By Helen Siwak
Leon's Furniture, Canada's largest retailer of furniture, appliances, and electronics, has officially launched a new tech-heavy concept store at 1395 United Boulevard in the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam. Similar concept stores could be rolled-out into other markets.
Though typically known for its large-scale stores, the new reduced-in-size 15,000-square-foot space includes a curated collection of affordable on-trend furniture and appliances while additional technological features allow customers to shop the full product range.
This advanced retail technology gives customers access to a selection usually reserved for larger Leon's locations. Shoppers can browse through the entire collection and obtain any desired product QR codes on one of four touchscreen stations. The interactive experience also introduces customers to additional products and custom colours not available on the showroom floor.
The cutting-edge showroom has an 11-foot video wall that allows shoppers to view any product from Leon's in real size and in any colour the product is available in. This installation aims to provide a new way for shoppers to interact with Leon's product line.
With the use of a standard tablet, Leon's Sales Associates also show customers products in augmented reality (AR) alongside other pieces in the showroom to help with room planning. This feature is fantastic for visualizing room composition without being overwhelmed, as is sometimes the experience in large showroom environments.
The use of e-tags (electronic) on appliances assists customers in getting the best, most competitive price, along with Leon's 60-Day Price Guarantee. Checking out is also more efficient with new mobile point-of-sale tablets, which are voice-activated to help speed up the completion of order/payment/delivery forms.
Leon's smart service continues with its delivery program. Customers have access to delivery management online or on their phones with Clear Destination, which gives a more accurate delivery window.
The new flagship will act as a test store for other locations, with the potential of implementing the latest tech advantages to existing stores across the country.
Leon's opened its first store in Ontario in 1909 and then became Canada's first 'Big Box' retailer in 1973 after introducing its first large-scale store. The company now has 51 corporately owned retail stores across the country, with 34 franchise locations. Moreover, with a focus on expanding in British Columbia, this is Leon's fifth store in the province.
With multi-million-dollar inventory levels, Leon's can provide customers with quick delivery and its computerized systems and procedures are on the leading edge of retail technology.
The company has been in business for over 100 years with retail banners including The Brick, Brick Outlet, and The Brick Mattress Store. Leon’s employs 10,000 people and operates 302 retail stores from coast to coast.
The new concept store, which is expected to be replicated in other markets in Canada, includes tech innovations and experiences not found in other furniture retailers in Canada. Leon’s is innovating at a time of unprecedented competition in the Canadian furniture segment. Vancouver based Article, the online home furnishings retailer, is seeing explosive growth from its web channel. Other brick-and-mortar retailers ranging from Ikea to Bad Boy Furniture are also expanding their presence in Canada. Armani Casa and King Living are opening stores in Canada, addressing the high-end consumer. Retail Insider also recently reported on Montreal-based Bois & Cuir, which could open as many as 10 more stores over the next 16 months, according to the retailer.
Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Communications, publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, and specializes in the Luxury Lifestyle niche. She is the West Coast Correspondent for Retail-Insider and has a vast freelance portfolio including Montecristo Magazine, Boulevard English & Chinese editions, and Indulge. When not attending high-profile events in Vancouver's 'Luxury Zone’ or on assignment abroad, she can be found at home honing her plant-based cooking skills and caring for her rescues. firstname.lastname@example.org