Consumers Distributing

rewindAs a kid, there was nothing better than a trip to Consumers Distributing. Consumers Distributing was a chain of stores where you would order via catalogue. The catalogue would arrive at our home and I would go through it, circling the items I wanted. Then, when my birthday came, we'd go to the nearest location and pick up the item.

If my memory serves me correctly, that location was on Dundas Street between Jane and Runnymede. You'd complete a little form indicating the items you wanted and you'd hand it in at the counter. Then, you'd wait a few minutes for your item to roll out on a conveyor belt like the ones you find at The Beer Store.

I remember getting a Citizen brand mini-stereo from Consumers Distributing in the mid-80s. It had a dual cassette deck, AM-FM radio and a record player on top. That's right, I used to buy vinyl records. I'm that old.

It's too bad Consumers Distributing bit the dust some years back. Does anyone else remember catalogue shopping with Consumers?


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Comments (84 - click here to join in!)

James Edgar

I remeber going there too. In the 70's. I loved that whole experiance. We bought a BBQ there once and my Mom asked and paid for a $125 one and they gave her a $275 one. That might be why they went out of Business.

August 26, 2008 @ 5:40 PM

Carol

Absolutely!! I always thought it was the cat's meow and I, too, loved the catalogue. I guess with WalMart the writing was on the wall. As for catalogues these days, Staples is now the most fun. Everyone else is going online. I feel old.

August 26, 2008 @ 5:58 PM

Stephanie Wilkinson

I LOVED Conumers. I remember I bought a watch there for 19.99. It was a digital one - a beautiful Remex. I know I still have it somewhere but it was worth the 10 weeks of saving allowance for.

There was another store, I think, called Shoprite. Same idea but not nearly as good as Consumers.

August 26, 2008 @ 7:17 PM

felix

Yes sir, I sure do remember heading over to the local CD with my dad and filling out the magic form with the little golf pencil. Ah, the memories.

August 26, 2008 @ 8:13 PM

Alison

I loved looking at the diamonds, engagement and wedding rings as a kid...Strikes me a bit odd now to pick out your wedding rings where you tick off a box and they roll out like a 24....

August 26, 2008 @ 9:09 PM

Toronto Mike

I just checked out the Consumers Distributing Wikipedia page. Btw, this entry is now #5 when you Google Consumers Distributing.

The first Consumers Distributing store was opened in 1957 by Jack Stupp in Toronto. The company was taken public in 1969, but later sold to Provigo, a Quebec-based grocery retailer.

Hudson's Bay Company, which operates Canadian department stores under the Bay and Zellers names, opened the "Shop-Rite" catalogue chain in competition. It was closed in 1982. US competition was mainly from the shuttered chains Best Products (also known simply as Best) and Service Merchandise, both which operated chains of catalog showroom retail stores in the United States.

Consumers sought bankruptcy protection in 1996 after an aggressive expansion strategy failed to make the company sustainable. Sales had dropped from $1.8 billion in 1988 to $580 million in 1995. Consumers Distributing was plagued by products being frequently out of stock, and by new warehouse format stores that allowed customers to retrieve products themselves.

Consumers Distributing was plagued more by the perception of things "always being out of stock" due to the catalogue shopping nature of the store. In a store like Wal-Mart, customers seeking a particular product go to the store to shop. With the catalogue concept, the customer selects the item either at home while looking through the company's catalogue, or by a group of catalogues in the front of every store. Once the customer picks out the merchandise that he or she wants, the customer then goes to the counter where the clerk then goes to retrieve it off the warehouse shelves. It was not uncommon for a customer to wait on line only to be told by a clerk that the merchandise was not in stock. Consumers did not have a computerized inventory until the late 1980s, which meant that the company was not able to track what merchandise was in the stores or what merchandise was wanted by customers.

When a product is out of stock, or unavailable from the manufacturer, this creates an "out of stock" problem for a catalogue store, which it does not create for a store who displays their in-stock items. When a customer goes to Wal-mart, they see that they have ten different products in stock. At Consumers, the customer chose one item, which may not have been in stock. They did not see that there were 15 other similar items that are in stock.

