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October 20th, 2010

Hats Off to Buyers

After having visited about 15 showrooms over two days, my group and I split up so I could walk the floors of the IHFC building on my own to take it all in and get a different perspective. I just wanted to people watch and window shop. As I wandered around this place (I’m always amazed at the sheer size of it all and this is only ONE building) I got a little dizzy. There’s just so much to see, so much to discover. It’s a maze of three and a half million (yes, million) square feet of furniture and home furnishings accessories in one building. It’s like being in an endless mall. It’s overwhelming, really. If you don’t know where you’re going or which company you’re going to visit, I’m not really sure how you can get anything done. It’s very challenging and tiring.


Standing waiting for the elevator (I was lost, again) I was looking around at all these professional buyers and designers with their rolling luggage, bags, agendas, smart phones, maps, guides and lists- all hunting for their next IT product for their store. Everyone is on a mission here. And there I was being a complete tourist. Standing there looking around, it hit me. I really don’t think people who aren’t in the industry realize what actually goes into getting a sofa, dining room table or lamp into a store. It doesn’t just happen. So much time, effort, traveling, meetings, dealings, searching and negotiations go into getting that single cream sectional sofa onto a store floor. To be very honest, I myself had never fully took the time before to think about that. But today, I did.


Hats off to all those hard working buyers (modern-day hunters) who search high and low to bring you and I beautiful products for our homes. And, hats off to the thousands of manufacturers and suppliers who give them great products to choose from. The next time you see a piece of furniture in a store, ask yourself where its journey began!

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Janette  Ewen

Janette Ewen has been one of Canada’s leading décor and lifestyle experts for more than a decade, passing on her passion for design and fashion to avid fans through magazines, newspapers and television.

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