How linen chest came to capture their great rivals

How linen chest came to capture their great rivals

The linen chest, which started with a single store in Montreal, recognizes the success of its Canadian roots and family culture and could double to 26 stores in five years. Reviews and recommendations are fair and products are independently chosen. post media may earn affiliate commissions for purchases made through links on this page.

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For over 50 years, the family behind the laundry dresser has quietly built a business that is reliable enough to match the price of much larger competitors.

linen chest, his brother Stan’s partner in the linen chest and home ware  business founded by their mother Sylvia, said: As the only boutique in Montreal in 1961.

After 53 and 26 stores, 491 major retailers like Canadian Tires have made major inroads into Laval’s private retail chains with popular products like Soda Stream beverage dispensers and Kitchen Aid toasters.

linen chest, especially large retail stores like Walt-Mart, can often offer branded products at low prices. That’s because rent is cheaper than a store in the mall and employees are less hired. In addition, its size provides sufficient purchasing power to guarantee low prices from suppliers. .. However, this is the policy that Learners are willing to adopt when revisiting their customers.

“After all, we don’t want our customers to feel like they’re paying us more,” Learner said.

“When people shop with us, they can shop with confidence. Look at the big picture. We pride ourselves on trying to get the price right first,” he said.

The seeds of the business were planted when Sylvia Learner worked in her husband’s textile import business while their five children were in school. Through her business experience, honed in her father’s grocery store in Ottawa’s By ward Market, she had long ago decided to open an imported lingerie store to Montreal.

She used her family savings to open a 500-square-foot Linen Chest boutique on Queen Mary Street in Montreal. One of the first in the city to import new-style parquet sheets and quilted bedspreads, Linen Chest quickly became a popular shopping destination, expanding into custom blinds, tablecloths and bath accessories.

The store has expanded many times over the years, and Learner and her brother learned about the business before taking over in the 1980s. As demand increased, they moved 15,000 square feet. The store in Montreal’s Rockland Center ended up doubling in size when the Mall Eaton store closed in the late 1990s.

“Before that, everything was in one big store and people came from all over the world,” Learner said. “Over time, we realized that the market is really changing.”

The second phase of growth started first in Quebec and then in Ottawa 15 years ago. However, during the last five years it has shown the fastest growth. Leibniz and her brothers are now 50 or 50 partners in the firm, responding to the post-recession real estate boom by doubling the chain from 13 to 26, with annual revenues of about $100 million.

In addition to Ontario and Quebec, Linen Chest currently has stores in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Before expanding into other markets, we will focus on expanding to Ontario, where we have eight stores.

Retailers have been able to increase sales where others in the industry are in decline. According to Statistics Canada, the total sales of furniture stores in June were $491 million, 5% more than last year, while furniture and upholstery owners 112 Bowring and Bombay Co. of Toronto I told you to apply for protection in the Court. Last month, creditors closed Benxi’s last cookware store.

So how can linen dressers compete with mid-range competitors like Hudson’s Bay Company, Home sense and Williams Sonoma?

Buyers say Linen Chest is not the same thing as Linens Nothing’s, the former US transplant of a large chain of stores that closed 40 stores in Canada in 2008 when its US parent went bankrupt, Leibniz said. Useful if you find it.

Linen Chest features Canadian roots on store signs, advertisements, websites and flyers. “[Canadian] I think it’s definitely an advantage. The fact that everyone is equal and we are not only a big company but also a family business has a lot of heart and soul in the family culture. So it is,” he said. ..

According to him, this philosophy extends not only to the family, but also to his employees and even to suppliers: a good business is built on good relationships. “We value loyalty. Loyalty to our suppliers, loyalty to our customers, building relationships and caring for our employees. I know all store managers,” says Leibniz.

He added that this helps linen chests stay competitive when playing against large corporations. “If we have the quantity that we have, and ownership is involved in the purchase and relationship with the supplier, we can give the supplier enough quantity to be more important to the supplier.”

According to Leibniz, sharing ownership with his brother makes operations easier and simpler. “As a private company, we need to be able to move a little faster and faster and better. We don’t have to go through all the bureaucracy to make a decision.”

Leibniz also credits the company’s success with investment and training to highly skilled service personnel. While many customers browse products on retailer websites, Linen Chest, or their LCLiving.ca blogs for ideas, 90% of the company’s sales come from stores.

In addition to expanding the digital platform over the next few years, Leibniz said he plans to open stores in Canadian cities, possibly Calgary, Vancouver and other aftermarkets.

“Now we are starting to build our brand, so we can be a more generic name,” he said.

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