The Lighting Showroom Association (LSA) has launched a private label pilot program exclusively available to its showroom membership. The move was the result of feedback the association received from lighting showrooms throughout the U.S. and Canada regarding the difficulties in maintaining profitability in an era of deep discount pricing from online distributors. According to LSA founder Lisa Dixon, being able to offer access to a private label product line is a proactive step that the organization is undertaking in order to effectively address the number one challenge faced by its retail members.
This opportunity underscores LSA’s “stronger together” message by providing participating showrooms with the ability to feature a selection of products at a preferred cost advantage. In addition to the attractive designs and price points, Private Label LLC has made this easy for LSA. They handle all of details such as ordering, payments, shipping, and delivery directly with LSA members.
Private Label LLC is the brainchild of long-time lighting industry veterans Maria Mullen and Barb Cote, who have successfully created similar programs for individual clients and have been members and supporters of LSA since the organization launched last year. The initial product offering will be approximately 100 diverse and original lighting SKUs to cover different pricing and customer targets. The selection is curated and provided by Private Label and is not intended to serve as, or replace, a comprehensive lighting line.
What is different about the LSA-Private Label program versus the more traditional method of distribution is that it’s “no frills,” which contributes to the cost savings. Like any reward, there are risks associated with the program. From the start, there are no factory sales representatives involved, which means that RGAs and any customer service issues are the responsibility of the showroom as there’s no one to call. Of course, Private Label will have some replacement parts available for broken glass that, but that’s it.
Dixon explains that the intention is not to offer a full product line that would compete in a scope similar to that of manufacturers the lighting showrooms are already doing business with. The primary purpose is to enable brick-and-mortar LSA members to augment their offering with basic, yet stylish, product that would allow for greater margins. She also adds that LSA encourages manufacturer members and service providers to get creative and present their company’s programs to the group for even greater success with showroom members.
“Our bottom-line question is always, ‘Does this [Program/Training/Action] support independent lighting showrooms?’ We are all very much in agreement that the LSA-Private Label program aligns squarely with the LSA mission,” Dixon adds. “The LSA is committed to empowering the independent lighting showroom and we believe this program can help you win back diminishing margins of sale. It is our hope that this offering will supplement the product lines you already carry in your showroom, leading to greater sales and success in our challenging retail environment.”