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 21 October 2019     Corrie-Ann Knell 

In a time when the average Canadian consumer can impulse buy an accent chair from the comfort of her accent chair, how does the average furniture retailer persuade their key clientele too move their digital butts into his or her store? No one has the perfect answer. A lot of experts give vague, general and yet somehow motivating – even comforting – how-to’s that usually don’t produce much in the way of results. I, for one, am a done with all the “ra-ra” bullshit.

I have undulated this around in my brain but it came down to conversations with a few close friends from the industry.  In all conversations it boiled down to one point: customer experience. Which led me to ask myself a question – What are customers experiencing in the average Canadian furniture retail brick-and-mortar store?

I don’t know. I don’t have a store. So I can’t answer. But I do have a digital news media platform – so I would like to get down to the root of it on behalf of all of you – our friends, subscribers and allies. We have put together a series of videos that are going to (hopefully) shed light on what it all means.

First up, we will debut Business Cents, a series of conversations between HGO editor and publisher Michael Knell and Albert Marrache, founder and president of Phoenix AMD International. Between them, they’ve accumulated some 50 years of experience in and around the Canadian furniture and mattress industry. In this new series of short video chats, they will examine, discuss and on occasion argue about today’s business culture and the importance of providing customer experience when trying to accommodate and impress the modern consumer.

Second, How (not) sell a mattress; a comedic look at some silly thing sales people do when trying to sell a mattress. I should caveat this by saying I do not think all salespeople do this. These are extreme examples of some bad behaviour, but the take-away question should be: “How do my customers see my salespeople?” and “Do I like it?”.

Lastly, is another edition of How We Buy: interviews with real consumers about their path to purchase – exploring when, where, why, what and how they buy. When is it time to buy a new mattress? Where are they going to buy – online or in-store? Why have they decided to buy one – time or comfort? What mattress do they want and how much will they pay? And, how they research the product they want.

Earlier this year, we published our first How We Buy segment, which was centred on living room upholstery (click here to view) and was well received. More segments are being planned, focusing on other major product categories.

This is just a start of what we plan to on If you jump there, you will also find our interviews with the recipients of both the 2019 and 2018 Retail Sales Professional Awards.

Oh, and I want to hear from you. I would like your opinion – no seriously, I do. If we no longer have a place to go and discuss this stuff, like the “rest-in-peace” Canadian Furniture Show, then I implore you to do it here on

You can reach me with all your insights at Or, leave a comment on our YouTube page.

Please watch, enjoy and for god’s sake discuss. So much love,


Cocoon by Sealy
Sealy Canada
This HGO article was written by:
Corrie-Ann Knell
Corrie-Ann Knell

Corrie-Ann is the director of sales and marketing for Home Goods Online and all of its platforms. Before joining HGO, she worked for several firms in the industry including Springwall Sleep Products, Furniture Brands Canada and Phoenix AMD International.

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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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