Leons Flyer : Founded in 1909 by Ablan Léon, the A. Leon Company began as a general store in the small town of Welland in southern Ontario. Today Meuble Léon is one of the largest retailers in Canada, selling a wide range of merchandise including furniture, appliances and electronics. The company continues to be managed by the Léon family and to maintain the standards of service, integrity and dedication established by Ablan Léon 100 years ago. Léon is proud to employ more than 10,000 associates within its network of corporate and franchise stores across Canada.
Leons Flyer A gain for Canada
In the early 1900s, the young Ablan Léon left his native land to seek his fortune. After a few years of intensive travel through South America and the United States, he settled in the small town of Welland, in southern Ontario. The largest city on the Welland Canal was busy and prosperous, seeing many large boats pass through the canal connecting Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Monsieur Léon began his career by selling haberdashery items (clothes, shoes, etc.) door to door, from a simple suitcase. After saving enough of his hard-earned profits, he bought a building in the working-class area of the city and the A. Léon Company was established in 1909. The merchandise such pants, blankets, shoes, sheets and other fabrics were sold at a fair price to a growing number of customers. From then on, the company quickly established its reputation for honesty, honor and special attention to the reputation of the goods sold.
Leons weekly flyers Support appreciated
With immigration levels rising steadily, many new Canadians were having difficulty obtaining credit. One of the policies that helped the store’s reputation grow was to provide credit to customers who couldn’t get it elsewhere. This allowed Ablan Léon to benefit from the affection of customers who had become loyal.
Once he was on safe ground with his new adventure, Ablan returned to his homeland to find the wife of his life, Lena, whom he brought back to Welland to start a large family of 11 children. It was evident to all who dealt with the family that Christian ideals such as kindness, humility and concern for others were deeply embedded in their daily lives.
As they grew up, the children worked in the store, wiping the furniture, sweeping the floor or washing the windows.
The accidental buyer
For his son’s wedding, Ablan decided to buy a mattress from a local store for the couple. When the mattress was delivered, it was placed against the front wall of the store. Shortly after, someone entered the store asking to buy the mattress. As the mattress would not be used right away, Ablan added a few dollars to its price and sold the mattress. Considering that most of the sales he usually made only brought in a few pennies in profit, he was impressed with how much he could amass on larger items. The rest, they say, is history.
A family matter
When Ablan passed away in 1942, the operations of his growing business became the responsibility of his children. The brothers and sisters worked diligently to continue the legacy left by their father. As sales increased, expansions were added to the store to accommodate a greater selection of merchandise.
Eventually, it became apparent that in order to grow further, the business needed to expand into other centers. Soon stores began to appear across southern Ontario, all bearing Leon’s name.
Leon’s reputation as an Honest and reputable retailer who provided quality merchandise at low prices became more and more ingrained in the minds of customers.
Expansion across Canada
Canada’s largest city provides excellent potential for future expansions. Rather than opening their own stores, the family strategically decided to buy the business from an existing, reputable retailer. They felt it was the best way to break into the ultra competitive market so as to learn the intricacies of retail.
After a few years of apprenticeship, stores opened in Toronto under the Leon name. The family could count themselves lucky to have associates in all the stores which were dedicated to the success of this growing organization and which went through many hardships. Leon stores in Toronto quickly became synonymous with a safe bet on a gigantic selection of well-known brand products.