After 20 years at the helm of one of the Central Island’s most celebrated businesses, Mark Nagra acknowledges that he loves a new project. Most recently it was expanding his longstanding M & N Mattress into a new storefront next door: M&N Sofa Gallery.
If he ever does decide to slow down, he may just take the time to pen a book.
The title? That’s the easy part: “What Does the Customer Think?” he says quickly.
Those five simple words have guided Mark throughout his decades in business, first as the manager of a North Island furniture shop, and for the last 20 years as the owner, with wife Neelam, of the Parksville business. With their daughter Natasha “the future of M&N” joining the family business last year.
What Does the Customer Think?
That question involves much more than the service or the quality of the products, it’s about the details – what do they think about the about the staff’s product knowledge, the matching store-branded shirts sported by the delivery team and the after-sale follow-up phone calls?
During this COVID era, those details extend to things like sanitizing stations, staff wearing masks, and even deeper cleaning than usual in the already spotless store.
“What does the customer think? If you have that focus, customer service is easy,” Mark says.
The philosophy has served the customers well – reflected not only in their 200-plus 4.9-star rating on Google, one of the best in the furniture/mattress industry in Canada. (Their second store, WR Mattress Gallery in White Rock, equals those ratings and won the 2017 BBB People’s Pick Award for the entire Mainland — Vancouver, Burnaby Fraser Valley and area.)
Equally important is M&N’s record with BBB, not only their A+ rating with over 200 5-star reviews, but their multiple BBB Torch Awards. Based on customer input, the awards reflect a merchant’s performance in four areas: community engagement, ethical decision making, trustworthiness and perhaps most importantly, customer service excellence.
“We have won more BBB-Vancouver Island Torch Awards than any other retailer, of any kind, on the Island,” Mark notes.
It was that customer-first approach that guided last year’s foray into sofas and other home furnishings; when the owner of the adjacent wool shop retired after 37 years, Mark took the opportunity to expand into the space, as well as the adjacent Taekwondo studio.
“Our customers were always asking us about sofas, so we wanted to answer those requests by bringing the same business model. And I always want a project – that’s fun for me,” he says with a laugh.
Pointing to the maple leaf between the M and N in their logo, it speaks to Mark’s commitment to buying local, including BC companies like Vancouver-based Purba custom solid wood furniture, custom Stylus sofas, and brands like Elite and Vogue. For a great night’s sleep, you’ll also find BC-made Pure Energy Ironman and New Gen mattresses. Stop by the store at 291 East Island Hwy. to see what’s new for your home, or get inspired at parksvillemattress.com or mnsofa.ca.