|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2008)|
|Industry||Home Furnishing Stores|
|Founded||1909 in Welland, Ontario|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Key people||Ablan Leon, Founder
Terry Leon, President/CEO
Dominic Scarangella, Vice-President/CFO
Edward Leon, Vice-President/TFM
Leon's Furniture Limited (TSX: LNF) Meubles Léon Limité in Quebec is a Canadian furniture superstore which first opened its store in 1909 in Welland, Ontario. The controlling interest in the company is owned by the Leon family, while some shares are traded publicly on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It has consistently ranked among the top furniture chains in Canada. The company has Leon's stores in all provinces, except British Columbia.
Leon's originated in the city of Welland, Ontario, near the US border in the Niagara Region. It was founded by Ablan Leon, a Lebanese immigrant, who started out as a door-to-door salesman. He was able to open a store with his profits in 1909. The original store was a dry goods outlet, which subsequently converted to furniture sales after Mr. Leon discovered the profits to be had in selling furniture when, after leaning his son's wedding gift of a mattress outside his store briefly, he was immediately approached by a customer who wished to buy it. He sold it for several dollars more than he paid, and so soon thereafter, the store shifted its focus to concentrate on furniture sales.
Leon's original store was staffed primarily by Ablan's children, and he gained a reputation in Welland for honesty and fairness, an image the company aims to preserve with its present-day slogan, "It's All About Trust". When Ablan died in 1942, he left the company to his children. After expanding the original location, they built new stores in southwestern Ontario.
The company moved into the Toronto area in the subsequent decades, purchasing several established outlets in the city and then converting them to the Leon's name. The company went public in 1969 and opened its first warehouse showroom in 1973, touting it as the only one in Canada. This was, in many ways, a forerunner to the big box retail outlets found commonly by the end of the 20th century, and it proved a big success; stores continued to open in urban and suburban areas across Canada, largely with good results.
Today, roughly half of the store's more than 50 outlets are owned corporately, while the remainder, mainly in rural areas or in cities with lower populations, are owned by franchisees. There is a store in every province and there briefly were two stores in Arizona in the mid-90s.
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Leon's markets mid-range furniture, appliances and electronics; some items are discount, and some stores contain high-end showrooms with higher-priced items available. A major part of Leon's marketing strategy is its financing plans, which allow customers to defer payments for various lengths of time (the most common of which are 6 and 18-month terms). This financing is offered through Visa Desjardins.
In an effort to attract customers living in condos or smaller dwellings, Leon's launched their Urban Living Collection in June 2007. Leon's Urban Living Collection contains smaller sized sofas, bedrooms and dining sets.
Commercials and events
Leon's has usually eschewed the traditional low-budget furniture commercial throughout its history; instead of focusing on merchandise as most furniture ads tend to, it opts to produce humorous or memorable commercials, often employing silly gags or jokes to create a lasting impression on viewers. Its most popular ad campaigns are the Ho-ho-hold the Payments event and the No Money Miracle, both of which having gone through several makeovers over the years. The store's promotional events are generally recurring by month, although several do alternate throughout the year. Most offer discount prices on select items and improved financing terms, along with the option to defer all payment (generally financing requires a deposit of all applicable taxes and fees up-front).
Leon's staff is separated into numerous departments in many of its corporate locations (franchise operating procedures tend to vary). Deliveries, sales, service, and front office are all separate departments in most locations. On the other hand, it does greatly cut down on internal product loss, and specialization allows for departments to function more efficiently, generally speaking. Employees receive a number of benefits, from profit sharing to comprehensive benefits packages (for full-time staff).
- "All the savings you can carry" - mid-late 1970s
- "It's a better way to buy furniture" - 1992
- "Canada's Only Furniture Superstore" - 2000
- "Leon's - Where Big is Beautiful - In So Many Ways"
- "Leon's - It's All About trust" - 2004–present
For their 100th anniversary in Canada, Leon's partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, a leading charitable organization, that provides programs to children and youth that support the healthy physical, educational and social development of 200,000 young people and their families each year. They were also proud to support local hospitals in each of the communities that are home to one of our home furnishing stores.
Some other charities that they help support are:
- Canadian Cancer Society-South York Region Unit
- Boys and Girls Club of Canada
- South Lake Regional Healthcare Centre (Hospital)
- Newmarket Salvation Army
- Enfant-Jesus hospital.
- Operation Enfant Soleil
- St. Louise Outreach Center
- Salvation Army, Brampton
- Simcoe Hall Settlement House
- YWCA, Whitby
- The Food Bank, Kitchener
- Burlington Country and Blues Festival with proceeds going to the Joseph Brant Hospital
- Canadian Cancer Society
- Simcoe Community Services
- Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region
- The Welland Rose Festival
- The Boys and Girls Club of Lachine
- Ste. Annes Veterans
- The Mustard Seed, Calgary
- Cerebral Palsy Association
- Toronto Heritage Rail Museum
- Santa Clause Parade, Sudbury
- Hospice House
- La Soupe Communautaire de la Paroisse Ste-Rose
- Canadian Cancer Relay for Life, Sault Ste.Marie
- Winnipeg Harvest
- Good Shepherd Society in Hamilton
- Credit Valley Hospital
Competitors of Leon's include:
- Jeff Ware Arrow Furniture
- Sleep Country Canada
- Lastman's Bad Boy Furniture
- Wholesale Furniture Brokers