSC-certified wood that is harvested using sustainable and ethical practices.”

These furnishings – which can now be seen on the company’s web site – are suitable for both commercial and residential environments and come with a ten-year warranty on the structures and a two-year warranty on the covers.

Sunpan is also encouraging existing vendor partners to order and reserve items now to avoid potential freight delays.

Related Story: Sunpan expands outdoor collection with accent pieces

Related Story: Sunpan joins pre-market roster

Related Story: Sunpan expands domestic upholstery collection

Swiss testing firm hosting free webinar on mattress testing

9 May 2022
Events, Mattresses

GENEVA, Switzerland – SGS, a leading testing, inspection and certification company, will host a complimentary seminar on Mattress Testing for North America on May 31, 2022.

In a statement announcing the event, the company said manufacturers – whether located in Canada or the United States – are producing mattresses for the first time or contemplating changes to existing models, the regulatory landscape controlling fire safety, analytical, physical and mechanical performance testing can be complex and difficult to navigate. For example, US Code of Federal Regulation Part 1632 for Smoldering Ignition assessments requires the testing of six mattress surfaces for each prototype design.

SGS, the Swiss testing consultant, will host a free webinar testing standards for mattresses manufactured in Canada and the United States on May 31.The webinar, they said, is an opportunity to learn in detail about what mattresses are tested for, and how the process works. Evaluation data received on completion can be used not only to assist regulatory compliance, but also to aid manufacturers in marketing their products. There will be an opportunity to find out more about how SGS testing services can help in adding value to the complete product supply chain and lifecycle.

Click here to read the full agenda and register. There is no charge to participate in the event, which will be held on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at 10am Eastern time.

The hour-long webinar will be presented by two veteran SGS executives, Bobby Brown, director of operations for its Connectivity & Products division; and laboratory manager Michael Magee who will cover specific standards including US 16 CFR 1633/1632 and Canadian Requirement CAN 27.7. It will be of interest to mattress component suppliers, assemblers, buyers and compliance professionals.

 

 

 

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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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