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Our Story

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Mr. Dufresne

We’ve had an incredible journey growing TDG from a single store in Kenora, Ontario into a sophisticated multi-brand, international retail operation. I’m so grateful to all our team members, partners, and mentors – past and present. Yet what I’m most proud of is not what we’ve accomplished at TDG, but who we are and why we exist. We’re here to Make Life Better for our teams, guests, and community. And we’re only getting started!

– Mark Dufresne CEO

1983

Kenora, Ontaro

Car icon
Dufresne Service Station and to dealership on 2nd Street, in Kenora, Ontario, 1983

After 15 years of operating automotive repair shops and an auto dealership, Doug and Eva Dufresne recieve an unsolicited offer and sell the family business with intentions to retire.

1984

Horse img
Mark and Doug Dufresne preparing for their first horseshow in the family indoor riding arena.

Eva’s love of animals leads the family to develop their country acreage in to a farm, complete with a barn, livestock, and an indoor riding area for their horses. Over the years the Dufresne’s would travel across the country showing horses, becoming two-time AQHA Champions.

Despite being retired, Doug is approached to turn around an electrical contracting company, Lake of the Woods Electric. Eva joins him, and they spend two years doing exactly that.

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Mark starts his post-secondary education at Univesity of Manitoba, followed shortly after by Mike and Shaun.

1985

With Canadian retail giant Eaton’s pulling out of tertiary markets, the Dufresne family decides to enter the furniture business. Currently enrolled in business school, Mark puts together a business plan for Doug and family- putting him at the bottom of a list of local furniture retailers.

1986

Railway Street Building
Dufresne Furniture and Appliances Railway Street Building

Previously occupied by 10 tenants, The Dufresne’s renovate their newly aquired buildings as a family. Before renovation, Doug had previously been selling bedding out of one of the units under the name ‘The Bed Shed’.

Mark Dufresne
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Mike Dufresne starts working at the Kenora location as a delivery truck driver (amongst many other roles not included in the job description).

1992

Mark leaves his job at KPMG (and Stephanie, her job at E&Y) to begin managing Dufresne full time. The store would jump from 1.5 to 3 million dollars in sales.

KPMG EY

1993

Largely discredited by the competition for being “Country Bumpkins”, Dufresne enters the urban market with a new logo and design, and opens its second store located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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Shaun Dufresne begins working full-time at Dufresne Furniture & Appliances as a buyer, delivery driver, and everything in between.

1995

Shaukan

Shaun takes over Merchandising for Dufresne, commuting from Kenora to Winnipeg, while Mike is appointed as Store Manager of the Kenora location.

1996

Dufresne replaces its logo again to what employees would refer to as the “Racetrack” logo.

The Dufresne family opening their newest location at Ellice Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Dufresne makes a series of acquisitions, the largest being the purchase of DeFehr, replacing their keystone Winnipeg location with a store of their own on Ellice Avenue, and another in Brandon.

Dufresne People

Dufresne invests in three talented new team members; Bruce Birchard, Bill King, and Mike Linton and makes them partners in the business.

1997

Dufresne begins its first United Way Charity Campaign, in support of local Winnipeg communities.

1999

Dufresne is recognized for the first time as a member of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.

2000

Dufresne purchases La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries store on Ellice Ave, Winnipeg.

Prize

Mark Dufresne receives the Entrepreneur of the Year award from Ernst & Young.

2001

Dufresne completes a Strategic Alliance with the North West Company to supply furniture and appliances to 140 stores in Canada’s most remote Northern Communities.

Dufresne opens two Palliser Rooms locations in Winnipeg and Calgary.

2002

Doug stars
Doug Start

Doug stars in a series of commercials as the brand spokesperson, providing our guests with a better experience.

Our Story

2005

Ashley Furniture Homestore

Dufresne commits to Ashley Furniture Industries to open 12 Ashley Furniture HomeStore locations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, opening the first store on St. James Street in Winnipeg.

