Friday, 19 July 2013

The Countdown to Christmas is on at Classic Displays

Christmas is less than 6 months away. That fact can be hard to swallow in the middle of summer, but when you’re in the business of Christmas displays the countdown is always running in the back of your mind.

As mentioned in a previous blog, Christmas never ends for us. While everyone else is packing away their Christmas décor, we are doing the same, but for multiple commercial and residential properties as well as city streets. When Christmas becomes a distant memory for everyone else as they soak up the sun, we are refurbishing the many Christmas displays we store in-house and when the refurbishing is complete and we hit the 6 months until Christmas mark, we begin planning for the upcoming season.

It’s around this time that we begin to discuss new Christmas display designs and fabricate samples. While this is being done our sales team begins calling our existing customers to discuss retro fitting their existing displays so we can complete that work before our Christmas team begins manufacturing new displays.

As Santa’s favourite time of year gets closer, our sales team further switches focus to Christmas, meeting with a number of BIAs and property managers and finalizing orders.

In October our Christmas production goes into overdrive as they begin to assemble décor (including LED rope light displays, Christmas trees and wreaths) for new orders. The installations begin in early October with tree lighting installs usually taking place before Halloween and décor installations taking place after and continuing through to mid December.

As you may or may not know, Christmas displays is where we got our start and although our company has grown to include other divisions, our Christmas division remain a huge part of Classic Displays and something we all take great pride in. That’s why we want to help bring a touch of Christmas to as many streets and commercial and retail properties as we can. Last year we installed 135 Christmas Displays throughout Ontario, so you can imagine how important building and maintaining a schedule is throughout such a busy season. That’s why we encourage all BIAs and property managers to start thinking about Christmas now.

For us no project is too big or small. With a variety of displays to choose from or the option to create customized displays available, any of our sales associates would be more than happy to meet with you to discuss the upcoming Christmas season and how we can work together to create your very own winter wonderland.

It’s also worth mentioning that the earlier you finalize your plans for your Christmas needs and place your order, the less stress you will have in what’s already considered a very stressful season.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Furthering our Commitment to Sustainability

The use of ipe lumber has been a hot topic of discussion for a number of years, with the constant question of “is it a sustainable product or isn’t it”? There are arguments for both cases but in our opinion the arguments that ipe lumber is not sustainable outweigh the arguments that say it is. That’s why we at Classic Displays have decided to no longer manufacture any of our benches in ipe.

For as long as we have sold site furniture we have offered our benches in ipe because of it’s durability for outdoor use. It resists decay, and is an extremely hard, dense wood that can last at least 25 years without being stained. It’s so sturdy it’s used in a number of boardwalks across North America as it can handle foot traffic and the elements like no other.

Sounds great right? Here’s the problem. Ipe comes from an extremely slow growing tree, we’re talking 0.5 – 0.7 cm of growth in diameter at breast height per year (a white ash tree grows 1.1 cm in diameter at breast height per year) and usually comes from rain forests in Brazil and Peru. The trees require specific lighting conditions and appear at low densities making them harder to find than you might think.

As ipe continues to grow in popularity you can imagine it’s only getting harder to find, which in turn makes it the product of illegal logging. To help protect the rain forest and the species that live and grow in it, there are a variety of logging and harvesting regulations in place. The amount of paper work required for a logging company to be licensed is making it hard for the illegal loggers to keep up, but with the amount of players in the logging industry, enough of them are still managing to get around the regulations which makes it hard to know if the ipe lumber you’re receiving is actually certified sustainable.

At Classic Displays we take pride in the variety of sustainable products we manufacture and offering the option of ipe no longer fits into our commitment of sustainability. All of our benches are available in 100% recycled plastic lumber and with our green agenda, these benches are now the majority of what we sell. Not only is it a sustainable product but it’s a reliable one. With a standard 25 year limited warranty against rotting, warping, splitting and cracking, recycled plastic lumber can easily withstand the elements that Mother Nature throws its way just as well as ipe can if not better, because it’s also easy to clean and virtually maintenance free.

As the demand for sustainability in our market grows and becomes a bigger part of our product line, we hope all of our current and future customers will continue to make informed decisions when choosing enhancement products to meet their needs.

To read more about the problems facing ipe check out A Trail of Stumps from Landscaping Architecture Magazine.