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The History and Success of Urban Barn

Urban barn.

Source: Urban Barn

Urban Barn is a Canadian home furnishing store that started in 1990. It was founded by a couple of childhood friends who set out to give customers high quality and stylish home furnishings at an affordable price. The company got its name from its first retail store located at 12th and Cambie in Vancouver which had a barn-style feel to it with its rustic wooden floors and barn-style door.

Urban Barn sells top of the line modern furniture, home decor, and accessories. As of today, it operates in 50 communities from BC to Quebec and employs 650 employees.

Company overview

Urban Barn is a Canadian furniture outlet founded in 1990 and with over 50 stores in the nation. The company was founded by two friends Rick and Craig (Urban Barn, 2018). The founders used purple vans to deliver furniture to residential and commercial clients. The purple vans were aimed at providing a strong brand for the business to make it widely accepted by the targeted consumers in the market.

Proper marketing and branding assisted the company to acquire an increased number of consumers leading to the opening of new stores. It was important for them to develop a plan that will ensure that the needs of the targeted consumers are satisfied. In 2007 Urban Barn became a member of Stern Group with the aim of acquiring an increased market share in the Canadian furniture industry (Urban Barn, 2018).

By entering Stern Group, it became possible to extend operations through the increased level of capital provided in the business partnership. The company is 100% Canadian, making it widely accepted by the people in the region through its ability to understand the furniture needs of the people in the area.

The company operates in physical stores and online for an increased number of orders globally. Urban Barn has its headquarters in Burnaby, Canada for smooth service delivery in the nation. Staffs employed are aimed at ensuring that the stores offer unique furniture that will enhance the productivity of the company.

The profitability of a company is based on the level of customer retention and acquisition in the targeted market. The company has stores in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ontario (Bloomberg, 2018). The company is focused on offering opportunities to the talented employees that will positively contribute to the growth of the company.

Training and development in the company have greatly contributed to the continuous increase in competitive edge in the furniture industry. The success of the company is contributed to the policies implemented by the top management in ensuring that there is a sustainable performance in the furniture industry. The evaluation of the internal nod external business environment in Canada has helped the management to develop strategies that guarantee an extended survival in the market.

The evaluation of threats and opportunities in the market is needed by the management in ensuring that there is a stable performance in the market. The furniture products are highly diverse to cover a large number of consumer needs in the nation. The evaluation of consumers’ feedback has helped Urban Barn to increase operations online and open new stores in Canada.


Small living room featuring a grey L-shaped sofa.

Source: Urban Barn

The company is focused on providing comfortable furniture for the bedroom, kitchen, living room, dining room and office. The ability to offer quality furniture has made the company to be widely accepted in Canada, contributing to a continuous increase in profitability in the market. In acquiring a sustainable competitive advantage in Canada’s furniture market, the company considers eco-friendly products.

By considering the environmental sustainability, the reputation of the company to the community is enhanced for continuous acquisition of clients. An organization is required to have a decent reputation in the targeted market in acquiring and retaining consumers. Durability is an important aspect in developing furniture for clients.

The company uses raw materials that are durable to improve the satisfaction level in the market. The texture used by the Urban Barn aims at ensuring that there is a proper flow of business operations in the market. According to CNW Group (2018), the design of furniture depends on the needs and feedback of the consumers. An organization can acquire a sustainable performance in the market through the development of focused consumer products in the market. The chain of furniture stores in Canada has assisted Urban Barn to increase accessibility by potential consumers in the market.

Urban Barn provides home décor and accessories towards an increased interior appearance of the houses (CNW Group, 2018). Homeowners are required to invest in decoration and accessories in the house for proper confidence from the interior design. The interior design is a complex service which should be offered by sskillful staff to ensure that there is the maximization of home appearance. Self-confidence and self-esteem of the homeowner are enhanced through the focus on interior décor of the house. Urban Barn provides advice to homeowners on achieving a proper appearance of the house based on the financial position of the individual.

The company is loved in Canada through the offering of services which appeared complex to other furniture companies. The ability to match furniture and accessories in the house is vital in acquiring a customer satisfaction in the market. Urban Barn has developed a plan that will assure quality to consumers by offering furniture, accessories and home décor to the clients. The focus on quality and design has assisted the clients to acquire satisfaction on home interior design. The great design of Urban Barn is used to make the company widely accepted in the market through the meeting of diverse home needs of the targeted consumers.

Company values

Company employees on a meeting.

The organizational values provide the employees with the needed guidelines to ensure that there is a smooth flow of operations in the targeted market. Urban Barn is successful in the furniture industry through the use of suitable values that maximize productivity in the industry. It is crucial for a company to come up with standard plans that will shape up the organizational culture of the company. The values used by the company are corporate social responsibility, respect, uniqueness, professionalism, excellence and style.

