Merchandiser celebrates Shannon, LVM and independent thinking
BRIGHTON, Ontario – We’ve been on a short hiatus, but the Merchandiser is back with a brand-new issue that covers a lot of ground across a comparatively fewer number of pages. First, we introduce Shannon Houff, otherwise known as That Girl Shannon, who scribes the first in an occasional series of columns for HGO. She promises to be fun and thought provoking.
Everyone loves a success story. There’s something inspirational in learning about someone who built a business for herself using nothing more than grit, determination and hard work. In fact, it’s gratifying to learn it’s still possible in this age where everything is just so damned expensive.
We first profiled Shannon and her store – Front Porch Interiors & Design – back in 2013. She has built a successful furniture retail operation in a small town of fewer than 600 people in the heart of Saskatchewan’s ranch country. And she did it by building a community, by reaching out and by injecting a little fun into the whole process of buying and selling.
She’s now embarked on creating her own brand – That Girl Shannon – a collection of occasion furniture and accessories while becoming the national spokesperson for United Floors, a group of independent flooring retailers. In my view anyway, she has something interesting to say and something that’s worth listening to.
When looking at what else is going on in this industry right now, it’s good to see an independent retailer who is literally from the middle of nowhere becoming a voice to be heard. And guess what else – she looks and sounds just like our industry’s target customer.
Elsewhere in this issue, contributing editor Ashley Newport talks to a pair of well-known independents – Chris Odishaw and Andrew Tepperman – about competing with the e-commerce giants. They believe its more than possible to take Wayfair, Casper and the rest of them on without losing either your shirt or your soul. The key, they believe, is to be true to yourself. Do what’s right for the customer. Have better stuff on the floor and show them you not only know more about furniture, mattresses and appliances but are more committed to their satisfaction.
Richard Landriault, the Canadian industry veteran who heads-up Magniflex operations in this country, believes not all beds-in-a-box are created equal. He talks about the distinct advantages of the compressed, vacuum-packed mattress for both the retailer and the consumer and argues if you starts off with a quality, well made foam mattress, the consumer will get a more hygienic product that’s more cost effective to deliver to her home.
Finally, the 50 of so Canadian furniture, décor and gift resources exhibiting at the recently ended Winter 2020 edition of the Las Vegas Market had a wealth of new product to show to retail buyers from across North America. We give a sneak peak at some of the best things they had to offer.
We hope you enjoy reading the Winter 2020 edition of the Merchandiser.