Based on quality, service and design, Park Lighting consistently ranks number one in Edmonton. For the Johannesen family, who have watched Park Lighting grow from a small, do-it-yourself electrical shop on Whyte Ave to an extensive 14,000 square foot showroom on 170th street over the last twenty-nine years, it's the consistency and continuity of their service, reputation, and customer base that means the most to them.
"Our business has a more corporate showroom, but our customer service shows we're still a mom and pop store," says Sales Manager Jared Johannesen. And since Jared is in the third generation of Johannesens working full time in the store, maintaining what his parents, uncle, aunt, and grandfather have grown is extremely important�not only to ensure the continued success of the business, but to honour the name and legacy of what his family has built.
This kind of investment is palpable in the energy of the store. Walking in to Park Lighting's showroom on any given day there are over 10 knowledgeable and experienced staff on hand, but the feeling of an invested, warm, family business remains. The staff is warm, energetic and creates a genuine sense in the store that they enjoy what they do and care about doing a good job.
"Plus, if your mom's there, you sort of have to do a good job," adds daughter Kathryn Johannesen, with a smile. But owner (and mother) Betty Johannesen, who is certainly one of the busiest and most experienced Lighting Consultants in the store, is as likely as anyone to be whipping out the vacuum or dusting a mirror or running upstairs to check on a delivery time. That's how a family business works. Over the years, sons, daughters, in-laws and other relatives of many of the staff have come to work at Park, building more and more of a close-knit, people-focused atmosphere.
Being situated in a 35,000 square foot facility has given Park Lighting an edge over its competitors on a number of fronts. First, it allows the store to show more product in its comprehensive showroom than any other competitor. Second, it allows the store to carry a tremendous amount of inventory. This ensures that customers receive their product quickly and efficiently at a very economical price.
If the product a customer needs is not in Park's extensive warehouse, it may only be a few days' wait away. Park's sister store, Cartwright Lighting, is Calgary's largest lighting store and carries very similar inventory to its Edmonton counterpart. So if Park's warehouse does not have inventory of a particular product, it may be in Cartwright's 45,000 square foot facility. With this much room to carry stock, Park can purchase product by the container rather than in small quantities. This buying power has enabled it to negotiate deals with its suppliers, which can then be passed on to its customers.
Catering to a Variety of Needs
Whether you are a general customer, homebuilder, contractor, designer, or electrician, Park Lighting has the technical knowledge, product, organizational capacity and strong commitment to exceptional customer service that is necessary to serve your needs � no matter what your budget level. Both the purchaser and the sales staff keep this philosophy in mind when a few members of the Park team make a bi-annual trip to the Dallas Lighting Market. It is here that they are able to keep abreast of new products, new trends, and seek out specialty pricing. So whether it's a traditional, transitional, contemporary, provincial, mission, or hi-tech look you seek, options abound.
As the tastes and preferences of the Alberta population continue to evolve, it is essential for Park and Cartwright Lighting's staff to remain educated on existing types of lighting as well as new developments in the lighting industry. This is the only way the staff can provide the best service for their customers. For this reason many members of the sales team have become Lighting Specialists with the American Lighting Association, an association that teaches the expert techniques of how to properly and efficiently light a home.
More than just Lights
Park Lighting's commitment to exceptional customer service extends beyond the sales staff. Having electricians and service people on hand to answer questions, follow up with products or installation, or make repairs on older fixtures, means customers are not left on their own�even when they leave the store.
In addition, everything that isn't nailed down in the store is for sale. Furniture, artwork, vases, rugs and Christmas decorations constitute just a few of the things you might be surprised to find on the showroom floor. Jared Johannesen notes "People are beginning to spend more on their lighting because of the designer shows on TV. These shows have helped Edmontonians look at new ways to improve their homes," and offering some of the accent furniture and art that go with the lighting is part and parcel of that heightened design focus.
As Park Lighting moves into its 30th year here in Edmonton, it also looks forward to giving more back to the community. Thanks to the excellent staff and the loyalty of their customer base, Park Lighting has grown into a flourishing local business and has, as a result, been able to give thousands of dollars to various charities close to their hearts.
Four Saturdays a year, Park Lighting � along with its sister store Cartwright Lighting - donate the sum total of the day's sales of each store to one of its chosen causes. Over the last few years, thousands of dollars have been donated to help the Firefighters Burn Victim Society, fight AIDS in Africa through CRWRC, help fund homes and services for the mentally and physically challenged through Rehoboth, and mitigate world hunger.