Lighting showrooms, interior designers, home décor dealers, and those in the architectural community are wrapping up a great year when it comes to steady sales and bringing profitability levels up. Here comes 2016, but uh-oh, it’s an election year…and we all know what that means. Now add the refugee crisis occurring overseas – and its impact on U.S. immigration numbers – and it’s easy to get nervous about 2016.

The good news is that our industry has been enjoying a return to steady growth for the past two years. Riding that wave, the recent Fall High Point Market was full of patterns, colors, and bold styling — all positive indicators of consumer confidence.

We have to stay the course and continue to bolster consumers’ good feelings about nesting and redecorating their homes. After all, our homes are our refuge – a fact that becomes especially important when other aspects of our daily living can seem wildly chaotic. Our message to consumers should be positive and should cater to that desire of creating a personal and super-comfortable sanctuary.

In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks on Paris and the threats of more violence to come in public places all over the world, many people are understandably hesitant to venture out and enjoy public events. If there ever was a peak in the cocooning trend, we might surpass that height in the months to come.

People don’t want to live under the shadow of “What If?” or stop doing things they have enjoyed in the past like dining out, going shopping, or attending a concert or festival (nor should they). But I do believe that, given recent events, “home” as a “safe place” is going to be vital to consumers of all ages going forward. They will be looking for fresh looks to brighten up their living environments – whether it is an apartment, a starter home, or their third house. Manufacturers have been bringing out the cool, new styles that consumers want. Keep sending the message that your store should become the place where consumers can accomplish that goal.

I wish you all a very happy holiday season and a prosperous new year and look forward to seeing you in 2016.

Linda-Longo