UPDATE: Nationwide to acquire Cantrex Group from Sears Canada
Jay McIntosh -- Furniture Today, April 25, 2012
TORONTO — Nationwide Marketing Group has agreed to acquire the Canadian buying group Cantrex from Sears Canada in a deal that will significantly expand what's already the largest North American buying group for furniture, appliances and electronics.
Cantrex Group has more than 1,200 storefronts that produce annual sales approaching $2 billion, according to Nationwide, which itself has some 3,000 independent dealer members with $12 billion in combined sales.
While it is selling Cantrex, Sears Canada said it will maintain its ownership of Corbeil Electrique, a recognized brand in the major appliance retail market.
Nationwide said it has had a longstanding collaborative agreement with Cantrex. It said the acquisition was an opportunity to increase its scale, improve efficiencies and enhance member services.
"Adding billions of dollars to our buying power with the stroke of a pen is a good thing for our members and another exciting step in Nationwide's continued growth," said Robert Weisner, Nationwide's president. "We look forward to finalizing the transaction by month's end and additional details will be provided as they become available."
Les Kirk, Nationwide chief operating officer, said the group expects "a fairly seamless transition and look forward to continued growth for our members, vendor partners and our organization."
The multi-channel retailer bought Canadian buying group Cantrex in 2005 in order to further develop its merchandising, buying, and logistics services in the furniture and appliance sectors.
The administrative operations of Cantrex have been housed in the Sears Canada logistics center in Montreal. Sears Canada and Cantrex associates will continue to share the facility, along with facilities in Vaughan, Ontario, and Vancouver, British Columbia, and there will be no immediate impact upon their day-to-day duties, Sears Canada said.
"We are grateful to all our associates involved with Cantrex over the years, and proud of how the organization has established itself as a leader in the marketplace," said Peter Kalen, senior vice president of Sears Financial and Home Services and Cantrex president. "Nationwide represents the best in the industry and Cantrex fits perfectly with their business. We wish them all the best in the future."