The Bad Boy phenomenon began in 1955, when Mel Lastman opened his first Bad Boy store on Weston Road. Mel's branded message stated that Bad Boy was "the place to shop" because of its great pricing and excellent service.
Mel instantly became a legend in Toronto with his creative publicity stunts such as, selling two-dollar bills for one dollar - coined as the "best two-for-one deal you could find". Mel's charisma and great business sense was the catalyst that turned one store into an impressive chain of 40 locations across Ontario.
In 1972, Mel decided to turn his attention to politics and ran for office in the City of North York as Mayor. Not only did he win, but he also won the hearts and admiration of the constituents and served as a Mayor for over 34 consecutive years earning him the name "Mega City Mel".
By 1975 Mel's full attention was to his passion and duties to the public and he decided it was time to sell his beloved Furniture Stores, but the young Blayne Lastman, then only 14 years old, knew that one day he would follow in his Father's footsteps, and driven by the same passion and commitment as Mel, he did just that.
In 1991, Blayne did just that. The Bad Boy name and reputation for having the lowest prices in town was once again taking Ontario by storm. His decision to re-open the new store in the center of Toronto,s "furniture strip" had many naysayers scratching their heads. The nineties were an extremely challenging time for the business community and many long standing players had no other choice but to close down due to the recession. Blayne, who had just as much gusto as his father Mel, beat all odds and went on to implement an innovative, flash forward sales strategy that would later be replicated by other retailers in the industry. Rebuilding the dream; with the Scarborough location booming, by 1992 Blayne opened his second location in Mississauga, and by 1995 the third location opened in North York.
Blayne was extremely committed to building the Bad Boy name and brand. His eclectic ideas and gimmicks infused shoppers with excitement and captured an enormous amount of media attention catapulting Bad Boy's popularity through the roof! In fact, in 1994, the United States White House served Bad Boy with a "cease and desist" order under the complaint surrounding Bad Boy's use of, the then President, Bill Clinton look-a-like being used in their advertising. In typical Bad Boy style, Blayne did not cease and desist, instead he responded with "This is Canada, not the 51st State", followed by a sequel commercial featuring a Hillary Clinton look-a-like!
The drive and passion of Blayne led to additional growth including; a Whitby location in 1998 and Barrie in 1999. By 2002, a success of the locations coupled with plans for additional expansion prompted Blayne to acquire an 110,000 Square Foot warehouse facility in North York to ensure availability and speedy delivery for Bad Boy customers.
In 2006, Mel decided to join Blayne and come back to his original love. Bad Boy formally became Lastman's Bad Boy and Mel was proclaimed the Honorary Chairman of the Board. With Mel back on board, the business came full circle. In 2007, business was in full swing and 3 stores were opened in a span of a year! By June 2008, we had been welcomed in the Kitchener, London and Burlington communities.
2012 was another exciting year in regards to continuing on the mission to rebuild Lastman's Bad Boy to its former grandeur, as a brand new 30,000 square foot location opened in October at the revitalized Shoppers World at Hwy 10 and Steeles in Brampton. This became the blueprint for following SuperStore locations with the move of the Mississauga and Whitby SuperStores in 2013.
INNOVATIVE ADVERTISING AND MARKETING
Never afraid to make waves, since the resurrection in 1991 Blayne has continued in his Father's footsteps creating a stir in all areas of the media.
During early 1994, the Clinton look-alike promotion used by Bad Boy caused a sensation around the world. Journalists and talk show hosts from Germany, Japan, the United States and Italy called for interviews with Blayne Lastman.
The power behind the phrase "NOOOBODY!" is also a force to be reckoned with. It is readily identifiable, and has considerable "quotability", so it continued to appear in news stories, editorials and political cartoons in ways that the phrase was never intended to be used, but that benefited Bad Boy through re-enforcing its presence in the marketplace.
In early 1999, the World Wrestling Entertainment partnered with Bad Boy in promoting both entities through in-store visits and autograph sessions with some of the most high profile wrestlers of the time.
