London Inc. Weekly 11 • 29 • 2019

PA Shop rebrands as Music City Canada

Photo: Ryan Schroeyens of Music City Canada

EARLIER THIS WEEK, London-based PA shop announced it is assembling its various vertical businesses under a new brand. The PA Shop, London Guitars, London Percussion and Charterhouse Studios will now be Music City Canada.

“As we started to carry more musical instrument products and offer more services for musicians and artists, it become clear we should have a more all-encompassing brand,” explained owner, Ryan Schroeyens, whose father, Ron, founded the family-run business in 1981.

In addition to tweaks and changes to their facilities on Charterhouse Crescent, Schroeyens said the Music City Canada website will become a hub for all the business divisions, making learning, sourcing and purchasing much more robust and easier for the consumer.

“We now have customer service reps available through the site for text and video chat and dedicated people for social media, marketing and content creation, so you will be seeing a lot more content from us from now on,” he said.  

“Now customers don’t have to call us to get deals on their purchases. They can login and see better-than-regular pricing 24 hours a day,” he noted, adding Music City will offer “free same-day delivery on all online orders in London.”


London home price gains predicted to ease off in 2020

Photo: Re/Max is predicting a five per cent gain in London home resale prices in 2020

A REPORT FROM realty firm Re/Max is suggesting a leveling out of highs and lows that characterized the Canadian housing market in 2019. The Re/Max 2020 Housing Market Outlook suggests continued price gains in many regions, estimating a 3.7 per cent increase in the average residential sales price Canada-wide.

Most individual markets surveyed across Canada experienced moderate price increases year-over-year from 2018 to 2019. However, some regions in Ontario continued to experience higher-than-normal gains, including London (plus 10.7 per cent) and Windsor (plus 11 per cent).

“Southern Ontario is witnessing some incredibly strong price appreciation, with many regions still seeing double-digit gains,” said Christopher Alexander, executive vice president and regional director, Re/Max of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Thanks to the region’s resilient economy, staggering population growth and relentless development, the 2020 market looks very optimistic.”

The housing outlook suggests London will remain a seller’s market in 2020, though price appreciation will begin to cool. Re/Max pegs the current average residential sale price in London at $408,417 and predicts a five per cent gain through 2020.

The report puts Windsor at the top of the list nationally for price appreciation in 2020, with a predicted gain of nine per cent.


Old courthouse and health unit buildings sold to York Developments

Photo:Two downtown Middlesex County properties have been sold to York Developments 

TWO HIGH-PROFILE PROPERTIES at the Forks of the Thames have been sold to London-based York Developments, which plans to convert them into a mixed-use facility.

The Middlesex County properties include 50 King Street, which currently houses the Middlesex-London Health Unit, and the historic Middlesex Courthouse and Jail at 399 Ridout Street North.

According to Ali Soufan, president of York Developments, the firm is working on a concept that will be phased in over five years.

“You will see mixed-used developments consisting of high density, high-rise condominiums, commercial, retail, office and hopefully a public aspect to the development as well,” said Soufan at a news conference on Wednesday.

“There’s significant heritage in the 399 Ridout Street building,” Soufan continued, “and we want to enhance and respect that and use it in the design elements.”

Middlesex County administration will remain in the building at 399 Ridout for the next four years as they complete the transition into a new building while the health unit is expected to relocate to Citi Plaza this coming spring. Proceeds from the sale will be reinvested in infrastructure projects in Middlesex County, officials said.

The City of London was also interested in purchasing the land. While they lost the bid, Soufan said he hopes the city will work collaboratively on plans for the new development.

Neither Soufan nor officials from Middlesex County would disclose the sale price for the property.


Local report examines e-commerce platform use

Photo: A recent report from tbk surveyed 100 Ontario firms and ranks the top five e-commerce platforms

LONDON-BASED WEB DESIGN and digital marketing firm tbk has released a report looking at which platforms Ontario businesses are using to power their e-commerce sales.

Earlier this quarter (Q4 2019), tbk conducted a 100-company audit to determine the ranking and, as an aggregate, the top five e-commerce platforms were:

  1. Shopify: 25%
  2. Magento: 12%
  3. Salesforce Command Cloud: 9%
  4. WooCommerce : 7%
  5. Hybris: 5%

“In Ontario, Shopify clearly showed the most market share having ranked number one amongst SMEs and number two amongst large companies,” said Andrew Schiestel, tbk president. “Part of the height of this influence may be that Shopify is Ontario-based with its head office in Ottawa, however, there is no doubt that Shopify continues to be used by more and more corporations.”

Schiestel also notes that choosing the right e-commerce platform for a business depends on many factors, including product depth and variability, the desire for UI/UX customization and systems integrations. “Choosing your e-commerce platform isn’t a light task. but it is tbk’s hope that this report illuminates some of the more popular ones being used by companies in Ontario.”


Featured Business Event

LEDC and RBC Place Holiday Open House 2019 | December 5, 2019, 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., RBC Place London

The London Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with RBC Place London, hosts its 2019 Holiday Open House on December 5. The annual Made-in-London-themed Holiday Party brings together upwards of 500 industry leaders. Enjoy refreshments and food samples from local vendors while networking and sharing holiday cheer.

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