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Happy Holidays from HGO!

 16 December 2019     Michael J. Knell 

BRIGHTON, Ontario – Another year is drawing to close and with it comes the opportunity to gather with family and friends to reflect on the highs and lows of the past twelve months while eagerly anticipating what comes next. Everyone here at Home Goods Online would like to wish all our friends, colleagues, readers and sponsors wherever you are in the country and whatever your faith, a truly Merry Christmas and a Joyful, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year.

This has certainly been a year of change. Everyone in the industry was sad to see the end of the Canadian Furniture Show. Ours is the only durable goods sector in this country without a neutral, national industry trade event. Will it be replaced? That’s the burning question and one we hopefully will learn the answer to over the coming months.

Dawn Rowe and Albert Marrarche (centre left and right), co-founders of Phoenix AMD International, love Christmas. Each year, they send their staff shopping for gifts that will be turned over to their local fire department for distribution to underprivileged children of all ages in their community. This year, they needed a convoy of 17 family vehicles and a police escort to deliver some $30,000 worth of toys, games and bicycles to the Clarington Fire Department. They are seen here in front of their 25-foot tall Christmas tree with Fire Chief Gordon Weir and Constable Daryl Rice of the Durham Police Service.The industry continues to shrink – particularly at the independent level. In fact, the days of the traditional single-unit furniture, mattress and major appliance retailer – the so-called full-line store – may well be over. But the news isn’t all bad. Regional players in this category, such as Tepperman’s and Lastman’s Bad Boy, have been added stores to their networks. We are also seeing some new high-end furniture specialists enter the market, such as Australia’s King Living and Italy’s Poliform in Vancouver.

Not be outdone, the big boys of our industry – Leon’s Furniture Limited, BMTC Group, Sleep Country Canada and IKEA – are continuing to invest in their infrastructure.

And here’s a little tidbit to think about: HGO has told by several people who should know that Wayfair.ca has annual revenues approaching $1 billion. For a platform that didn’t really exist five years ago, it is making a huge impact on our business.

But more on this – and other topics of interest – with the arrival of the new year.

HGO is particularly delighted with the response we’re receiving to Business Cents, our conversations with Albert Marrache, the president and founder of Phoenix AMD International. Those of you who know Albert, know he has strong views about the potential of independent retail and he’s not disappointing in any of our segments, the next one of which will come out in January.

January will also see the launch of the 2020 edition of the Retail Sales Professional Awards. The whole purpose of this program is to celebrate the contributions of the retail salesperson and sale manager – the gatekeepers of our industry. There are some exciting changes planned for this now-eagerly anticipated program, all of which will be explained by its presenting sponsor, Brad Geddes, president of ZucoraHome. So, stay tuned for that.

Our office will close at 12noon this coming Friday (20 December 2018) for the Holiday Season and will re-open on Thursday, 02 January 2020. We’ll still monitor our e-mail, so don’t be afraid to reach out to us at [email protected] as the news doesn’t go on holiday. We will post breaking stories to the home page during the break.

The next issue of the newsletter will be broadcast on Tuesday, 07 January 2020.


MIFF 2020
Cocoon by Sealy
This HGO article was written by:
Michael J. Knell
Michael J. Knell

Michael is the publisher and editor of Home Goods Online. A seasoned business journalist, he has researched and written about the furniture, mattress and major appliance industries in both Canada and the United States for the past three decades.


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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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