Mclaren shines above for selection, customer service

Mclaren Lighting has won first place for Best Lighting Store for the seventh consecutive year in the News Bulletin’s Best of the City.

Craig Finnigan

Craig Finnigan

When it comes to lighting, one Nanaimo store shines above the rest.

Mclaren Lighting has won first place for Best Lighting Store for the seventh consecutive year for the News Bulletin’s Best of the City contest.

The secret to landing a spot in the limelight? Employees say it’s a large showroom, customer service and knowledgable staff.

“The first thing would be our customer service … people get the one-on-one, they don’t have to wait to get the help that they need,” said assistant manager Debbie Ethier, who explains that associates are passionate about lighting and love helping people with it, including designing house plans.

Homes can be a big investment for people and associates at Mclaren can help create layouts for lighting up interior spaces, suggest sizes and locations for fixtures and talk about what’s new, she said.

General manager Craig Finnigan, whose father helped open the first store in Victoria in 1960, says  associates care about customers and their service is beyond what people might normally expect.

The store gives people that ‘wow’ experience, he said, adding that whether people shop for a bulb or an expensive light, they get an equal level of service.

The Nanaimo store, a longtime fixture in the community, has 5,500-square feet of showroom with hundreds of products on display. People can find everything from flashy chandeliers to demure wall mounts. There are also hanging fixtures, stained-glass lamps and outdoor lights.

Many of the products are in the store’s warehouse, meaning that if people need lights right away, nine out of 10 times they’ll be in stock, Ethier said.

“We have contractors come in and sometimes they need a whole house package the next week and a lot of times we can help them out with that,” she said.

And don’t forget about knowledge. These lighting experts work to stay on top of the latest trends.

“We are up-to-date with absolutely the latest trends found anywhere in North America,” said Finnigan, who just got back from the Light Fair in Las Vegas.

“We just love what we do, we are a professional lighting store and we are offering the Island amazing choices in lighting and expertise.”