Retired NHL players such as Johnny Bower and Bobby Baun also provided their services to Bad Boy for promotional purposes, which, together with ads displaying Pat Burns, reinforced the link of the company with professional sports
Capitalizing on the Beanie Baby craze, baby-sized Bad Boy key chains (who shout "NOOOBODY!" when you squeeze their tummies!) proved to be immensely popular.
Even today, when the standard home retailers' ads cannot be distinguished, Lastman's Bad Boy
OUR BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY
As many customers have learned in today's competitive markets, most organizations believe it is enough to offer price and value, or value and service but few offer all three claiming you cannot expect service if your are paying lower prices; except Lastman's Bad Boy; our 5 pillars of business are Quality, Selection, Service, Value and Price.
Refusing to let his aggressive pricing strategies diminish the service offered to the Lastman's Bad Boy customers; competitor price matching, a lifetime price guarantee and a promise to "Never Be Undersold" underlines the commitment to ensuring that Lastman's Bad Boy customers are always offered great products and value without sacrificing anything in the process.
Unlike other retailers, Bad Boy has an upgraded HOTLINE system which includes an online delivery tracking system, a 3-step call ahead system (2 days prior, the night before and the morning of) to let you know your delivery is coming, and on the morning what time frame you can expect to receive your new goods. This service also includes an after delivery personalized call from a hotline specialist to ensure your delivery was to our standards, and ask for feedback to improve our services. Our fleets of delivery trucks are equipped with GPS devices so that one of our delivery specialists can let our customers know where their delivery is at any given moment!
Every purchase comes with the peace of mind that there is a dedicated team of employees ready to help our customers with any questions, concerns or issues that may arise before, during and after their shopping experience.
This dedication and commitment to integrity, value and always doing the best you can is a philosophy that is shared by all the Lastman's Bad Boy employees. As a workplace, the commitment is to offer all employee's equal opportunities, mentorship programs, open mindedness and an ability to reach their potential though coaching and training. A philosophy that had led to many of the employees building their careers at Bad Boy that makes finding an employee who's been around for 10-15 years, not hard to do!
Although 2008 brought about the onset of tough economic times, Lastman's Bad Boy did not let that hinder their advancement in new technologies and software to improve processes for both customer and employees alike; in 2009 the company introduced a new state-of-the-art phone ACD system to ensure all calls into head office, during business hours, are answered promptly and that service metrics could be evaluated to ensure continual improvements in service standards for all customers.
CULTURE, VALUES AND COMMUNITY!
The company has energy. This energy starts at the top, from Blayne to President Tony Balasingham, to VP and Controller to Senior Directors in Operations, purchasing all the way to our part-time employees! This energy helps spark the potential of everyone who works at the company.
Work represents a substantial investment in time on the part of everyone, and we see no reason why that time should be considered drudgery, as we have witnessed in other organizations. We therefore try to establish a culture that permits associates to understand how their efforts contribute to making the company and themselves better, understanding the "why" not only the "how" in every process. This sense of purpose helps employees to commit and constantly re-commit themselves to ongoing excellence.
The employees at Lastman’s Bad Boy are hard working and passionate. They feel a strong sense of belonging and are always rewarded for a job well done. With an open-door policy, Blayne and the entire management team make a concerted effort to get to know each and every employee. The Bad Boy associates truly work as one team to achieve our goals and to be successful as an organization.
Toronto is the most culturally diverse city in the world, with over 160 Countries and 100 languages represented in its populace. Bad Boy has set as a customer service goal that all of our market will be comfortable in our stores, and has striven to ensure that all communities can feel welcome by creating a mix of representatives that reflects this diversity. Bad Boy feels that, this kind of personalism - so markedly absent in other "big-box" retailers - is especially appreciated by new Canadians.
You never know, if you stop by the Scarborough location, you may just run into Blayne, or even Mel himself!