Editors Note April 2019

[dropcap]D[/dropcap]epending on whom you ask in the lighting industry, it is estimated that consumers buy lighting fixtures once every 15 to 25 or more years. It’s not a seasonal business like apparel or fashion/status-driven as a car purchase. In fact, an article by Motoring Research cited, “Many car buyers are looking to upgrade their wheels within as little as 18 months” — which is just shy of how often consumers typically upgrade their cell phones (two years).

And while the population density on our planet is undeniably increasing, those numbers aren’t commensurate with the amount of foot traffic inside brick-and-mortar lighting showrooms. Therefore, more lighting retailers have been broadening their product assortment to include other categories in hopes that this will not only bring in new customers but encourage existing ones to visit more often as they update other areas in their homes.

Choosing the right categories depends on your store’s demographic as well as the competition in your region. I know of several lighting retailers who brought in women’s jewelry and handbags with mixed results. Others have tried – and succeeded – with rugs, cookware and small kitchen appliances, and bath accessories. In this issue, we’ll detail some of the more common additional categories for lighting showrooms: wall art, mirrors, and hardware. 

Similarly, the major trade show markets have been expanding their product mixes to include such tangential categories as outdoor living, decorative accessories, gourmet food, upscale gifts, plus rugs.  Everyone is time-pressed these days and looking for ways to accomplish more in less time — the notion of one-stop-shopping in manufacturing, buying, and selling holds tremendous appeal. 

If you haven’t already planned to explore bringing new categories to your customers this year, the idea is well worth considering. While we may have just completed the first quarter of 2019, there are still many more months and trade show opportunities ahead to make a modification to your mix.

We hope that the content of this issue inspires and guides you in that endeavor.

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