Winners Announced for 2016 Showroom of the Year Awards

Three showrooms won in each of three dollar-volume categories, and three received specialty awards.

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2016 Showroom of the Year Award Winners

Dallas Market Center and Residential Lighting announced the winners of the seventh annual Showroom of the Year Awards during the opening night of the summer edition of Lightovation – Dallas International Lighting Show.

The event, hosted at the Dallas Trade Mart’s Loft 4 on June 22, 2016, recognized top lighting retailers throughout North America in three overall excellence and three specialty categories.

One Showroom of the Year was named in each of three dollar-volume categories (annual revenue under $2 million, revenue under $5 million, and $5 million and over) from a field of up to 10 finalists in that category. All finalists were also eligible for three specialty awards: Outstanding Merchandising Display, Exceptional Community Involvement and Social Media Star.

Three retail and design experts judged the 2016 finalists and winners. This year’s judges were Lori Dennis, ASID, LEED AP, interior designer, author, co-founder of Design Campus and star of HGTV’s “The Real Designing Women,” based in Los Angeles; Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, author and founder/Publisher of Retail Minded magazine, based in Parker, CO; and Bob Phibbs, business strategist, author, speaker and owner of The Retail Doctor consulting firm, based in Coxsackie, NY.

The 2016 Showroom of the Year winners are:

Revenue Under $2 Million: Progressive Lighting, Atlanta, Georgia

A past Showroom of the Year Social Media Star, Progressive Lighting recently celebrated its 50th year in business and participated in the new Fox reality competition show “Home Free” by donating fixtures and fans. New employees are indoctrinated into the fold with a comprehensive eight-day orientation program, receiving continuing education opportunities and enjoying fun contests like one where a grand prize winner received a Bahamas cruise—a generous incentive that especially grabbed judges’ attention!

Revenue Under $5 Million: Accent Lighting, Lake Oswego, Oregon

The fact that last year’s Revenue Under $2 Million winner is now in a higher revenue category is testimony to Accent Lighting’s financial success. But what continues to set this 5,000-square-foot showroom apart is its enthusiastic, educated staff, representing the only American Lighting Association Certified Lighting Consultants in the entire state of Oregon. One judge even called this store “best in show.”

Revenue $5 Million and Over: Lightology, Chicago, Illinois

A winner at the inaugural Showroom of the Year Awards for its Outstanding Merchandising Display, Lightology’s striking three-story showroom is a Windy City institution, serving professional trades as well as retail customers. Approaching displays as “light art exhibits” to be experienced versus shopped, the store will soon install Helios, a groundbreaking electronic skylight. Judges were inspired by the combination of innovation and beauty.

Outstanding Merchandising Display: Design Lighting, Surrey, British Columbia

Design Lighting is no stranger to this category, having received it twice in the past. But transitioning to an entirely all-LED offering earned this showroom additional recognition this year. By assigning different areas of the store to different staff members, multiple design sensibilities are encouraged. And interactive room settings and outdoor environments engage customers. Said one judge: “This company is doing everything right.”

Exceptional Community Involvement: Park Lighting, Edmonton, Alberta

Customers so appreciate Park Lighting’s philanthropic efforts that, for many, it contributes to their choice to shop there. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the store donated $25,000 to five different charities over the course of the year. Four times a year, one day’s sales are earmarked for a specific charity as part of Charity Days, raising almost $3 million in total for worthy causes over the past nine years.

Social Media Star: Montréal Lighting & Hardware, Montréal, Quebec

Last year’s Community Involvement winner, Montreal Lighting & Hardware has gained more than 10,000 social media followers in just two years of being in business. Using seven platforms (Facebook, Houzz, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter), the store uses social media not only for announcements and promotions, but to share a passion for everything lighting- and design-related, making them ambassadors of interesting content that helps to strengthen their relationships with clients and vendors.

“Evolving technologies and new channels of distribution are challenging lighting retailers to be better than ever, and these stores have certainly risen to the occasion,” says Laura Van Zeyl, Publisher and Editorial Director of Residential Lighting magazine. “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to recognize them at the industry’s premier buying event in partnership with Dallas Market Center.” 

“We are pleased to recognize these world-class retailers,” says Cindy Morris, President and CEO of Dallas Market Center. “The June edition of Lightovation is the perfect setting for this event, and we are pleased to spotlight well-deserving Showroom of the Year recipients.”

The call for entries and nominations for the 2017 Showroom of the Year Awards is open until February 27, 2017.