Cantrex expands private label line to furniture, mattresses
Will debut at this weekend's Canadian Home Furnishings Market
Michael J. Knell -- Furniture Today, January 9, 2012
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Believing independent retailers need exclusive product to help differentiate themselves in a competitive retail environment, Cantrex will expand its Allura private label program to include mattresses, upholstery and case goods at this weekend's Canadian Home Furnishing Market.
Cantrex's first foray into private label was the launch at TCHFM 2011 of Allura major appliances. Manufactured by GE, the white goods collection is now floored at a number of stores.
"In a price-driven environment, exclusivity gives the independent retailer the opportunity for margin - he simply can't be shopped," said Pat Kelly, director of furniture networks and retail programs for Cantrex in Ontario, Western and Atlantic Canada. "We've been very successful with the appliance program and we're getting a lot of traction (in test markets) with the mattress program, so it just makes sense to expand these ideas over into our furniture program."
Cantrex will unveil five stationary fabric upholstery frames at market, augmented with a limited selection of motion upholstery in both leather and fabric. Two master bedroom suites and two casual dining groups also will be marketed under the Allura brand.
The market runs Jan. 14-17.
"We're going to cover all of the major style categories," Kelly said, adding that all five stationary upholstery frames and one of the master bedroom groups will be manufactured in Canada. Leather and motion upholstery, the other master bedroom and the two dining groups will be imported.
Each stationary upholstery group will have a sofa, loveseat, chair and sectional, with sofas targeted at the C$699 to C$999 retail price points. The line also offers an in-stock program and quick shipping. The program also will have a tag order component, which Kelly said is vital for most independent retailers.
Bedroom and dining room designs will be exclusive to Cantrex and will be targeted at mid-range price points, the buying group said. Imported product will be warehoused in Vancouver, British Columbia, allowing the group to supply members from stock.
The mattress program was developed in collaboration with Sealy Canada and will be branded as Allura by Sealy. Cantrex has been testing the line in a few stores in the past several months. The program is divided into four distinct collections covering the major price points and quality levels Cantrex believes consumers are currently demanding.
The opening price points are covered by what Cantrex is calling its Foam Program, basically a twin and a full or double size model, both made with a foam core and designed to retail at C$199 and C$299 respectively.
Both are intended for juvenile and guest room applications. Foam was chosen instead of low-end innersprings because the latter are "bouncy" and don't offer a high quality feel at a low price, Kelly said.
"Consumers who can only afford this price point will be thankful the retailer chose the comfort of solid foam over a ‘cheap' innerspring," he said.
Covering the C$599 to C$799 price points will be the four-unit 390 and 540 Collection - all of which will be constructed using either Bonnell coils or VertiCoils. Some of the coverings will feature a knit fabric infused with aloe to enhance softness.
The use of continuous coil springs will be the quality feature of the 720 Collection, covering the C$899 to C$1,099 price points. These beds also will feature deep layers of high density foam for added comfort coupled with either memory or latex foam.
At the high end of the program is a four-unit pocket coil collection, also using a combination of memory and latex foams and covered in organic cotton at the C$999 to C$1,399 price points.
Every model in the Allura by Sealy program is named after a Canadian city such as Burnaby, Moncton, Lethbridge and Saskatoon. Each model is also constructed entirely of materials sourced in North America.