Showroom of the Year: Revenue $5 Million and Over

Canada’s biggest lighting showroom also has a giant commitment to superlative customer service. From the “Team 76” in-house professional empowerment training course, to the latest wireless point-of-sale computer technology that speeds the purchasing process, to a massive warehouse filled with product ready for a smooth, fast cash-and-carry transaction, the company is not afraid to invest in keeping customers happy. 

”We see a customer standing behind every request,” explains Mark Naimer, company owner and President. “Our aim is to provide unparalleled service.” 

Union begins satisfying customers even before they enter the door. The showroom’s newly revamped website has an improved e-commerce function. Every online order is followed up with a phone call. A trained customer care staffer makes sure the product selected is correct and will truly serve the function the customer has in mind. The result is fewer mistakes and a lot more satisified customers. 

Carrying a mix of lighting, furniture and accessories is another reason why Union has seen sales increases every year in its 18 years of business. “We’re a lighting store with a lot of furniture and accessories, and a furniture and accessories store with a lot of lighting,” Naimer says. “No competitors can make that claim.” 

Merchandise is grouped by style category in partner galleries and fully furnished room settings throughout the showroom. The vignettes show new product and provide clever design solutions to common challenges. Some of the vignettes highlight lifestyle products. The store’s Princess Gallery, for instance, features more than 60 chandeliers as well as matching furniture and accessories to lighten and brighten a young lady’s boudoir.

Professional interior designers appreciate the displays as much as homeowners, Naimer says. “Our trade customers find the rooms make it very easy to put a total package together for their own clients.”

By electronically linking the sales floor and warehouse staffs in real time, Union’s new POS system gets merchandise from a ware-house shelf to order pick-up with lightning speed. As a salesperson walks through the showroom with a customer, each time an item is selected, a request is wirelessly sent to a warehouse picker, complete with warehouse location. By the time the order is finalized and paid for, the goods are ready at order pick-up.

“Our service philosophy is that, when people come in the store for help, they are on our time. When they are done shopping and have paid, we are on their time,” Naimer says. “Our system has reduced wait times to almost nothing. Now we are installing monitors that show the customer’s name, ordered items and the status of each — ordered, picked or waiting. The screens update every 30 seconds. We are really keen on giving clients the products and information they want, when they want it.”

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