By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
The former site of Coachlite Roller Gardens is now in the hands of an e-commerce company.
Phusia.com Inc. has opened their new warehouse at the former roller rink, filling the hole left in Oshawa’s downtown core.
The online store sells cosmetics, health and beauty, personal care items, “pretty much anything you find in a pharmacy,” says Sales Director Julian Portelli.
“We have now expanded to sell fragrances… we’re selling some clothing as well, toys and games,” he says. “But really we started just over three and a half years ago just selling cosmetics.”
Since then the company has grown. Founder and CEO Kyle Jollymore started the company out of his condo, and tapped into the “secondary market,” according to Portelli
The secondary market is when larger chains find authorized resellers, such as Phusia.com, who will take products which are no longer priority and remarket them, he explains.
Portelli says their products can be found on Amazon, and other online marketplaces such as eBay, and Open Sky.
“We also have our own website where we sell primarily to customers, but also directly to businesses,” he says.
He notes these are typically smaller businesses, such as small pharmacies, “mom and pop shops,” smaller grocery stores, and others.
Portelli also notes the COVID-19 pandemic has been a “very interesting time” for the company.
“It redefined customer behaviour, it redefined personal lives, personal interactions. It’s definitely a game changer and it remains to be seen what the new normal will look like,” he says.
But because the company is online, Portelli says the workers at Phusia.com have noticed people who may not have been buying products online are doing so now out of necessity.
“We were able to provide essential products,” he says.
He notes there is also a retail store in the Pickering Flea Market, which is open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We sell a number of the things that we have on our website at the market,” he says.
However, the primary warehouse location is in Oshawa at 88 King St. W.
Currently, there are 12 employees, and Portelli says they are an equal opportunity employer, with a number of them who are working through or have worked through mental illnesses.
For more information, visit phusia.com.