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Sleep Country Canada Opening 2 Super Hubs Amid Explosive Retail Growth: Interview

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Sleep Country Canada is opening two new super hubs to drive operational efficiencies and unlock the next chapter of the company’s growth story.

The new hubs, in Calgary and Belleville, will increase the retailer’s storage capacity by 65 per cent. The storage hubs add 278,000 square feet to the company’’s existing network of 17 strategically located fulfillment centres. The Belleville hub will be located in a former Sears warehouse building.

Sleep Country is Canada’s leading omnichannel specialty sleep retailer with a national retail store network and e-commerce platforms. It operates under three retail banners: “Sleep Country Canada” with omnichannel operations in Canada excluding Québec; “Dormez-vous?” with omnichannel operations in Québec and “Endy“, Canada’s leading direct-to-consumer online sleep solutions retailer.

It has 287 stores across Canada. 

Inside of the Sleep Country Canada Super Hub (Image: Sleep Country Canada)

Stewart Schaefer, President, Sleep Country and Dormez-vous, said the new storage hubs will enhance and improve the overall supply chain logistics for the company.

Stewart Schaefer

“These new storage hubs further support our promise to deliver world-class customer experiences at each and every touchpoint,” he said. “Last year, we took advantage of market opportunities to secure competitive pricing for these facilities that will support our aggressive growth plans for years to come. Our record-breaking results and the overwhelmingly positive response from Canadians over the past year made this the perfect time to take the next step in our strategic growth roadmap.

“After 27 years in business, we know that investing in a powerful physical infrastructure is an important strategic element of our competitive advantage and an essential catalyst to support our growth. With these new storage hubs, we are well-positioned to execute growth opportunities including establishing new vendor partnerships, category and product innovation, improving our direct overseas sourcing capabilities and online marketplace expansion.”

The new storage hubs feature advanced technology, providing the retailer with efficiencies in fulfillment and distribution to support its growing direct import program for accessories and bed in a box, with expanded margins. The company said the new facilities will also ensure flexibility in receiving, picking and packing inventory to service its expanding online business and establish the infrastructure required to fuel Sleep Country’s aggressive future growth plans. The new storage hubs will reduce the company’s need to expand its existing fulfillment centre square footage in premium priced markets.

Schaefer said the hubs will handle the storage of containers of the product, lightening the load of the fulfillment centres but also putting them back to what they were originally designed for – to get goods in and out.

“Going forward those fulfillment centres will receive from our local supplier goods that are going in and out and will also receive from these two hubs which is our own storage that will populate and feed the other distribution centres both on the east coast and the west coast,” he said.

Schaefer said the company will continue to grow its store base.

“COVID has definitely shaken the world a little bit in how they look at the world in terms of bricks and mortar and e-commerce. There’s no question of that. Our e-commerce business exploded during COVID but at the same time while COVID was happening we were still opening stores and our stores were performing unbelievably well. The new stores we were opening were exceeding our expectations,” he said.

Sleep Country at CF Richmond Centre. Photo: Geetanjali Sharma

“But what we actually found out during COVID which was surprising when our stores were closed obviously you could only shop online but given the choice by the customer of having the e-commerce experience and the stores the fact of wherever they begin their journey whether they started on their phone, there is a visit to the store in that they were going in, testing the beds. The journey may have begun on the phone, may have involved the store, maybe concluded at the store, maybe concluded online, but the store was part of that journey.

“Our plan continued exactly the same way even more so as we look for great opportunities because some people have not been so fortunate and some real estate has become available. We’re going to continue to open up stores – eight to 12 stores is our plan, as we said a few years ago, every single year and that hasn’t changed.”

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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