Sleep Country Canada was founded in October of 1994 by Christine Magee and her two partners, Stephen Gunn and Gordon Lownds.
Their mission was simple: “To earn the customers’ trust and exceed their expectations when they purchased a new sleep set.” The fundamentals of their success can be traced to listening to what the customer was asking for, offering lots of choice, and focusing on making each experience before, during and after the sale an enjoyable one.
Beginning with just four stores and one warehouse in British Columbia, they have since grown to encompass 89 stores and eight distribution centres with more than 600 staff operating out of BC, Alberta and Ontario. Today they are the #1 mattress specialist in the country.
Christine Magee won the Toronto Business Woman of the Year in 1999, Consumers’ Choice. Christine is Retail Chair, United Way of Greater Toronto, and a member of Women Presidents’ Organization, Rouge Valley Health Centre Foundation and Richard Ivey School of Business (U.W.O.) – Advisory Council and Entrepreneurship Council. Ms. Magee is also a director of McDonalds Canada Inc. and Cott Corporation. In addition, Sleep Country Canada has been honoured as Retailer of the Year in 1996, B.C. Furniture Association; Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 1997; Top 50 Best Managed Companies in 1997, 1998; Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year-Retail/Wholesale, Financial Post in 1998; Business Excellence Award 2000 – Mattress Store, Consumers’ Choice; and Toronto Sun’s Readers Choice Award in 2002.
Stephen Gunn graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University in 1977 and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in 1981. He joined McKinsey and Company as a management consultant and worked with organizations on sales and marketing issues. He left McKinsey to become President of Kenrick Capital, a merchant bank involved in acquisitions.
In 1994 he co-founded Sleep Country Canada where he has spent the last ten years working to build the company. He is a trustee of the Connors Bros. Income Fund and the Golf Town Income Fund, and a member of the Board of Crescent School.
Sleep Country Canada is firmly dedicated to community work, included their Donated Bed Program, where, as part of the customer delivery service, Sleep Country Canada removes old mattresses from homes and donates them to charitable organizations.