Showroom of the Year Finalist: Shades of Light
May 27, 2010 - 10:48am

Finalist, Revenue Under $2 Million
Shades of Light
Richmond, VA

Why would someone recommend Shades of Light, a 5,000-square-foot showroom? According to the company’s entry, here’s the answer: The staff is pleasant, extremely helpful and knows a lot about lighting. The products are unique. The merchandise represents top quality; the store stands behind everything it sells.

In addition to lighting fixtures, portable lamps and lamp shades, customers will also find antique lighting. New and antique rugs are another specialty category. Accent furniture, wall décor and related goods round out the offerings. The goal is to always thrill the customer with “unique product, incomparable service and superior expertise.”

As the brick-and-mortar retail side of a company that also operates a major catalog business and e-commerce website, the store serves as a testing ground for those other businesses. Much of the merchandise is exclusive, so feedback at the store level is invaluable.

Twice a year, Shades of Light hosts community events, such as the popular Antique Extravaganza. Book signings bring customers in. Designers are regularly invited to attend presentations followed by cocktails. When it comes to media advertising, the company uses direct mailers and magazine placements on a regular basis. Yet it is always the television ads that seem to pull the most people into the store.

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