Ashley Furniture Homestore
Dufresne House logo

Dufresne undergoes a rebrand and the iconic Dufresne House logo is created.

Dufresne Group

Dufresne gains platinum status as one of Canada’s longest consecutive 50 Best Managed Companies.

Prize

Dufresne is named Canadian Home Furnishing Retailer of the Year by Furniture World Magazine.

2006

Dufresne sells La-Z-Boy and
Sleep Source.

Dufresne Retail Solutions Group

Dufresne Retail Solutions Group formed, beginning with TDG and 12 additional independent retailers.

Retailers
TDG Logo

The Dufresne Group is
formed.

2007

TDG launches Tutoris, to provide comprehensive product protection plans.

Tutoris

2008

Furniture Retailers
Appliances icon

Dufresne, Ashley HomeStore, and dRSG continue to grow while other furniture retailers suffer losses during the global financial crisis.

2009

American industry
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Mark organizes a quarterly meeting with American industry leaders to discuss industry best practices: The Lean Group is formed.

2012

Prize

TDG receives the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community by a Business.

Dufresne celebrates it’s 25th anniversary by raising over 1.6 M dollars for 51 charities across Manitoba and Ontario.

TDG partners with The Dufresne Spencer Group (DSG). The start to a wonderful partnership.

Prize

dRSG receives the Retailer of the Year Award from The Canadian National Home Furnishings Association.

Story 2012

2013

Ashley Homestore
Ashley Homestore
Ashley Homestore Mavis Rd, Mississauga, Ontario.

Under the new partnership, DSG adds 19 stores, three distribution centres and over 700 employees, becoming the second largest Ashley HomeStore licensee in the world.

Furniture icon

TDG works with Ashley Furniture Industries to develop a new strategy for furniture retail.

Dufresne hunt club
Dufresne Furniture & Appliances. Hunt Club, Ontario, 2014.
Appliances icon

TDG embarks on a new retail strategy called the ‘Store of the Future’, leading the relaunch of the Dufresne brand and the opening of its new Ottawa location.

2014

Dufresne Moves

Mark Dufresne moves to a new role as CEO of Ashley Global Retail, headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

Dufresne Sales

Dufresne and Ashley bring sales to the web with the launch of their ecommerce websites.

CEO of Ashley Global Retail

2015

Ashley Homestore

Ashley Furniture HomeStore brand is updated, changing its logo and shortening its name to Ashley HomeStore.

Locaion Pin

An additional 15 Ashley Homestore locations are opened in the next 4 years.

2017

Dufresne Furniture & Appliances expands into the Saskatchewan marketplace.

Greenhouse Retail Solutions

The Greenhouse Retail Solutions Group was created to infuse innovation into both TDG and DSG.

Dufresne Spencer Group

DSG becomes the largest Ashley Homestore licensee.

Dufresne

2018

DSG acquires the second largest Ashley HomeStore licensee, Hill Country Holdings adding 33 additional Ashley HomeStore locations.

HCH icon

dRSG reaches 100 members and 136 stores nationwide.

2019

Best Managed Companies

TDG celebrates 20 years as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.

DSG Member
Dufresne Spencer Group

DSG’s growth and consolidation sets it up to exceed $1 Billion in retail sales.

2020

Make Life Better

Dufresne commits to Ashley Furniture Industries to open 12 Ashley Furniture HomeStore locations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, opening its first store on St. James Street in Winnipeg.

Ashley Furniture HomeStore
TDG Logo

The TDG brand renews, with a new Purpose statement, home office, and visual identity.

TDG Member
Coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus pandemic—operating restrictions, supply chain disruptions, safety focused while navigating the unknown.

2021

Investment

TDG accelerates investment in eCommerce, virtual chat, guest automation, and supply chain planning.

2022

Positioned for growth. Charted our path to exponentially grow Ashley, Dufresne, and DRSG.