COLDBROOK, N.S. – Leon’s has closed in Coldbrook, and customers are saying they’ve been left with no information other than a phone number to call for information regarding their active orders.
David and Joanne DeMille of Yarmouth drove up Jan. 4 after purchasing a headboard for their bed yesterday over the phone on Jan. 3.
The Yarmouth location doesn’t stock the item, so they were instructed to drive to Coldbrook. When they arrived around 11:30 a.m., they saw a sign on the door that read, “Attention: Leon’s Furniture has closed this location. To enquire on any outstanding orders please contact: Leon’s Furniture Dartmouth.”
“We called, we heard the recording, then we pressed zero and no one answered,” said Joanne.
Kings County News called the Dartmouth location’s phone number at noon, and remained on the line for one minute before the call disconnected without an answer.
David DeMille said he suspected something when they called the store this morning and received no answer, but they drove up anyway this morning – a drive that took them 2.5 hours. He says they “are not going anywhere” until they get more information on their purchase.
“We’re not happy having driven this distance (to) get this kind of news – they don’t tell you anything, other than this phone number,” he said.
“I hope after coming this far we’ll be able to get what we came for.”
Several cars entered and left the parking lot around noon after news of the store’s closure began spreading around social media. The Bridgewater location also has a sign posted saying it has closed.
Digby resident David Farstad also traveled to Coldbrook this morning after he was instructed to drive to the store to receive a refund.
“When I found out, I just thought, ‘well, that’s $250 that’s gone.’ But that isn’t anything new nowadays, with stores closing,” he said.
“I just want to get my money back.”
Peter Moorhouse is the chief executive officer at Better Business Bureau Serving the Atlantic Provinces and said it’s not uncommon for companies “to do business right up until the very moment they close their doors … without a whole lot of warning – especially around the holidays, when the main reason is to grab as much revenue… as they can, and possibly stay open.”
BBB Serving the Atlantic Provinces spokesperson Kristin Matthews confirmed the organization received six complaints about the Coldbrook store in the last three years, including three from within the past 12 months, and that the two registered customer reviews both gave the store one out of five stars.
Moorhouse said he “hopes and trusts” that Leon’s will honour its orders, returns and warranties to customers due to the chain’s “longevity,” and said he expects information will soon become clearer for affected customers.
“I don’t think the people caught up in this situation will have to wait long,” he said.
“I would hope and trust that the business will do right by the customers they have sold to.”
Leon's first opened in Coldbrook in 2011. The store has not responded to Kings County News’ requests for comment.
The Leon's in Yarmouth posted this message to customers on its Facebook page on Jan. 4: 'We would like to take this opportunity to inform everyone that our locally owned and operated Leon's in Yarmouth is open for business and will remain open for many years to come, as will the Leon's corporation as a whole. We apologize for any inconvenience the customers of the Coldbrook and Bridgewater location's have encountered. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have.'
Leon’s spokesperson Nelson Samson said he is unable to speak to the reasons behind the closures due to the fact that the stores in Coldbrook and Bridgewater are independently owned and operated.
“I can confirm we will be servicing all Leon’s customers out of our Dartmouth Super Store,” said Samson via email Jan. 4.
“We can assure you that customers will receive the highest standard of service that has made us Canada’s choice for home furnishings over the last 110 years.”
Samson said the corporate store in Dartmouth will be contacting customers, but those wishing to speak with someone sooner can call 1-800-565-5201 or 902-468-5201.