“The Stuart showroom is staffed with salespeople, just like our other stores, however, it doesn’t have the breadth of product on display,” Lebersfeld clarifies.
The 20,000sq.ft. Boca Raton Capitol Lighting boasts another innovative idea: a freestanding, interactive kiosk prominently placed on the sales floor. Since the Boca location is the chain’s highest-volume store, the kiosk serves as silent salesman when the store is crowded.
“Most customers who come in the store still want to deal with a person at point-of-sale,” Lebersfeld notes. “The kiosk is particularly effective when there is an overflow of customers or when homeowners want to take the time to see all of the configurations and finishes available before narrowing down their selection with a salesperson,” he adds. The kiosk is highly user-friendly and can play the various informational videos Capitol Lighting has on its 1-800-LIGHTING.com site, with topics ranging from 5 Biggest Mistakes in Landscape Lighting, Lighting Controls, and Bedroom Lighting to an introduction to LED lighting.
The educational videos have had a great response with consumers, as have marketing promotions such as the Capitol Lighting’s jingle contest held last fall. Promoted on Capitol Lighting and 1-800-LIGHTING.com’s Facebook and Twitter platforms, the contest drew submissions nationwide with prizes that ranged from a $2,500 grand prize to a second place win of $1,000 plus $750 and $500 certificates for online shopping sprees. Thousands of Facebook and Twitter users voted on the winning videos and were also entered into a sweepstakes. “The jingles were ranked by originality, quality, creativity, realism, excitement, plus consistency with and promotion of the Capitol Lighting brand,” Lebersfeld remarks.
The fact that the contest received attention in states that did not even have a Capitol Lighting store was confirmation to the Lebersfelds that the 1-800-LIGHTING.com Internet site had indeed become top-of-mind in consumer recognition as a source for lighting.
In addition to reaching out to end consumers, Capitol Lighting spends a lot time and energy communicating with the interior design trade. “It’s all about engagement,” Lebersfeld explains.
This spring the retailer partnered with Florida Design magazine to present a free one-day event called “Design Through Light” for designers at the Boca Raton showroom, complete with hors d’oeuvres and wine. Also part of the festivities, social media expert Georgianne Brown, of Big Couch Media Group, shared strategies on ways interior designers can leverage the power of social media to build their businesses.
What will the future hold? “Change is going to keep happening,” Lebersfeld warns. One needs ongoing vigilance to stay on top. “You have to keep the good things and do away with what’s not working. That is what’s made us a stronger and forward-thinking company,” he adds. “You have to stay relevant and stay connected to your customers while striving to satisfy all of their needs that you can.”
There are no shortcuts. The reasons behind Capitol Lighting’s achievement are simple. “We’ve had passion and dedication to our business starting 85+ years ago with my great-great grandparents. We have a lot of pride in our company. These days you have to become adaptable. We’ve made more changes in the last four years than in the last 40,” Lebersfeld states. “Capitol Lighting, with its many stores, has become a big ship, and as such, it takes a lot to turn it. We will continue to keep scanning the horizon to look for the rocks and alter our course accordingly,” he surmises.