Consumers initiated several initiatives to dispel this "out of stock" perception including "super stores" that had all of the available, in-stock products on display; and free home delivery or store to store transfer for items that were not in stock. They also implemented a state-of-the-art inventory system that could check the availability of other stores in real time, and also would suggest alternate products at the store which were in stock. Consumers was one of the first to initiate this "real time" stock check and prepayment of products available at other branches and the main warehouse. Unfortunately, these initiatives, including the superstore expansion, costly free delivery, and costly new inventory management software overextended the company. This, and increasing competition from American retailers such as Wal-Mart and Sears led to the company's bankruptcy in 1996.

Shirley Jones once represented Consumers Distributing in television commercials based on the theme "Consumers, we wrote the book, on-savings!"

August 26, 2008 @ 10:40 PM

Andrew

I wish I had posted this earlier.
I had a Consumer's not far from where I lived. Like Mike, I would get the catalog and circle what I wanted and with either Birthday money or something else, I would make the trip. Almost everytime the item I wanted was "OUT OF STOCK". Mostly I wanted G.I. Joe figures or jeeps but they never had them in. I remember filing out about 6 tickets before I just gave up.
I loved and hated the place all at once. Eventually I just stopped going.

August 27, 2008 @ 7:55 AM

Rob

Yeahhh...Consumers...If I am not mistaken there was also a Shop-rite it was the same idea as Consumers Distributing. They too had a catalouge....Anyone else remember???

August 27, 2008 @ 12:19 PM

Rob

Dont forget Shop-Rite too!

August 27, 2008 @ 12:21 PM

Ajax Mike

I learned to phone ahead with the catalog items to have them check if it was in stock first. I remember getting the original Shockwave Transformers figure there.

August 27, 2008 @ 12:36 PM

CurlyQ

Remember it? I worked at the one at Six Points for my last year of high school. Interestingly enough, here in the UK there is a chain called Argos (really! argos.co.uk) that's exactly the same. And they're still going strong - actually half the stuff in my apartment is from there. I just took a look at the catalogue which is sitting beside my sofa like a freaking coffee table and it's eighteen.hundred.pages.

August 27, 2008 @ 4:04 PM

Annemarie

Yes, I remember it. I used to go to the one @ Lawrence & Dufferin. Then it was a BiWay, now it's a Blinds To Go.

August 27, 2008 @ 10:14 PM

Lori

I used to LOVE filling out the little forms at the stations in the store here in St. Catharines! Oh the memories! There was a similar place in Niagara Falls NY that stayed open a bit longer--I am now trying to remember its name--Brand Names mabye it might have been called?

August 28, 2008 @ 1:23 AM

swordplay

how can u forget the little blue pencils....great memories

October 22, 2008 @ 6:58 PM

Karen

I was actually able to get my hands on 3 catalogues, one from the 70's, 80's and 90's. I'm proud of my finds. ;)

December 30, 2008 @ 10:52 PM

Karen

I was able to get my hands on 3 catalogues, one from the 70's, one from the 80's and one from the 90's.

December 30, 2008 @ 10:54 PM

Linus

From the time I was a kid, the place always had a bit of magic: Dream a little ... fill out a blue-inked, white piece of paper ... and ... ummm ... sometimes you might get exactly what you asked for.

During my college years (where my areas of study were economics, business administration, marketing), in the late 1970's and early 1980's, I worked part time at store #47, in Cambridge, Ontario.

I loved the place. Part of what inspired me to get a job there was to improve upon the things I enjoyed about CD. While not quite the band of inspirational free-thinkers who had invented milk and honey, I was surprised at the relatively large ego of the bureaucracy on high ... where customer satisfaction and loyalty seemed to matter not.

At store level, I never viewed a customer leaving dissatisfied or empty-handed as a good thing. Without being asked or told, I would often quietly work the system to find out what could be done to improve/expedite things to everyone's betterment.

No sour grapes here, but even as a wet-nosed college kid, I was surprised at how little attention was given by upper management to ideas put forth by forward-thinking customers, workers or store managers.

Walmart or not, I think that Consumer's Distributing could have gone on to become a modern superstar among current retailers. A bit of intuitiveness, imagination, the ability to listen and smaller egos could have gone a long way for them. It's too bad that they are gone.

