Furniture

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Aug 29, 2023

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Toronto, 45 Gordon MacKay Rd, North York, Canada

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Leon’s: A Canadian Retail Legacy

Leon’s stands as a Canadian retail institution with a rich history spanning over a century. Founded in 1909 by Ablan Leon, the company began as a modest general merchandise store in welland Southern Ontario. Over the years, Leon’s has evolved into one of Canada’s leading retailers, specializing in furniture, major appliances, and home electronics. The family-run business, now in its fourth generation, continues to uphold its founder’s commitment to service excellence, integrity, and dedication. With an extensive network of corporate and franchise stores across Canada, Leon’s remains dedicated to providing quality products at competitive prices, all while staying rooted in its Canadian heritage.

A Legacy of Over a Century and Counting

Established in 1909 by Ablan Leon, the A. Leon Company emerged as a general merchandise emporium in the quaint town of Welland in Southern Ontario. Today, Leon’s stands as one of Canada’s premier retail giants, offering a diverse array of products including furniture, major appliances, and home electronics across various banners. Rooted in its founding principles of service excellence, integrity, and commitment, the company remains under the stewardship of the Leon family, upholding the values set forth by Ablan Leon more than a century ago. With over 10,000 dedicated associates in our network of corporate and franchise stores spanning the expanse of Canada, Leon’s Furniture Limited takes immense pride in its growth journey.

Our Journey through Time
Enriching Canada’s Landscape

At the dawn of the 20th century, a spirited Ablan Leon embarked on a quest for prosperity, leaving behind his homeland. Following years of extensive exploration across South America and the United States, he found solace in the charming Southern Ontario town of Welland. Nestled by the bustling Welland Canal, a conduit between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario bustling with maritime activity, Welland offered fertile ground for his ambitions.

Ablan Leon commenced his venture by peddling clothing door-to-door from a suitcase. Upon accumulating savings from his diligent efforts, he acquired a modest structure in the working-class enclave, birthing The A. Leon Company in 1909. The store presented an assortment of goods such as pants, blankets, shoes, and linens, all sold at equitable prices to an ever-growing clientele. Swiftly, the company etched its reputation as a paragon of honesty, integrity, and customer dedication, with a steadfast commitment to standing by the quality of its wares.

A Beacon of Assistance

In an era marked by surging immigration, numerous new Canadians grappled with limited access to credit. A pivotal facet of the store’s reputation lay in extending credit to customers who were otherwise excluded from credit avenues. This compassionate gesture endeared Ablan Leon to a burgeoning cohort of loyal patrons.

Once the foundation was laid, Ablan journeyed back to his homeland to unite with his beloved Lena in matrimony. Lena’s arrival in Welland marked the genesis of a family comprising 11 children. The Leon family exuded Christian virtues – kindness, humility, and a profound empathy for others – that permeated their daily lives.

As the children matured, they contributed to the store’s upkeep, be it dusting furniture, sweeping floors, or tending to the storefront windows.

The Serendipitous Shopper

When Ablan’s son prepared for marriage, he procured a mattress from a local department store as a gift. The mattress, temporarily propped against the store’s exterior wall, swiftly garnered interest from a passerby keen on purchasing it. Capitalizing on this opportunity, Ablan appended a nominal premium to his cost and finalized the sale. This revelation illuminated the potential for higher margins on larger items, altering the course of history.

A Family’s Commitment

Upon Ablan Leon’s demise in 1942, his offspring assumed responsibility for steering the thriving enterprise. Siblings collaborated tirelessly to honor their father’s legacy, resulting in the store’s continued expansion and burgeoning sales. As the customer base expanded, store expansions ensued, accommodating a more extensive product range.

Recognizing the necessity for further growth, the company embarked on expansion beyond Welland. Soon, Leon’s outlets proliferated across Southern Ontario, each proudly bearing the Leon’s moniker. The image of Leon’s as an ethical, trustworthy retailer offering quality merchandise at competitive prices became deeply ingrained in the minds of consumers.

Venturing into Toronto

The metropolis of Toronto presented an enticing arena for expansion. Opting to acquire an existing retailer’s business with a commendable reputation, the family strategically positioned themselves to penetrate this fiercely competitive market and gain insights into the nuances of retail operations.

After an apprenticeship period, Leon’s stores materialized in Toronto under the family’s name. The associates across all their stores, dedicated to the enterprise’s triumph, navigated numerous challenges, resulting in Leon’s Toronto outlets becoming synonymous with exceptional value across an extensive array of brand-name products.

Pioneering “Big Box” Retail in Canada

Capitalizing on their burgeoning presence, the company recognized the potential for a new phase of expansion, necessitating substantial capital infusion. In 1969, Leon’s Furniture made its debut on the Toronto Stock Exchange through a public offering, with the family retaining majority ownership while savvy individuals and institutions, cognizant of the company’s escalating reputation, acquired the remainder of shares.

In 1973, Leon’s unveiled Canada’s inaugural warehouse showroom, spanning 150,000 square feet. This visionary foray into “big box” retail revolutionized the industry by granting consumers immediate access to a multimillion-dollar inventory, obviating delays in acquisition. A robust marketing campaign, including attention-grabbing commercials featuring a helicopter showcasing the warehouse’s vast expanse, facilitated the successful assimilation of this innovative concept. Encouraged by the public’s embrace of this novel approach, the company embarked on erecting expansive showrooms across Canada.

Leon’s in the Present Day

Presently, Leon’s Furniture Limited stands tall as one of Canada’s most esteemed retailers. Its sustained augmentation of sales and profits sets it apart as a benchmark for other retailers across the nation.

Despite its growth, Leon’s remains grounded in its origins and the bedrock of its triumph. Upholding its commitment to offering top-tier brand-name furniture, appliances, and electronics at unbeatable prices, the company takes profound pride in its post-purchase service, relying on the professionalism and dedication of its associates across Canada, who constitute its most invaluable asset.

Leon’s Furniture has entrenched itself as an indispensable presence in Canadian households. Unwaveringly devoted to furthering sales and profits, the company prioritizes the welfare of shareholders, associates, and customers alike.

With vast inventory at their disposal, Leon’s facilitates almost instantaneous delivery for customers. Employing cutting-edge computerized systems and procedures, the company remains at the vanguard of retail technology.

Leon’s advertising, a recipient of accolades, equips customers with comprehensive information to make informed, gratifying purchases. Other retailers have sought to emulate the marketing strategies that took nearly a century to perfect.

Leon’s extends gratitude for visiting its website and eagerly anticipates the opportunity to serve.

Championing Community

Leon’s takes immense pride in its partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, a prominent charitable organization, orchestrates programs for children and youth to foster holistic physical, educational, and social growth, benefiting 200,000 young individuals and their families annually. Across 700 community hubs spanning Canada, trained staff and volunteers provide accessible opportunities for physical recreation, academic assistance, technological proficiency, life skills cultivation, artistic exploration, and more during after-school hours and breaks. Numerous Clubs additionally furnish wholesome snacks, meals, emergency shelter, family support initiatives, and aid for at-risk children, youth, and families.

Within the secure confines of these Clubs, young individuals encounter an environment conducive to embracing new avenues, nurturing positive attitudes and behaviors, surmounting personal obstacles, forging meaningful connections, and cultivating self-assurance and life skills. For over a century, Boys and Girls Clubs have steered young Canadians toward self-discovery, development, and achievement. To learn more or contribute, kindly visit www.bgcc

Head office
Toronto, 45 Gordon MacKay Rd, North York, Canada

Categories: Furniture

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