COVID closures continue
TORONTO – A number of local, regional and national home goods retailers across the country have joined the growing chorus of their competitors who closed their stores as part of the effort to defeat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Others are reducing their hours of operation. But all are continuing to operate their e-commerce platforms and provide customer consultations either by telephone or internet chat. Most are also promising speedy home delivery.
Sleep Country Canada Holdings, this country’s only national – and largest – bedding retail specialist announced late Saturday (21 March) it was closing all of its 276 stores, which operate under the Sleep Country and Dormez-Vous? banners.
“In the past week, many customers have visited our retail stores for urgent and immediate help in creating new sleeping arrangements in their homes. Many of our customers required assistance to create self-isolation areas for family members and friends. We were able to provide customers with blankets, pillows, mattresses and folding cots, all of which are essential items to help families get through these uncertain times,” chief executive officer Friesema said in a statement.
“However, the federal and provincial government guidelines for retail environments are becoming more prescriptive as officials put an increased emphasis on the importance of social distancing in curbing the spread of the virus. Therefore, we have decided to move all customer shopping to our e-commerce platform and close our physical retail locations at this time,” he continued, adding they hope to re-open on Friday, 03 April 2020.
Both banners of Leon’s Furniture Limited (LFL) – Canada’s largest full-line furniture, mattress and appliance retailer – have shortened their hours of operation and launched an appointment program. Both Leon’s and The Brick will also limit the number of customers allowed in the store at one time and have increased their cleaning and sanitising schedules.
Last week, IKEA Canada announced it was closing all 14 of its stores across the country. Quebec’s largest furniture and appliance merchant, BMTC Group – operators of Brault & Martineau, Economax and Ameublesment Tanguay – also closed its 31 stores.
Several local and regional retailers have also said they’ll close their stores or reduce their hours of operation as part of their bid to help fight the virus.
For example, Trail Appliances, the white goods specialist based in Vancouver, has closed all its locations in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Toronto-based Caplans Appliances has taken similar action.
Dufresne Furniture & Appliances, the 11-unit chain based in Winnipeg has also reduced its hours of operations while also limiting the number of customers allowed into the store at one time.
Tepperman’s, the regional chain serving south-western Ontario with six stores from Windsor to Ancaster, announced its stores would close at the end of business yesterday (22 March).
Taking similar action was Alexanian, the 19-unit carpet and flooring retailer based in Hamilton, Ontario and Bennett’s Furniture & Mattresses, the three-unit family-owned furniture retailer based in Peterborough.
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