January 2, 2009 @ 4:50 PM

Linus

In addition to ShopRite (which was not ever a great shopping experience), there was also a string of CARDINAL catalogue stores.

The John Galt Centre, in Cambridge, Ontario (now the Cambridge Centre Mall) had a Cardinal store (a very poor buying experience, as I recall). When they went out of business, some of their inventory found its way into Consumer's Distributing ... I was there helping to pack it up.

January 2, 2009 @ 5:16 PM

Liz

To Karen or anyone else who may have old catalogues from the 1980's:

I have been looking for a 1984/85 Consumers catalogue for ages. For sentimental reasons, I would like a scan from one of the jewelry pages. I would be willing to buy the whole catalogue, but a scan of a long lost gift would be just as nice! Please post if anyone has this catalogue and would be willing to send me an image of this page, or is willing to sell their copy. Thank you!!!

January 12, 2009 @ 3:29 PM

Kevin

I worked at CD for about a year transporting goods to the stores. I will be honest, the guy and girl running the transportation dept. T**** J**** and ? where real crooks. They had drivers that would steal jewelry for them as the trucks where being unloaded.

January 12, 2009 @ 6:44 PM

leann

I am looking to buy a service merchandise catalogue(the one with a butterfly ring on it) my mom had that ring and when she died it was left to me and it got stolen. I want to have a ring made just like it. If you know where I can get one please let me know. Thank You!!!

March 11, 2009 @ 2:28 AM

Kristie

I also am looking for a jewelery image out of a 1981 or 1982 catalogue. My parents gave me a ring for my 16th birtday with a beautiful poem about my birth attached to it. The ring disappeared some years ago and I would like to find a picture of it. My mother is very ill with dimentia and I would like to bring this memory back to her if possible while I still can. Any information would be greatly appreciated as to where I could get this image.

March 28, 2009 @ 10:46 AM

Dianne Field Holmes

I worked at the CD Distribution center on Northwest Drive from 1978 to 1983. I'm looking for others. I saw Mary Edwards holding a stop sign on Dixie Rd where there was road work being done. I waived and she frantically waived back, we were happy to see each other. When I got home, Edward and Terry from my building, told me she had died in a car accident a week previous, on April 19th. She was only 29 and had 2 precious little girls. RIP Also, I bought a bar from there in 1979 and still have it.

April 25, 2009 @ 12:22 PM

Franz

My girlfriend and I bought our weddingrings and 2 engagementrings in 1980,the weddingbands have a small diamond and the engagementring for her had a diamond,that stuck out quite high and my engagemnetring was a nice red Ruby and we still enjoy them as a married couple since 1980.All 4 items for 400 Dollars,they had them there in the store and we just bought them right there,no ordering.All the rings are 10 carat Gold.That was in Hamilton,Ontario

May 4, 2009 @ 5:22 PM

Sky Rider

Working at CD, I always felt SO guilty for saying that I couldn't hand over what the customer wanted, especially at Christmas. It was a TERRIBLE place to work at, and I'm glad I jumped ship when I did.

May 6, 2009 @ 7:29 PM

Curtis

We as kids would frantically search the catalogues and we would make our Christmas lists from those. We would be given a dollar-limit,and would write the product#,the page and price, and IF THEY DIDN"T HAVE THAT, we would begrudgingly write alternatives. I used to love waiting with my dad for his name to be called to pick up the stuff. I actually think I had the same Citizen stereo,also from CD. DId it come with 2 dark-grey book-shelf speakers with a black mesh screen (that didn't come off the speaker)?

June 13, 2009 @ 11:43 PM

Chris

Yeah, I remember getting one of the first digital watches with the red l.e.d display at the one on Merivale Rd. in Ottawa.....

June 28, 2009 @ 6:08 PM

Newsradio6

I remember going to the store near Duffern and Lawrence in North York as a kid. My best friend and I both bought our first CB Radios there. Coleco CB40's which were little more than toys but still fun. About a year later we went back with more money and bought "real" cb radios. I remember filling out the forms...$169 for the radio. The first one we wanted was out of stock (of course!) but the upgraded us to the next one (a 189$ unit) for the same price as it was in stock!

