With initial discounts of between 20 and 50 percent off on pieces worth millions of dollars in total, the sale is the largest in that long history, Bannon noted.
Founded by Leon Offman in 1936, The Art Shoppe was for decades located on Yonge Street near Eglinton Avenue, where its sumptuous showrooms literally served as a tourist attraction and destination for out-of-town collectors, designers and celebrities. When visitors stroll through the light-filled entryway of the current showroom in the Castlefield Design District, they encounter historic photographs and renderings from this era, Bannon noted. Offman's son, Martin, took over the business in 1973. The current ownership team is comprised of Martin's three daughters.
Our family has always focused on providing white-glove service and curated collections in every style, from modern, traditional and mid-century, to Art Deco, said Carolyn Offman, one of Martin's daughters. We're now re-evaluating how ecommerce, demographic shifts and real estate trends should shape our future strategy.
The unusual discounts now available in The Art Shoppe's showroom, located at 71 Kincort Street, put fine furniture within reach for a wider array of buyers, Bannon noted. The Art Shoppe is the kind of place where you could certainly find an $18,000 heirloom antique console from Italy, he said, but you could just as well encounter a high-quality, moderately priced console for $1,200.
On the luxury end, interior designers and collectors will continue to find high-end pieces, now discounted for the store-closing sale. That could be anything from an EJ Victor dining room set formerly priced at $40,000, to a modern, collector-quality sectional that once sold for $20,000, Bannon said.
While the Art Shoppe is selling off all floor samples and in-stock merchandise at extraordinary discounts, in keeping with its history of interior design and custom orders, for a brief period, the company will also offer its valued customers one last chance to avail themselves of those services, Bannon added.
During that timeframe, The Art Shoppe's design teams—veterans hailing from its interior and project-design department as well as its upholstery, cabinet and finishing shops—will continue to work with existing and new clients on custom orders. Deliveries continue to be available as well.
The Art Shoppe's eclectic collections of living room, dining room, home office, children's and bedroom furniture range from traditional classics, to informal casual, to Italian modern design. The showroom also carries an extensive array of accents, throw pillows, fine art, rugs and lighting, all of which are available at the aforementioned discounts.
The family has brought style and elegance to Toronto's visual landscape for more than 80 years, Bannon noted. Everything has its season. Like so many disrupted sectors, the luxury furniture business is entering a new phase in which smaller-format, Internet-based showrooms are on the rise. The Art Shoppe is a powerful brand with the potential for another chapter. Stay tuned.
Sale hours are Mon.-Sat., 930 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.