Tepperman’s kicks-off 98
WINDSOR, Ontario –Tepperman’s, one of this country’s largest independent full-line furniture retailers is marking 98 years in business as it has for the past several years, publishing a new catalogue designed to excite their customers while girding for what third-generation president Andrew Tepperman describes what could be a year of “uncertainty and volatility” as the economy comes down from its pandemic high.
“I do not take these 98 years for granted. Every March anniversary is emotional for me as it’s a time to pause and reflect,” Tepperman said. “The anniversary makes me think about my grandfather who started in 1925 with nothing, going door-to-door on foot selling rugs. It also makes me think about my father being thrust into taking over the business at 36 years of age when his father unexpectedly passed away. Most importantly, our anniversary makes me think about people.”
Tepperman knows being part of a local family business is special, and credits the brand’s decades of success to the thousands of past and present team members who built relationships with millions of loyal customers.
“Making it to 98 years is not by luck. Every day each one of us tries to do what we do a little better than yesterday,” he said. “What we do is not unique, but how we do it is – like prioritizing sustainability and community investments. Last year we donated 12 tonnes of furniture to Habitat for Humanity, recycled 101 tonnes of used mattresses and added our first solar installation. We also offer unparalleled service with our white glove delivery, flexible 0% interest financing and our free consultations with accredited interior decorators.”
Tepperman’s 98th Anniversary Sale is a five-week celebration in honour of nearly 10 decades in business and is the retailer’s premier promotional event of the year. To mark the occasion, Tepperman’s mails a 32-page catalogue to homes in Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia, London, Kitchener-Waterloo and Ancaster/Hamilton. One lucky customer will also win a $1,000 gift via the Spring Refresh giveaway detailed on page 32.
“For this year’s Anniversary Sale, our buyers truly outdid themselves in their hunt for exceptional deals. We have such incredible value to share that we filled a beautiful catalogue to the brim with affordable, on-trend styles,” said Tepperman. “Customers looking to elevate their homes while staying on budget will find deals in every department: furniture, mattresses, appliances and electronics.”
Tepperman, who succeeded his father – Bill – as president of the six-store chain in 2006, told Home Goods Online the retailer saw an uptick in revenue in 2022 but has noticed a softening as 2023 begins.
“2022 was a year of getting back to normal,” is how he categorized the year, which included, “Stabilizing our inventory and partnering with new suppliers. Ramping up market testing. Investing in every form of technology. Returning to consistent employee training and never forgetting about our communities and the environment.”
He noted Tepperman’s first solar installation – at its Kitchener, Ontario location – will produce more than enough electricity to run the store and will actually put energy back into the grid.
He is concerned about the coming year. “I do know that the combination of sustained high interest rates plus high inflation is a recipe for disaster,” he pointed out. “No one is immune.”
Tepperman also expressed amazement as to how quickly the economy is turning, noting the difference in the reporting of public companies in the third quarter of 2022 versus what they were saying in the fourth quarter.
“Most are reporting lower sales and margins and higher inventory levels through December 31, 2022,” he said, adding, “I believe we will see even more financial statement erosion in their first quarter 2023 statements. While no retailer welcomes a recession, we’ve been through these before.
“Consumer behavior generally follows a pattern,” he continues. “Some will stop buying, while others will substitute for less expensive products or buy less frequently. The way we buy, market and finance will always fluctuate based on the environment to meet the consumer where they are.”
Tepperman’s is one of the last retailers in North America offering in-house credit and to prepare for a down-turn, they’re investing in their consumer financing capacity to ensure they can meet the consumer’s needs.
“We also look closely at the expense side,” Tepperman said. “Were we all concerned about every wasted dollar during the COVID period surge? Probably not. As the economy shifts, we must by hyper-focused on maximizing every revenue dollar and be vigilant with expense control. We also adjust capital expenditures to ensure we’re never over-leveraged. Fortunately, we have a lot of experience on hand who worked through 2008-2009. We learned a lot.”
That experience will see Tepperman’s through to their 99th anniversary a year from now.
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