August 20, 2009 @ 4:01 PM

Romancing the Vinyl

This has been really interesting but how do I bookmark this? I tried Digg but do I have to sign up first?

January 20, 2010 @ 7:43 AM

Carlos

Hi i was just going through some stuff i had, and i found my old comsumers credit card.
maby it's still active, Ha, Ha, Yes i do remember shoping there, every Christmas we would go through the line up and then to find they were out of stock, then had to rush to another branch to try again.
Oh Tea and i also found a catalogue stil rapped in plastic.

March 2, 2010 @ 11:03 AM

Steve

When I was growing up in Sarnia, we had a Consumers' Distributing outlet located in a plaza just off London Road. Today, the old CD location is occupied by a fish 'n chip joint. Or, at least that's what I think I saw there the last time I visited my old hometown.

I remember how I used to love looking through the CD catalogue, particularly at Christmas time. In some ways the CD catalogue seemed put the Sears one to shame.

And yes, I remember a couple of instances where my parents ordered something for me at CD, and it was out of stock. So I had to choose an alternative, or do without!

But I do remember having a little portable 8-track player that I got from CD. Finished in bright orange plastic, it was made by JIL (Japan Industries Limited), who also made the very well known Candle line of stereo products (which were also sold in CD stores).

We also had a Shoprite store in town, but it didn't last long. If memory serves, it opened up sometime in late 1977 and was gone barely two years later. Like CD, it seemed to have a problem with products not being in stock.

July 17, 2010 @ 11:35 AM

Albertha Lewis

I bough a ring from Consumers Distributing in St. John's Newfoundland some years ago. The catalog # was 118-224 Floral Bouquet.Does anyone know where I can reorder the same ring? My sister would love to have one.

December 4, 2010 @ 1:16 PM

Sharon

I need to find a consumer's catalogue from the late 70's. I am looking for a picture of a ring that i bought my mom there. she passed away and the ring was stolen by the lady that was looking after mom's cat. i am desperately seeking this pick so i can have one remade
thanks

January 17, 2011 @ 3:31 PM

jewles

does anybody know where i can order a butter warmer set 4 pc, from consumers distributing

January 26, 2011 @ 1:00 PM

deejay

Worst store ever I cant believe people actually liked this horrible concept. You would look through the catalogue only to get excited about something you couldnt get. Its like being told you were going to get something for Christmas then the tree being filled with empty boxes.

March 14, 2011 @ 1:53 AM

Jeremy

I have fond memories of shopping at the CD in Sarnia as a kid. I guess I was too young to think the whole out of stock / alternate thing was weird. I just filled out which GI-JOE or transformer I wanted, filled in the alternate, and rolled the dice. It was just the normal way to shop.

April 17, 2011 @ 6:32 AM

GENE

If not for Consumers Distributing in Winnipeg, my folks would never have gotten anniversary or birthday presents from my brother and I. A clock radio every time...or fuzzy slippers. Hopped the bus to the mall nearby in Transcona, filled out the form, out rolled the cardboard box...a tradition every year.

April 25, 2011 @ 12:57 PM

James

I worked at Consumers Distributing in Walnut Creek California from 1979 - 1986 I started as a RPT (regular part time) stocking the warehouse. I moved up to warehouse manager and Assistant store manager. When I started in 1979 I had hair, by 1986 I was doing a comb over. We always had high turn over, loss prevention came thru a number times to fire the thieves and even once prosicuted an employee for grand theft... One short term manager Ron Wong caught an employee stuffing pocket calculators under the fire door while his friend on the other side kept saying push more thru.... When we lost our lease in 1986 we became the first store in northern california to shut down as aresult of the west coast shut down we were moving stock to other stores in our area and even our old time manager Julie Henry from way back when I first was hired she came down from sparks to help out and was going to rent a truck so we could take the laders to Clayton & Pleasant Hill but shortly after we arrived that day the phone rang we got word that the wall street journal had just published a report that Consumers Distributing announced plans to end west coast operations. that was it we were done the next 6-months I was transferred from store to store to aid in shutting them down I finnally was granted my severance (they had planed to have me and other managers to ride it out for a year or more possibly ending up on the east cost. that wasn't what I wanted at all... it's been a very long time now since I have run in to anyone from the Consumers days I did run into Kim (forgot last name sorry) she was working at Target in Napa. Myself I work for Coca Cola now as a repair tech for fountain. Consumers, they wrote the book, on clo-sing..... Retail sucks - James

April 30, 2011 @ 10:59 PM

RAMEY

I loved this store, I would always go there and get the little bottles of parfume for my mom, she had a collection of them, they were so cute.

