Furniture Retailer ‘The Brick’ Expands Commercial Design Centre Concept into Quebec

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Canadian furniture retailer The Brick continues to expand its Commercial Design Centres across the country with the latest one opening recently in Montreal.

Eric Beam, Senior Director, Commercial Sales Division, said the Montreal location is the company’s eighth one across the country with one in every major market – Toronto (North York), Burlington ON, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver (Coquitlam).

The first location for the unique concept opened May 2011 in Toronto’s North York area.

The centres offer top specialty brands in the premium appliance market for builders, and commercial and residential retail customers. All the centres are within Brick stores.

“We’ve got over 35 brands available in most regions,” said Beam. “For the most part we have a full offering of everyday household appliance brands right up to the super premium.

“What these design centres are for is our team members work closely with developers, builders, landlords, real estate agents, designers, you name it, and it gives them an opportunity to send their clients into our showroom in a vignette format to really be able to see what opportunities there are for them from an appliance standpoint.

“In a builders’ world, it may be to upgrade from whatever that builder package was. From a design standpoint, it could be a client trying to decide what type of new appliances they want to put into their new kitchen.”

The centres also give consumers the opportunity to see what options they have available for their appliance choices.

The Commercial Design Centres’ in-store showrooms boast creatively inspired displays accented with home décor options. This enables customers, such as new home builders, designers or residential property managers, to visualize the product selection in more natural home-like settings. A range of appliance packages are available to fit any budget whether for single-family homes or multi-unit residential buildings.

Each centre offers custom showrooms (vignettes) featuring premium appliance lines such as Gaggeneau, Bosch, Thermador, Monogram, Fulgor Milano, Bertazzoni, SMEG, and several others.

The new centre in Montreal is located inside The Brick’s Marchè Central store. It operates under the banner of Midnorthern Appliance, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

The Brick’s President Dave Freeman said the opportunity is right for continuing growth into the Montréal market, which is home to a large number of designers and builders.

“We have one of the widest selections of premium appliances in the country, and this new Commercial Design Centre helps make these appliance options more readily available to anyone from new home builders to luxury homeowners across Canada,” said Freeman. “And we’re able to cover every single market for national level developers and builders.”

Beam said the centres are about 3,000 to 4,000 square feet.

“Right now because we’re represented in all markets we may expand within those communities to have potentially two in the Vancouver area but nothing is written in stone right now. Our first footprint was to be represented in every major market and now it’s about letting our partners know that we’re there to support them,” said Beam.

“There’s a retail component to it as well because people can walk in and have access to those design centres. It’s not just for the commercial side of the business.”

Midnorthern Appliance is a commercial sales division of The Brick, and has been servicing the builder and retail appliance community since 1959. During that time, Midnorthern has sold over 2,500,000 major home appliances throughout Canada and the world.

“We’re creating workstations within those showrooms so that people have access to a computer and to WiFi and all the things they need to do to be able to have their office away from office so to speak. Trying to make it convenient for them,” said Beam.

“One of the advantages that we offer versus what anybody else is doing in the market is the full 360 service because we use our own fleet for delivery. We have our own in-house customer service team that manages the customer service aspects and the delivery aspects as far as appointments go and those types of things internally. With our partnership and being owned by LCL which is the Leon’s group we have Trans Global Service which is our shared installation company which is also owned by us. So really from the selling standpoint all the way to install you’re dealing with The Brick all the way through versus some of our competitors may have to farm that out to a third party to do the customer service.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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