Corporate social responsibility

A hand holding a mobile phone with the words Corporate Social Responsibility above it with arrows pointing to associated values.

Urban Barn is a company that has focused on environmental and community sustainability in production. The focus on the environment and society assists a company in acquiring a smooth flow of business operations in the market. In 2012, Urban Barn developed the Blanket the Country program where for every $5 donation the company delivers a blanket to a shelter in Canada (Urban Barn 2018). The give and take program by the company is meant to increase the living standard of the community by aiding the needy. The focus on community needs has made the company to be widely accepted in Canada leading to successful entry in new market segments.


The respect to stakeholders is a crucial aspect for a company to attain the desired production level in the market. An organization that considers the various stakeholders’ needs can reduce cases of conflict in production. The partnership with communities, customers and the Canadian government has been beneficial to the company. Urban Barn has partnered with Toronto Transport Service Division to develop attractive traffic design. The Outside the Box initiative by Urban Barn and the Canadian government has been operating for four years to develop traffic signal boxes (CNW Group, 2018). There are over 120 boxes done by Urban Barn to make it possible for Toronto to appear colorful by making the city vibrant.


Stylish living room featuring geometric accents from the grey wall with multiple square and rectangular frames and bright-colored accent pieces.

Creativity is necessary for the furniture industry for an increased market share in the specific industry. The artists of the company are talented to make the products acceptable by the targeted consumers in the furniture industry. The company is driven by the community and consumer needs for increased performance in the market. Continuous creativity and innovation culture provide the company with the needed platform to offer unique products. The focus on differentiation strategy in production assists a company to enhance its productivity by making the products that appear different from those of the competitors.


Woman talking with gestures during a company meeting.

Professionalism is needed in combining the furniture, home décor and accessories that are widely accepted by the consumers. The workplace behavior is supposed to be positive in ensuring that there is a long-term success of the business. Professionalism is supposed to consider business ethics and morality for enhanced performance in the market. The conduct of staff to the different stakeholders in the market is supposed to ensure that it benefits the company. The professional attitude is used to deal with people from the different ethnic background for a high level of consumer retention. The employee interactions in the workplace should be driven by the common corporate goal.


A man pointing at the fifth star.

The aspect of excellence is used by the company to offer quality products and services to the consumers. Total quality management is achieved by a company that develops plans of continuous development in production. The production processes and systems are continuously developed by Urban Barn to come up with furniture and accessories that will increase the profitability of the company. The company continuously sets the bar higher with the aim of continuously improving the performance in Canada. The company is involved with the community to offer products that are of high quality to the consumers.


Black and white living room featuring geometric frames on the wall.

The company’s differentiation strategy has made it appear exclusive to potential and existing consumers in Canada. Staffs are expected to increase their service through the improvement of knowledge and skills in making the furniture. The evaluation of consumer feedback is used by the company in developing a style that will maximize the profitability. Design choices are focused on ensuring that the Canadian consumers are willing to use the products of the company. Urban Barn is stylish making it the most loved furniture company in Canada and partners with the government to enhance the appearance of Toronto city.

Physical stores

The company has over 50 physical stores in Canada with the aim of acquiring an increased market share in the nation. The potential consumers can have a look at the products and services offered by the company for a proper purchase. It is necessary for a company to develop plans that will ensure that the physical locations are widely known by the people. Urban Barn has a store locator on the website which is meant to increase the people visiting the physical stores.

The company success has been contributed by the stores where people can get the furniture and accessories for interior home design. Google maps are used in ensuring that consumers can easily locate the nearest Urban Barn store. The physical stores are used by a company that aims at ensuring that there is a direct interaction with the consumers to increase feedback from the market. It is important for a company to increase the rate of direct interaction with the consumers with the aim of acquiring a sustainable competitive edge in the market.

An increased market share is achieved by Urban Barn by evaluating the consumer feedback when they visit the several physical stores in the region. The physical presence of Urban Barn has been used by the company management to increase the relationship with the stakeholders. Beneficial stakeholder relations assist a company to accomplish the desired long-term goals of production in the specific industry. The consideration of stakeholder’s interest helps the company to have a positive reputation in the furniture industry.

Online presence

Tiny home office with a desktop featuring the words Online Presence.

The online operations assist in acquiring an increased number of consumers who are not reached by the physical stores. The increased use of technology has assisted the company to operate an effective online trade that will boost productivity. Urban Barn has a secure online purchase of furniture and accessories towards an increased number of people willing to use the products from the company.

The success of the online operation has been contributed by the interactive website of the company. An interactive website is used to offer sufficient information to the consumers to facilitate trade in the market. The delivery of the furniture and accessories is made by the company which is used by the company in ensuring that there is an extended success in the industry. The simplified online ordering of Urban Barn products has increased the productivity of the company. Online promotions are performed by the company towards an increased market share in the furniture industry.