June 17, 2011 @ 9:27 AM

Anonymous

I worked at consumers on northwest drive from 1979 to1992 my name is gerard

June 24, 2011 @ 11:37 AM

Skipvel

6700 Northwest Drive. Gerard Mulholland; that's a name I haven't heard in a while. It's pronounced GEE-rard; that's the way Lucia said it!!
Worked with G-rard for quite a while in receiving; also served time in Order Assembly including the 'racetrack' sorter they put in across from shipping.
G-rard is from Ireland (like Sean Floyd) and was a stand up guy with a good sense of humour. A fine broth of a lad as Don Cherry would say; but I guess you're not a young lad anymore; you're middle aged. Where did the time go? You know you're middle aged when you double your current age and realize you probably won't make it.
I also worked with earlier poster Dianne Field; she was quite a BABE.

December 6, 2011 @ 9:52 PM

randy donovan

i worked at consumers distributing store 263 in moncton new-brunswick from 1987 till it closed in 1996 great times,great memories and great friends.miss this store.

January 5, 2012 @ 3:10 PM

rob bandiera

I remember Dianne, Mary, Gerard mentioned above. I worked @ the DC from 80-92, and Im still friends with Lucia & Dino.

June 14, 2012 @ 8:05 PM

Marc King

theres a new blog up for anyone ripped off by consumers distributing


http://consumers-distributing.blogspot.ca/

March 8, 2013 @ 9:30 PM

Seasickseagull

I used to be the sales manager of a supplier to Consumer's Distributing. This was back when their warehouse was on Belfast Road in Etobicoke. My office was right around the corner, and back in those days we were always taking the buyers from most of the large stores out for lunch...we did a lot of biz with CD...but their return rate was huge...the attitude at store level was sure we'll give you a refund....they supplier takes it back no matter what.. NO WONDER THEY ARE NO LONGER AROUND!

April 16, 2013 @ 1:32 AM

fast guy

Wrked at warehouse dated gorgeous girl belfield rd named sheri birrell wish I knew were she was I missed out loved consumers loved the peoole

December 21, 2013 @ 11:14 AM

kekszemu

Yes, I definitely remember the CD at the Lincoln Street mall in Welland. If memory serves there was also one at the Fitch Street plaza. Always looked forward to filling out the form...only to find they were out of stock. :)

February 9, 2014 @ 1:04 PM

Anonymous

I WORKED ON Belfield Rd. head office for ten years. It was a big slice of my working days. The office during the Jack Stupp days was a good place to work. The feeling that drifted down from the top was -- do your job and be loyal and you could move up the ladder and make a good living. Seemed to be a family atmosphere with many father and sons and mothers and dauthers etc. working side by side. Mr. Stupp provided a golf day -- a great Christmas party and a ski trip that was appreciated. Lots of good times remembered.

March 17, 2014 @ 5:52 PM

TW

I worked at the CD store in Guelph. Started in the warehouse while in high school and then became the assistant manager. It was always amazing to me how much merchandise we went through at Christmas time. Two tractor trailers per week, literally stacked from top to bottom - back to front. I did the cash reports each night and during the holidays it was not unusual to have 30-40k in cash at the end of the day, always picked up by a security company during the Christmas rush. Believe it or not we had people lined up outside the doors at Christmas waiting to get in and yes many were disappointed because we were frequently out of stock. Never quite understood how jack Stapp said we were losing money. We did take one credit card - Chargex - does anyone remember that? It true we took anything back and it was promptly put into one of those large green buggies that were wheeled onto the trailer. I loved working there for some demented reason, except when a truck arrived and we had to put stock away. And yes one of the big sellers was the personal vibrator - I think the number Cat# was 2100 at the time.

