Howarth ‘very excited’ about switch to Leon’s

Duane Hicks

“Leon’s Furniture” will be on a new sign above the doors at 288 Scott St. in about a month or so.
As first reported in yesterday’s Daily Bulletin, Mark Howarth of Howarth’s Home Centre said he’s become a franchisee of the national furniture store chain.
“We basically wanted to expand our furniture,” he noted. “We’ve always been real big in the electronics and appliances, but our furniture department was not quite competitive with everybody else.
“That was our main purpose, to expand that.”
Howarth explained the timing was right because the store’s contract with The Source was due this spring. But they opted not to renew it and instead go with Leon’s.
Howarth’s Home Centre was closed yesterday and today to get everything ready to re-open tomorrow at 10 a.m. for a close-out sale, which probably will run for about the next two weeks.
The store then will be closed for a couple of weeks for renovations.
“We’re re-doing everything,” Howarth said. “A whole new shopping experience.
“It’s been about 10 years since we had a change last time and kind of re-did everything,” he noted.
“Time for another big change.”
Also during this time, store staff will receive training on a new Leon’s Furniture computer system.
“We’re going to have a soft opening about the middle of September, tentatively, and then a grand opening in the middle of October, likely,” Howarth said.
Loyal Howarth’s customers will be happy to know not everything about the store will be changing. For example, the current staff will stay on board after the transition to Leon’s.
But Howarth said Leon’s Furniture definitely will bring customers a greater selection of furniture, appliances, and TVs than his store has right now.
“There will be more brand names because they deal with all of them,” he remarked.
“Being as big as they are . . . they have quite a few lines that are exclusive to Leon’s, which is kind of unique.
“Their buying power is the biggest advantage; when they go to a vendor and want a deal, they get real good deals,” added Howarth.
“They’re incredible.”
Howarth said Leon’s Furniture also has an excellent website, which customers can use to find the availability and prices of items they’ll be able to buy at the local store.
He pointed out Leon’s Furniture was founded more than 100 years ago—and remains a family-run business to this day.
“It’s similar to us,” he noted. “We’ve been around for 60 years and we’re a family-run business, as well.
“We make a good match for each other, I think.”
Howarth said he’s “very excited” about being a Leon’s Furniture franchisee.
“Be even more excited when the doors get opened,” he remarked.
The A. Leon Company was founded in 1909 by Ablan Leon, at which time it was a general merchandise store in Welland, Ont.
It grew to become one of Canada’s largest retailers, selling a wide range of merchandise, including furniture, major appliances, and home electronics, at locations across the country.
The company continues to be run by the Leon family, and “maintains the standards of service, integrity, and dedication established by Ablan Leon over 100 years ago,” according to its website.