New Year, New Showroom: How to Get There in 10 Easy Steps

Retailers reveal their best-kept secrets for putting their best face forward.

Jennifer Pinto
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Lighting fixtures in Lights Unlimited, Garner, NC
Rules schmules. Go rogue by adding a few “wow” fixtures to your displays, says Lights Unlimited’s Carla Reck and Brian Howard. “Even if they're not the type of items that sell every day, unusual fixtures make your showroom a fun and interesting place to visit and shop.”

For better or worse, “New Year, new you” season is upon us. Everywhere you turn, people are making resolutions, buying up expensive gym memberships and going all Marie Kondo on their clutter-filled garages. Others among us are simply eager to let go of the disappointments and over indulgences of 2017 in favor of a brighter, shinier and all-around better 2018. It can all be a bit, well, overwhelming. In your showroom, making plans and setting goals for the coming year isn’t any less of a chore. But, while you make your plans for where you want your business to be 365 days from now, there are some things you can do right away to give your showroom a quick and easy facelift. 

Lighting & Decor caught up with a couple of our favorite forward-thinking retailers to find out what they’re doing to revive their showroom and make way for the year ahead.

Here are their top tips for clearing the way for a year full of possibilities. 

Lights Unlimited, Garner, North Carolina

Do a deep clean

It may sound like lighting showroom 101, but clean, dust-free fixtures and portables make all the difference. While you’re dusting, take the opportunity to spot and replace burned-out light bulbs.  

Go color crazy

Talk about bang for your buck: Applying a fresh coat of paint may be an inexpensive endeavor, but it’s one that can make a big visual impact. Check out forecasts by resources like Color Marketing Group and Pantone, and show off your color savvy with trendy looks that work well with your product mix. 

Move things around

You know what they say about the tried and true…it’s boring. Make your regular customers and designers do a double take by rearranging the products on the show floor. A new position or unexpected pairing might even help sell hard-to-move merchandise. 

Break the rules

Rules were meant to be broken, and some home décor precedents should have gone by the wayside long ago. Shake your showroom up by mixing materials like different metals and woods and styles like modern and vintage, rustic and contemporary. Not only are mutinous displays more interesting, they’ll also empower customers to take style chances in their own homes. 

Look from the outside in

First impressions are everything. Set the stage for a superior shopping experience by tidying up your showroom’s exterior, adding some seasonal landscaping and perhaps some decorative outdoor path lights. Even a fresh coat of paint on the outside of the building can make a huge difference in curb appeal. 

— Tips courtesy of Brian Howard and Carla Reck of Lights Unlimited

Northern Lighting, Westerville, Ohio

Go high (and low)

Style your vignettes from every angle. You know all those manufacturer-supplied clouds you have laying around? Put them to use, displaying different groupings of fixtures. Directly underneath, arrange lamps and decorative accessories that complement (or serve as an interesting counterpart) to the hanging lights above. 

…Eye-level works, too

Do you have a product that hasn’t sold well? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and sometimes the beholder needs to see it at eye level. Move it down from the sea fixtures, and watch it fly off the shelf…er, ceiling 

Be critical 

Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Take a break from your everyday routine, and step into your customers shoes long enough to give your showroom a long, hard, critical look. Be merciless, and come up with a list of things you could do better. Then, ask your sales team to vote on one or two changes to implement right away.

Know when to say goodbye

“Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you?” You may be stunned and a little hurt that one of your favorite market finds hasn’t sold. But when a certain amount of time has passed, it’s probably time to cut your losses and ditch the design. Or better yet, donate it to Habitat for Humanity. Getting rid of the old, gives you room to bring in the new or at least thin out your crowded showroom. 

Alter the flow

Keep customers and designers on their toes, by rerouting their path through the showroom. Whether it's a completely new traffic flow or a detour around an accent table or floor lamp display, the change of scenery can help highlight products in a new way. 

— Tips courtesy of Scott Metz of Northern Lighting


How will you change up your showroom this year? Share with us in the comments!

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