March 21, 2014 @ 4:21 PM

Anonymous

Cosumers great place to wrk especially at distrubution plant in malton lots off hot guys loved wrking their good memorys

May 23, 2014 @ 2:05 PM

chris

i used to shop there all the time. i came across this website that has a couple of consumer catalogs for viewing online or downloading.

http://www.cdarchive.ca/

they are looking for more catalogs to be donated to their site for archiving.

C.

March 2, 2015 @ 1:50 PM

Cassie nee Karen

I used to work at Consumer's Distributing Store latter part of 1975 in North Bay, ON; Gwen was Manager. Worked & became Friends with Holly & Carole there. Wonder if they're still around that area. Would be nice to reconnect.

July 12, 2015 @ 5:48 AM

Anonymous

I had a gold pendant from Consumers that was engraved with either the serenity prayer or the Lord's Prayer, can't recall which. Lost it years ago, and every once in a while I do a search on eBay, Google etc to see if anyone might be selling one. Nothing to date, but would be interested in buying if anyone has one and is interested in selling. deb@clarington.com. Thx!

December 20, 2015 @ 6:07 PM

Josh

My parents gifted me my first classical guitar on my 9th birthday from Consumers Distributing. It was a low end budget guitar, but I sure played the heck out of it and it was surprisingly durable. Consumers Distributing were indeed unique stores.

February 12, 2016 @ 11:12 PM

JOHN WARNER

Just to let anyone know that I John Warner worked at 6700 Northwest Drive as Personnel Supervisor from 1974 to 1983. I missed the place after i left. I am retired now. I am on facebook as John W Warner.. Dianne, Gerard,Rob are remembered Where is everyone else?

April 25, 2016 @ 4:21 PM

Anonymous

I am from Windsor, ON and seem to be the only one that has a recollection of a similar store to Consumers Distributing, not Shop-Rite, I want to say it started with an "F"? Am I dreaming or can someone put some validation to this?

June 6, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

Tye

I remember the people at union plant in malt on 6700 north west some really nice people ed faultless, Richard gimza and gerard mulholland, always liked him funny and hot alot off girls in office liked him too were are you now years have went bye

August 12, 2016 @ 4:52 PM

Merv

Some very funny guys at North West back in the day.Stevie,Earl and Basil and of course who can forget Limpy Jimmy.wonder where they are all now

August 12, 2016 @ 6:08 PM

joyce barnes

Was there a consumers Distributing store at stone road mall in guelph and when

September 17, 2016 @ 9:40 PM

Dan

It was 1981. I visited Toronto , my first trip abroad. Found my way to consumers . Must have been the one on Lawrence. Bought a clock radio ....brand name Strauss. Paid 25$. Am / fm with red digital display. And here is the good part......October 2016.... this radio is still at my bedside table , keeping accurate time and giving good fm reception. Never once did I service it.....radio has seen me through grad school, marriage , two grown children and now early retirement. How I remember consumers with fondness. How they made products then.

October 30, 2016 @ 6:07 PM

Dan

After thirty five years , I just checked the underside of the radio. Wanted to see the name of the maker. I Thought it was a long established brand made in Switzerland. Alas my Strauss clock radio only said "Made in Hong Kong. " No company name or nothing. Just goes to show consumers must have sourced some really good suppliers to provide value to its customers.

October 30, 2016 @ 6:16 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Dan

Does it look something like this?

October 30, 2016 @ 6:25 PM

Patrick

Saw the tweet and figured I'll add my own memory. It was around when I was younger and going to the one in the old Parkway mall near Vic Park and Ellesmere. Of course, just as Mike did, my mom would also give me the catalog to circle things I wanted for both birthdays and Christmas, the Christmas catalog for consumers would always be better than the sears one my grandparents wanted me to look through.

One thing though and I don't know if anyone else ran into this: at times you would have to cross your fingers in hopes they would send out the right thing. I recall being a youngin and running into that with Gijoe and Transformers toys were it was hit or miss you getting the one you filled out on the slip. Maybe it was just that location or those items but good times and they are indeed a missed chain.

