City Furniture wants to make its new Castlegar location a regional attraction
When looking to expand into the Kootenays, City Furniture president Ray Kandola said Castlegar was the obvious choice.
“We felt Castlegar is more central to all the towns,” he said. “We will draw customers from other small centres.”
Taking up business in small towns throughout B.C. and Alberta has been part of the City Furniture business model all along, starting with their first store in Dawson Creek in 1976.
“We are in Prince Rupert all the way to Merritt,” Kandola said.
Castlegar’s City Furniture is their 22nd store.
The store, which opened two weeks ago, is nearly complete from a construction standpoint.
“Of course with the weather, landscaping has to wait,” Kandola said.
He describes the store’s products as mid to high-range.
“It’s very every-day, really Canadian household, B.C. household,” he said. “It’s meat-and-potatoes in terms of that.”
Kandola said he considers competition as friends, but believes different people will shop at City Furniture than those who would shop at other local furniture stores.
“Plus we carry complete high-end appliances and electronics,” he said. “We have everything for the household as well.”
A family-owned business, Kandola has complete faith in the way each store is run.
“The people that run all of them, pretty well, are partners or owners,” he said. “They have full authority to deal with any situation that may arise they don’t have to call anybody first.”
To open Castlegar’s store, they brought in City Furniture veterans to make sure everything would run smoothly.
“Everybody we bring in the business is basically trained in our system before they go and they know what they’re doing,” he said.
The size of the new building, located near the Highway 3 overpass, is massive at 16,000 sq. ft. on the main floor and an additional 6,000 feet on the mezzanine, but Kandola said some of their other stores are much bigger, such as Kamloops which is close to 50,000 feet.
“We’re looking at the future,” he said. “We are there for the long haul. We want to make sure in five years and in 10 years from today we don’t say, ‘oh my gosh, I wish we had a bigger store.’”
Kandola said he’s impressed with Kootenay residents so far and how happy they’ve been to see the products.
“I have opened many stores over the years … I would say Castlegar is pretty well number one in terms of quality of the people that I saw come into the door [on opening day.]”