Lighting Showrooms Share Throwback Thoughts

Showrooms reflect on business in 2016.

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The end of the year is upon us — a great time to evaluate what went well in 2016, what changes need to be made and what the plans are for the year ahead. We asked several showrooms for their “year in review.” Here’s what they had to say.


Gross Electric
Gross Electric features popular trends seen in 2016 such as mixed metals, Mid-Century Modern, weathered brass, orbs and recessed retrofit fixtures.

In 2016, Gross Electric remodeled its 5,000-square-foot Ann Arbor, MI, showroom. Relocation of the counter made for a more inviting environment and encouraged browsing, and redesigned recessed and tape displays made selling easier. Capital Lighting in Columbus, OH, boasts 7,500 square feet of space with more than 2,500 pieces displayed in it. In 2016, the showroom decided to do something about the No. 1 trend that it saw this year: the need for LED.

“This year, we had a better display of LED light bulbs,” says Larry King, co-owner. “We made this change and it led to an increase in revenue.”

What Else Worked?

When it comes to reviewing 2016, what do showrooms credit with their success? Elume Distinctive Lighting in Park City, UT, knows that customers shop extensively online before they even step foot in their 1,800-square-foot boutique showroom. Owner Jennifer Brassey feels strongly about attending Dallas Market twice a year to see what each vendor is offering.

“Not only does it save time in the selection process with our customers, but we are able to recommend certain manufacturers who consistently have a higher quality level,” Brassey explains.

This year, Gross Electric worked on getting its showroom salespeople to use iPads in the showroom, allowing them to be part of the buying process by marking what they want before the buyers go to market.

A New Year’s Resolution

Looking forward to 2017, Laurie Gross, President of Gross Electric, says they want to continue to push technology and improve sales efficiency.

“It’s important to know the trends so we can have the latest designs in our showrooms,” she explains. “People want to come in and see in our showrooms what they’ve seen on TV.”

King echoes the sentiment, saying his company plans to go to market both in January and June to buy new product and stay current on upcoming trends. Brassey says they will continually upgrade their showroom — not just display fixtures, but things like the showroom’s general overhead lighting.

“We will continue to add a few inspirational pieces that it’s unlikely our customers will see anywhere else. Seeing the wonder and excitement on our customers’ faces is such a reward — it is great to share the love of lighting.”

If You Could Wrap Up 2016 in One Sentence, What Would it Be?

“We saw the building industry ramp up, and we are excited to announce that it didn’t take long to see it in our sales of lighting!” Jennifer Brassey, owner of Elume Distinctive Lighting

“We’re fighting the battle for sales against the Internet and home centers, but our great people continue to get the sales!” Laurie Gross, President of Gross Electric

“Captial Lighting’s sales were the best in company history.” Larry King, co-owner of Capital Lighting

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