October 30, 2016 @ 6:34 PM

Dan

Toronto Mike, the clock radio in your picture is almost identical to the one I have. Same color and size. Except the controls are in the front just under the Strauss sign. I am amazed that you actually found a photo of the model. Where did you source it ? Maybe there are a lot more Strauss radios on bedside tables still fully functioning. Consumers also sold a clock radio model with the brand name JIL. I bought one while at grad school , leaving the Strauss at home . Gave it away when I returned home after studies to my beloved Strauss.

November 2, 2016 @ 5:53 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Dan

I did some deep Googling for that one. :)

I'm naturally curious about such things. I also owned a clock radio from Consumers, but mine was either a Citizen or Candle. Those were the two cheap Consumers brands I remember owning in the 80s.

November 2, 2016 @ 5:56 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Who remembers JIL (Jutan International) that made/distributed clock radios with the number leafs that flipped over?

November 2, 2016 @ 6:11 PM

Anonymous

Great work investigation work Mike. I remember the candle brand also. I think it was made by the same JIL company referred to. I recall JIL standing for Jutan Industries Limited out of either Indonesia or Malaysia. Don't know what became of this company, This was long before China started to produce these items . Cheap Electronics came largely from Hong Kong , Taiwan and Indonesia with other southeast Asian countries in this market . The more expensive brands coming of course from Japan. Recall the famous Sony Walkman which was such a status Symbol in the early eighties. Alas I did not own one. Can't recall any Japanese brands at consumers , no doubt because it catered to the most budget conscious consumer at the time who still wanted his products to work.

November 2, 2016 @ 6:22 PM

Dan

Oops the previous post by anonymous was mine.

November 2, 2016 @ 6:25 PM

Dan

Hey Rick C , check my post re JIL. So good that you remember it. As stated I don't know what became of the company. They did indeed make the flips but then I purchased the one with the LED display in 1982 at a consumers in Montreal. It worked very well during the time I had it.

November 2, 2016 @ 6:30 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@ Dan: I think JIL had an office on Gordon Baker Road, could see it from the north bound 404. In the middle of the night you could hear the clock flipping, almost as bad as listening to a regular clock.

November 2, 2016 @ 6:39 PM

Dan

Rick, I know exactly what you mean. The first clock radio my parents owned was a brand called lloyds. It flipped rather than ticked. Led was therefore the cutting edge technology in the late 70 's early eighties. LED watches were also the craze at the time. The surprising thing is that the LED of 1981 on my Strauss is really no different from products made today.

November 2, 2016 @ 6:54 PM

dale (Bolton)

Bought a Lloyds AM/FM radio with cassette in mid 70's from Consumers.
To this day I still use this as my entertainment listening to radio at work.

November 2, 2016 @ 7:31 PM

James Edgar

in 1969 my sister and I bought a new record player Lloyds of course LOL , we had alot of there stuff in the house.

I say my sister and I but of course my sister who's 14 years older than I bought it. We got it because somebody wanted to know how record players work and was unable to put it back together well enough to play records after.

When i was 13 I got a lloyds Stereo for Christmas , No radio just a glorified record player with two speakers but it did do the job and was loud enough to piss my parents off at least.

All from consumers I think. We went there quite often. The one on dixie road at Dundas.

November 3, 2016 @ 12:37 PM

Dan

Toronto Mike, I just checked eBay and saw my exact model Strauss JCR 365 listed for sale. The vendor also states that his device is in good working order. Since the seller is from valley field near Montreal , there is a good chance that this one was also purchased from consumers at around the same time. Am happy that there is another survivor out there.

November 9, 2016 @ 8:55 PM

Betty Wight

Where can I find copies of the Consumer's Distributing catalogue that I can actually look at? I am looking for a close up picture of a ring called 'river of diamonds'. I can't remember what year it was just that it was in the engagement section. Thank you for any help you can give me.

