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 prices 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 over 40 locations across Canada.
In 1972, Mel turned his attention to politics and ran for Mayor of the City of North York. Mel won the election, and by 1975 he decided it was time to sell his beloved Furniture, Appliance and Electronics Empire and focus solely on serving his city.
The young Blayne Lastman, then only 14 years old, was determined to one day continue the Bad Boy legacy. In the meantime, Mel 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."
Then in 1991, Blayne brought the Bad Boy name back to life and took 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. This prime location, coupled with zany promotional initiatives, proved to be invaluable in Bad Boy’s success! The nineties were an extremely challenging time with the recession, especially for the business community, and many long-standing companies had no other choice but to close down. Blayne, who had just as much gusto as his father, beat all odds by implementing an innovative, flash-forward sales strategy. With the Scarborough location booming, Blayne opened his second location in Mississauga in 1992, and in 1995 the third location in North York.
Blayne was extremely committed to building the Bad Boy brand. Never afraid to make waves, Blayne has continued in his father's footsteps by creating a stir in all areas of the media. His eclectic ideas and gimmicks infused shoppers with excitement and captured an enormous amount of media attention! In fact, in 1994, the United States White House served Bad Boy with a "Cease and Desist" order for Bad Boy's use of a President Bill Clinton look-a-like. In typical Bad Boy style, Blayne did not Cease and Desist; instead, he responded with, "This is Canada, not the 51st State!" Following this, there was a sequel commercial featuring a Hillary Clinton look-a-like! The Clinton look-a-like promotion caused such a sensation around the world that journalists and talk show hosts from Germany, Japan, the United States and Italy all called for interviews with the now infamous Blayne Lastman.
The power behind the phrase "NOOOBODY!" is also a force to be reckoned with. It is readily identifiable, and has considerable "quotability." It has appeared in news stories, editorials, and political cartoons in ways that the phrase was never intended to be used, but that reinforced the Bad Boy brand significantly.
The drive and passion of Blayne has also led to additional growth. A Whitby location was opened in 1998, followed by Barrie in 1999. 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. By 2002, Bad Boy's success and plans for expansion necessitated the move to a 110,000 square foot warehouse facility in North York, ensuring speedy delivery for all customers.
In 2006 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, Bad Boy was in full swing with three stores opened in the span of just one year - the Kitchener, London and Burlington communities were all opened by June 2008.
With all of the excitement of store openings, 2008 brought about a different kind of challenge for Bad Boy: the onset of tough economic times. Lastman's Bad Boy did not let that hinder their advancement in new technologies and software, though! The goal was to improve processes for both customers 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 were answered promptly. In addition, service metrics could be evaluated to ensure continual improvements in service standards for all customers.
2012 was another exciting year in the mission to rebuild Lastman's Bad Boy to its former grandeur, as a brand new 30,000 square foot store opened in Brampton. This store became the blueprint for all future superstores; starting with the re-opening of Mississauga and Whitby in 2013. At the same time, retired NHL players such as Johnny Bower, Bobby Baun, and even Pat Burns provided their services to Bad Boy for promotional purposes.
In 2014, Bad Boy opened up a temporary location in the iconic Honest Ed’s building. In an interview, Mel proclaimed: “This is an institution! This is a store people come to from everywhere, the first really discount operation, followed by Bad Boy! Two of the greatest discount operations working together to find you the lowest prices anywhere.” This power couple of retail locations drew mass media attention throughout Bad Boy’s presence.
October 2016 brought about the “Next Generation of Savings,” when Blayne’s daughter, Samantha Lastman, officially joined the Bad Boy Family as Director of Business Development. She brought her extensive management experience, as well as the passion for pushing boundaries! That same zeal that fueled her Father and Grandfather was pushing her to bring the best of the best to Bad Boy E-Commerce. Her biggest undertaking yet has been her ambition to revamp the Lastman’s Bad Boy online presence! With the ever-evolving Internet, Samantha has ensured that Bad Boy is always pushing for the latest innovation online.
Following the excitement of Samantha beginning her Bad Boy career, the tenth permanent Bad Boy location opened in Ancaster, Ontario, in June 2017! The first customer in line waited for 16.5 hours to get a FREE TV! Then Fall of 2018, Bad Boy Burlington Store moved to a bigger and larger location with an exciting grand opening on October 25th. More is to come at Bad Boy with a new store location to open in the great city of Kingston this August! With no plans to slow down anytime soon, Lastman’s Bad Boy is ready for another permanent store to open in our country’s capital, Ottawa, soon! Bad Boy has continued to grow since our last store Opening!
Stay tuned for details on the latest expansions, and what’s to come in the Future of Lastman’s Bad Boy!
THE BAD BOY PHILOSOPHY
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 you are paying lower prices. Lastman's Bad Boy, however, is always the exception! Our 5 pillars of business are: Quality, Selection, Service, Value and Price.
Rest assured, Lastman’s Bad Boy guarantees that every purchase comes with peace of mind and a quality guarantee. 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. There is consistently 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.
Unlike other retailers, Bad Boy has an upgraded HOTLINE system to ensure customer satisfaction. The system is made up of an online delivery tracking system, a call ahead service comprised of three calls so you know when the delivery is coming, and a post-delivery call from a hotline specialist. The specialist’s job is to check in on each customer to ensure a high quality delivery was provided, and to obtain customer feedback on ways the delivery could have been improved. In addition, our fleets of delivery trucks are equipped with GPS devices so that our delivery specialists can keep our customers informed!
This constant dedication and commitment to integrity, value, and always doing your best, is a philosophy that is shared by all Lastman's Bad Boy employees. As a workplace, the commitment is to offer all employees equal opportunities, mentorship programs, open-mindedness, and an ability to reach their potential through coaching and training. This philosophy has led to many of the employees building their careers at Bad Boy!
CULTURE, VALUES AND COMMUNITY
The company has energy unlike any other. This energy starts at the top, from Blayne to President Tony Balasingham, to VP and Controller Beth Llanes to Senior Directors in Operations, to purchasing all the way to our part-time employees! This energy helps spark the potential of everyone who works at Bad Boy.
Work represents a substantial investment for everyone, and we see no reason why that time shouldn’t be filled with excitement and challenge. 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 recommit 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. Blayne not only works in the head office; but also at the flagship location in Scarborough.
You never know, if you stop by the Scarborough location, you may just run into Blayne, or even Mel himself! So please stop by to see for yourself - Who’s Better Than Lastman’s Bad Boy? NOOOBODY!