OTTAWA—This summer Richard Laplante and Brian Janna are proud to bring the first BrandSource Home Furnishings independent retailer to Ottawa, offering mostly made-in-Canada products including 40 high-end brands ranging from classic to modern.
Their business model is geared toward high-quality, uniquely fashionable and functional furniture at a fair price.
With 30 years combined in the furniture business, Laplante said he and his partner were committed to making the shopping experience a great one for customers.
“It’s for the customer, and for us too. We don’t want an unhappy customer.” That means rolling out the red carpet, he said, adding that because they are an owner-operated business and have their feet on the ground, “If there is a problem, there is no problem.”
They have equipped their sales staff each with a tablet so that they can easily display items that don’t fit in the showroom. They can find other options, or perhaps the same item but in a different colour, fabric, or even with a different style of arm on a chair, for example.
Because they work with independent dealers, many items can be custom-made—without custom-made prices, Laplante said. And while on warranty, purchases come with a craftsman on call to do in-home repairs.
BrandSource is part of Mega Group, a Saskatoon-based company that provides independent retailers with the buying power to get volume rebates. For customers, that means a 110 percent price guarantee on exclusive products.
Laplante and Janna said they are not in the big discount business—they want to give value from the get-go. And they will hold four seasonal sales a year to boost their profile and temporarily expand their offerings. Flexible, customized financing is also available, currently interest-free for 24 months.
BrandSource is an American brand whose Canadian operations were acquired by Mega Group, and in the coming months many of the independently operated furniture stores that purchase furniture through Mega Group will be donning the BrandSource branding.
It’s a move that will raise the company’s profile and help it establish a wider reputation. That reputation includes a significant proportion of Canadian-made furniture, about 60 percent of what their particular store sells, mainly made in Quebec City and Toronto, said Laplante.
In addition, 80 percent of the furniture overall is made in North America to California formaldehyde emissions standards, the most stringent in the world.
Laplante said customers are demanding Canadian-made furniture because the quality is much better than products made in China.
To reduce waste and earn green credentials, Ottawa’s BrandSource store has the only foam melter in Ottawa, which reduces 90 cubic feet of foam to one cubic foot. It’s an upfront cost but they are happy to make the long-term investment, said Laplante.
The store has a welcoming showroom including soft music playing in the mattress section. It offers the traditional as well as the uncommon, like a pullout couch that turns into a bunk bed and an exclusive recliner that comes in three sizes for those suffering from arthritic pain, along with anything else you need to furnish your home.
BrandSource is set to celebrate its new store at the official grand opening on Sept. 5.
Please visit www.brandsource.ca for more details.