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Michael Knell

Cantrex Nationwide to inspire its members at TCHFM

Toronto market opens Saturday

TORONTO — Cantrex Nationwide members are coming off what officials say was an inconsistent 2013.

But over the course of a few days at the Canadian Home Furnishings Market, which runs Jan. 11-14, the buying group hopes to encourage and inspire those same independent retailers with new products and programs designed to drive business as 2014 opens.

"The main story for furniture in 2013 is the inconsistency of the marketplace," said Pat Kelly, director of furniture networks and retail programs for Cantrex Nationwide. "From week to week sales peak or drop dramatically even when supported by heavy marketing. Overall we are having a good year with positive numbers, it's just difficult to predict on the short term."

Kelly said CNW was helped by a growth in membership in 2013, and added that the group's mattress and appliance members outpaced the rest of the industry with a sales uptick in the double digits.

Looking to the first half of 2014, CNW isn't looking for record-setting growth.

"Similar to 2013, there is a certain amount of apprehension as to how to predict whether there will be a steady increase in furniture sales," Kelly said. "We are optimistic that we're on the right track for growth with our focus on multi-channel marketing and on supporting the brand message of the independent retailer - the one that differentiates them in the marketplace in an increasingly competitive landscape."

At TCHFM, CNW will be headquartered at the Holiday Inn Toronto Airport, a highlight of which will be the group's usual 80-bed mattress display. "This will be our most exciting year ever for the bedding category," Kelly said.

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