Online furniture brand, Article, which is based in Vancouver, has seen phenomenal growth in recent years and has launched an in-house delivery program in Canada.
It has also expanded its leadership team to enable the company’s next phase of growth.
Recently the company was ranked No. 1 on the 2019 Growth 500 list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies for a second consecutive year.
“Being named Canada’s Fastest-Growing Company for a second year in a row validates the team’s efforts to make it easy for customers to create beautiful spaces,” said Aamir Baig, Article’s CEO. “Our tremendous growth has been fuelled by customer obsession. We seek direct customer input to create a remarkable end-to-end furniture experience, and this approach has led to projects that have made an immediate, positive impact on customers.”
The online furniture and home decor brand topped the annual ranking with five-year revenue growth of 24,182 per cent.
“Business has grown a whole lot more wilder than I would have ever dreamed . We’ve had north of 50,000 per cent growth until the year ending 2017 and the 24,000 per cent growth in the year ending 2018. So growth has been brilliant. Been great. It’s really a validation of the underlying proposition and the focus that we brought in delivering an end-to-end customer experience that’s a lot more convenient, a lot more valuable to the end customer. That’s given us a lot of confidence to continue going forward,” said Baig.
“The industry is massive. So I think we’re just the tip of the iceberg here of what the opportunity is. So far we’re certainly proud of the growth we’ve been able to achieve.”
The company started in October 2011 and launched its website in May 2013. There are operations in the United States as well in four different places – Seattle, Los Angeles, New Jersey and Jacksonville.
“We sell you great furniture and make sure you’re going to have an experience that you’re not going to go anywhere else,” said Baig.
“We’re a digitally native, vertically integrated online furniture brand. So basically what that means is we design, manufacture, distribute and ship directly to the consumer modern furniture. And we do it all through article.com. There’s only one place where you can buy our furniture. By going direct and eliminating the physical showrooming needs to sell furniture, we’re able to unlock a lot of value that we package back to customers either in the form of better product, better price, faster delivery, more convenience. A combination of it all.”
Baig said 85 per cent of the company’s business comes from the United States. It ships and delivers to hundreds of cities across Canada and the U.S.
“We’re focused on the discerning customer that wants a good product. So higher quality looking for good material, looking for designs that will last,” he said.
“Our mission is to create the easiest way for people to make their space look beautiful. So that includes living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, hallways, home office, office spaces. Across the board. And we’re constantly expanding our coverage of those categories.”
“Everything that we do is around delivering on a vision of how do we create the easiest way for people to make their space look beautiful. The amount of time people have to go through getting their space looking and functioning like they want at the core Article is about transforming that and making that as simple and as easy as possible,” said Baig.
“With that context, there’s many, many projects and initiatives that we have been working and will continue to work on towards the realization of that vision. The final-mile delivery experience is one of those aspects because the thing about furniture is that you can’t FedEx/UPS this stuff. It’s big products. The product typically needs to be put together. Stuff needs to be moved around in people’s homes and product needs to be put and installed in the right places. So there’s a strong service element to it to getting your place furnished. And what we realized as we went along this journey and studying over thousands of reviews from customers the final-mile delivery is where we were falling short. Most of the time the issues, the reasons, were not of our doing. We were working with third-party carriers. But nevertheless it was still our problem.”
So the company started its own delivery program taking control and ownership of the whole process to make it as smooth, seamless and convenient for customers as possible.
“We’re highly encouraged by the program. Our negative complaint ratio in the final-mile delivery reviews is down by 80 per cent in areas we’re doing our own delivery. Our speed to deliver is two days faster. The convenience of scheduling is higher. That program has become quite strategically important for us,” said Baig.
Article also added the company’s first VP of Human Resources and Senior VP of Supply Chain to support growth. Caroline Schein joined Article in the spring with previous roles at Boston Pizza, Best Buy Canada and Vancity, and is responsible for building Article’s people and culture practices across North America. Joining Article from Finning International, Cristian Chavez is Article’s Senior VP of Supply Chain, responsible for developing key supply chain strategies that will directly support the company’s ability to deliver unbeatable value on high-quality furniture and home decor.
The company, which employs more than 350 staff across North America, has been profitable since 2015.