Ashley Kaspar’s growing unease over delays in receiving furniture she had ordered for her new baby proved valid when she arrived at the Newmarket store to find a notice of termination of her lease posted on the door locked.
She and her husband aren’t the only parents left behind after The Baby’s Room stores in Newmarket, Pickering and Kitchener suddenly closed on September 30.
Kaspar, who originally placed her order at the Newmarket location last May, had become “extremely frustrated” by the store’s repeated apologies over the late delivery of Natart-branded furniture which was originally due to arrive in September.
To add to the urgency, her son arrived earlier than expected, in August, and she started following The Baby’s Room by then.
“They told us at different times that there were delays with Natart and then also reported delays in shipping. They kept telling us another two weeks,” she said. “We understood and were trying to be patient as we know many businesses have struggled with personnel, materials, etc. due to COVID.”
Kaspar finally decided to go to the store in person on October 11, only to find the termination notice dated September 30 on the door of the Leslie Street business stating that the rent had remained unpaid for 15 days at the time. where it was due.
Kaspar said they haven’t received any calls or emails from The Baby’s Room notifying them of the closure. The other two sites have also closed.
She then contacted the manufacturer, Natart, directly in hopes of obtaining the furniture.
“Natart was amazing and extremely helpful in locating my order and we are working with them to get it,” she said.
However, she said she will have to pay for the furniture again – around $2,000 – because she was told that Natart had not received payment from The Baby’s Room.
Brian Green, a Natart national representative, said the company has been in contact with about 20 customers with the same story as Kaspar.
Much of the furniture that was ordered was ready for delivery and had been sitting in their warehouse for some time, Green said, adding that it was frustrating to hear customers being told the delays were due to the manufacturer. , when this was not the case.
Since The Baby’s Room closed, Natart has been working with customers and directing them to other stores, such as Nestled by Snuggle Bugz in Burlington and Dear-Born Baby in Thornhill, to re-order their furniture so they can send the orders.
Green said customers who originally paid with credit cards can go through their credit card company to get their money back from their original purchase of The Baby’s Room – Kaspar said she filed a claim with her card company – and many have done it successfully. However, customers who originally paid with cash or check may be out of luck.
However, customers are not the only ones concerned. Green said Natart was also strapped for cash from closing as The Baby’s Room.
“It’s going to sting us as a company because it’s a pretty big amount of money that they burned us on. But obviously we’re going to recover, it’s not a crisis. But it hurts, especially in an economy that is very strained,” he said.
The Baby’s Room was a longtime account with Natart and it’s always been a good relationship, according to Green. However, over the past two months, as the amount the store owed them grew, he said he was contacted by The Baby’s Room and told them they couldn’t pay it all. At that point, he said, they stopped shipping to them until past bills were paid, which never happened.
Green condemned the way owners Peter and Simon Landsman handled the closure and said they took advantage of their customers.
NewmarketToday has not received responses to emails seeking comment from Peter and Simon Landsman.
For customers who ordered Natart-branded furniture from The Baby’s Room, Green said they have orders from their factory. He said they have arranged contacts at Snuggle Bugz and Dear-Born Baby who can help customers deal with this specific situation and fulfill their orders through those stores instead.
At Snuggle Bugz, he said customers should call the store at 905-637-4546 and ask for Cindy and at Dear-Born Baby, call 905-881-3334 and speak with Gary.
The former The Baby’s Room location in Newmarket remains empty and signage has been removed.