It’s been a banner year for Cleveland Lighting. There was that flattering column in the Family Business section of The Wall Street Journal about Marty and Matt Bursky, Cleveland Lighting’s father-and-son team who are equal (and compatible) business partners. An e-commerce website launched in May is reaching new customers daily and cementing relationships with current customers, too.
In all the excitement, receiving the Showroom of the Year Award at the June Dallas Market was both “humbling and an honor,” says Matt Bursky.
A risky, “out of the box” store concept at its inception, in many ways Cleveland Lighting has redefined the industry’s notion of superior lighting showroom store design and merchandising. Vast expanses of white space, tall, airy windows and an artful approach to showing product in its best light set the stage for an exciting shopping experience. Behind the scenes, advanced retailing technology has tightened inventory control, improving profitability and customer service in the process.
Two years since re-opening after a fire, Cleveland Lighting has not lost any momentum. New merchandise continues to flow in and out the door, sold in an upscale setting Matt Bursky likens to “a large jewelry store.”
Yet, as Bursky quickly acknowledges, “No business can tread water.” As such, Cleveland Lighting is investing to make online retailing a larger part of its business.
“Every great lighting showroom needs a great website. It is hard to find both,” he says. “I felt we could improve ours.”
Launched this spring, Cleveland Lighting’s newly improved e-commerce website has just begun to show its potential. Carefully crafted to visually portray the physical showroom’s unique look and feel, the company’s new website has deepened local relationships and broadened the market substantially, he says. “We feel good about the way people react to our showroom, and we designed the website with the same look and image so we would get the same reaction to our online store.”
Like many showrooms across the country, Cleveland Lighting is helping customers make the transition to new lighting technologies. Constant product education for the staff has never been more important. Each staff member completes the Lighting One training certification course, and then takes courses to earn quarterly continuing education credits.
“We’re in the lighting category, and we want to be an expert in every capacity. But there’s a lot to know,” Bursky says. “We believe in constant support and goal setting. We continually work on product knowledge, sales techniques and people skills to improve all of our overall abilities.”