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Mega Group promising big presence at TCHFM

Will go over merchandising, design plans
 Image of Michael VancuraMichael Vancura

TORONTO — Mega Group will use this month's Canadian Home Furnishings Market here to kick off its 2014 merchandising and marketing plans designed to help its members grow their store sales after a somewhat disappointing 2013 campaign.

Michael Vancura, executive vice president of retail of Canada's largest furniture marketing and buying group, said same-store sales for 2013 will probably be flat to minus 2%.

"But in our traditional business, which is by far the largest component and represents the furniture, bedding and appliance categories, should finish up by approximately 2%," he said. Consumer electronics was the weakest category, he added.

Looking to 2014, Vancura is warning his members to expect more of the same.

"We're going to see a continuation of the status quo because of the generally softer business conditions we're seeing," he said. "That being said, the more promotionally minded and aggressive retailers in our group are managing to drive traffic, which continues to be the number one concern for most retailers."

Vancura is expecting about 200 or so of Mega's member stores, which represent about 50% of the group's furniture, mattress and appliance business, to turn out for the Jan. 11-14 market.

Mega and its various sub-groups will meet at the Sheraton Airport, which will feature a 30,000-square-foot product presentation with key vendor partners, including all of the bedding suppliers. This will also be where Mega holds its annual Mad Dash - a one-hour buying frenzy where about 19 furniture, mattress and appliance vendors offer show specials to members.

Steve Silver, England, Crinar, Décor Emporium, Edgewood, Hellenic, HTL, Korson, Greenway and Sit Best/ Human Touch Chairs are among the vendors expected to participate.

Mega will also launch its Consumer Choice Program, a revamped core furniture, mattress and appliance lineup for all BrandSource-bannered stores in 2014.

Mega will host a reception during market at the Lonestar Restaurant to raise funds for its corporate charity, Ronald McDonald Houses of Canada.

In its corporate booth in Hall 5 of the International Centre, the cooperatively owned group will showcase the technology and services it offers to retailers such as website support, store design, sales training, point-of-sale systems and marketing and promotion services.

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