Schwartz prepares for move
‘ We’re offering a new, fresh look for our customers’
The Schwartz Furniture store in Sydney is preparing for a big move to its new location in the former Canadian Tire store on Reeves Street.
The Schwartz store has been a fixture on Vulcan Avenue, a street that’s a mix of commercial and residential development, since 1979.
Running parallel to Welton Street, one of the busiest streets in Sydney, the lesser-travelled Vulcan Avenue has kept the furniture store in the shadow of one of Sydney’s main commercial strips.
So it comes as no surprise that visibility was key in the decision to move.
Schwartz president Brian Purchase said the company bought the former Canadian Tire store five years ago.
It has been used as a Schwartz warehouse until now. With the relocation of the store, the 62,000-square-foot building will house not only the furniture showroom, but also the warehouse and the company’s offices, Purchase said.
He said the new store would bring an “updated, modern experience” to shopping for a new bed or living room set.
When Irving Schwartz opened the store in 1979, the “big thing” at the time was the warehouse furniture concept, he said.
“We’re working with our national partners, DuFresne furniture, on this project,” Purchase said in an interview, Wednesday.
“They’ve given us some guid- ance and other ideas we’ve come up with on our own to kind of change the shopping experience from what we were able to do on Vulcan Avenue.”
Purchase said he would be able to go into more detail on the “fresh experience” shoppers can expect closer to the opening date.
He said it’s expected to open sometime in the fall, but it remains a moving target depending on the speed of the extensive renovations.
Its existing lease at Vulcan Avenue is due to expire at the end of the year.
The focus for Schwartz at present is a liquidation sale of all merchandise at the Vulcan Avenue store.
Starting Monday, all furniture and appliances, estimated at $2 million worth of goods, must be sold off.
Purchase said the reason is the risk of damaging merchandise in a move to the new store. The bigger reason is many of the current store brands will be discontinued, he said.
There will be more emphasis on Canadian furniture manufacturers like Palliser and Décor-Rest, he said.
“Consumers nowadays seem to be looking for more Canadianmade product than they were a while ago. And there are some of our furniture partners that will be following us over for sure.”
One of the biggest product lines carried by Schwartz is Ashley furniture, a company based in the U.S.
Purchase wasn’t willing to disclose how much renovating the new store will cost the company, other than to say it’s the closest thing to a new build by tearing the walls back to the steel frame.
The expanded store will also include Service Master furniture restoration service, which is 50 per cent owned by Purchase and his business partner.
It’s expected the new store will lead to the creation of five to six new jobs in sales, the warehouse and in the office, Purchase said.
There are about 30 people working at its Vulcan Avenue store now.
A total of 75 people are employed by Schwartz Furniture, at its locations in Sydney, North Sydney, Glace Bay, and Port Hastings.
The transformation of the former Canadian Tire store on Reeves Street in Sydney continued this week. It will be the new home of the Schwartz Furniture store sometime in the fall.
This is the present location of Schwartz Furniture, in Sydney.