Richardson Lighting: Five Decades of Keeping the Lights On!
February 14, 2017
When I asked Store Manager Don Richardson of Richardson Lighting about his thoughts regarding the business’ upcoming 50th anniversary for 2017, the stoic and well-spoken grey-haired gentlemen sitting directly across from me summed up his sentiments in a few brief but powerful statements. “Honesty, integrity, dedicated customers, excellent staff and partners, and certainly an element of luck,” he says fondly reminiscing about his 35 years with the company.
Initially starting out as a building supply company selling such items as Pella windows and sliding doors, founder Ernie Richardson saw a demand for lighting products and tapped into this demand after being encouraged to do so by his friends and colleagues in the electrical field at the time. A former world curling champion in the late 1950s, Ernie would go on to open his first location at 1431 Scarth St. in 1967 and would remain there until 1973. The industry seemed a good fit for Ernie, given that his father was an accomplished homebuilder.
Eventually Ernie would partner with Regina Rent it Centre and purchase a 1,500 sq. ft. building located at 2460 7th Ave. Despite a slowdown in activity during the early 1970s, Richardson’s reputation for honest and knowledgeable service grew, along with their need for more space. “The early 1970s were a slow time,” says Don, who was an Electrician just prior to joining his dad in the family business in 1978.
Once the site of a former skating rink, the store moved to its present-day location at 2101 7th Ave. in 1982. With the growth of the retail side of the business over the years, their current location has expanded to a total of 20,000 sq. ft. of usable space across multiple floors. In addition to its flagship store in Regina, Richardson Lighting also maintains a 16,000 sf. ft. showroom at 402 47th St. E. in Saskatoon.
Don tells me that the secret to the business’ long-term success and longevity comes down to a tried and true formula of offering a good selection of products and services by knowledgeable staff at competitive pricing. Turnover is extremely low as most of their staff are long-term employees. This dynamic allows their more experienced staff to pass on their well-honed expertise, as well as form strong, long-lasting relationships with their customers, both wholesale and retail. “Intimidate knowledge of product is crucial given the technical and complicated nature of the industry,” says Don.
To celebrate its 50th anniversary for 2017, the company is hosting a warehouse sale and customer appreciation event later in the spring and participating in the Regina Spring Home Show. A big congrats to Richardson Lighting for its 50 years of continuous business and here’s to 50 more!
Want to learn more about Richardson Lighting’s product selection and expert repair services? You can visit them at www.richardsonlighting.com, call their Regina location at 306-525-8301 or stop in and visit them at their showroom!
Joshua Kurkjian is the Marketing & Administrative Coordinator for the Regina Warehouse District