March 13, 2017 @ 2:13 AM

M.V

I use to work at the service centre.. First on Rutherford rd Brampton ont. then finch rd.. Belfield rd attached to head office and finally landed in Milton.. I was there from 1980 to 1996. It was a great place.. Became like a family.. People's name's that I remember are Paul Santino Rose Jean Tony Gerald Karen Shelley Alex Barb Rulie Franca Sue Kerry Ashley Isabel Dave. So many more that I can't remember. O yes.. Brian one of the best managers I had the privilege to work for. Shout out to all. Great memories!!

June 9, 2017 @ 11:23 PM

Mary

I worked at all three Windsor stores from 1980-89. I started as a part timer, jewellery clerk, ass't manager, manager.
I left when I got a job teaching. It had started as a part time job to tide me over after graduating from university ........lol
I met some great people and forged friendships which are still msintained. A group of Windsor CD employees still have a yearly reunion.

I agree with one of the previous comments posted about the middle management and their lack of foresight. Although I do not believe they were responsible for the company's decline.....they were also not responsible for the success.
That was all upper management and head office....promotional advertising, computerized stock replenishment, employee incentives, non union vigilance, etc.
Things started going south when they opened superstores and the smaller catalogue stores took a hit to free up advertising dollars, less catalogue distrubution, quick stock replenishment, remodelling, etc. ....all to invest in the mega stores, Toy City......
They were not profitable as were expected and the smaller catalogue outlets could not make up the slack.....thus the beginning of the end.
All in all it was a great place to work......especially when Jack Stupp still owned the company. He instilled an extended family atmosphere that faded when the company went public on the TSE.
It was nine and half years of my life that created some still close friendships, invaluable work experience and some great customer stories I retell to this day.


June 10, 2017 @ 6:54 PM

Dan

November 2017, my Strauss clock radio is still working. Played some neat Christmas songs on FM this morning. Anyone remember a consumers close to Pape ? This is where I vaguely recall purchasing the radio. I also recall a towers department store close by. Got an 8 track of Strauss "the blue Danube " for cheap at towers. Listening to Strauss now ....not the 8 track .....it disappeared years ago , but on blue tooth and remembering with fondness 1981 , my first year as a young adult in a big city.

November 23, 2017 @ 4:55 PM

Tom

Consumes carried a Made In Canada stereo system back in the early 80s maybe even the late 70s that as a kid i always wanted... of course mom and dad never bought me it..
Does anyone rememebr the brand? It wasnt Citizen or any of the other common brands from that era...
Thx

May 20, 2018 @ 12:06 AM

Linus (Linas Laugalys)

For Tom ...
Citizen was one brand of stereo system that Consumer's Distributing carried. Some of the other brand names of stereo components and/or complete systems in the late 1970's included Candle, Concerto, ERC, Holiday, Juliette, and Superscope (from the makers of Marantz). There were also BSR turntables, Strauss tape players and RMP loudspeakers.

June 15, 2018 @ 8:21 AM

Gus

Hi
Seen an earlier post from M.V who stated she/He worked at the Service Center in Brampton/Northwest Drive and Belfeild. I managed all 3 of those locations at some point but i could not connect the initials. I did however recognize a few of the names mentioned. It was as stated a great place to work

September 30, 2018 @ 2:48 PM

M.V

Omg.. Gus, if you managed the service centre on Rutherford rd, then I do remember you! I have to correct a statement I made in my last post. Gus and Brian were two of the best managers I had the privilege to work for. As far as I'm concerned they treated their workers fairly. I remember when I just got hired and a few months latter I wanted to take a couple of weeks off (summer) even without pay and I approached my supervisor, can't recall his name. He said go aske Gus and tell him you had booked a trip to Europe before being hired and see what he says. Well, I did but I could tell he knew I was B.Sing him. I figured the supervisor gave him the heads up and they both had a good laugh at my expense.. He gave me the two weeks off with pay. Thanks Gus, hope ur doing well.
Oh yeah, I started in the 501 dept with Tony and Alex.

November 2, 2018 @ 8:57 PM

R.P.

To Mary - Your comment about Middle Management could not be further from the truth. The demise of CD rests entirely with senior management.

December 9, 2018 @ 4:01 PM

Anonymous

HI M.V
Glad to hear you are well all the best to you and your family.

Gus

December 14, 2018 @ 4:52 PM

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