Calling for Clean Lines and Clutter-free Looks
By Andrea Lillo
The Dallas-to-Las Vegas route will be the flight pattern of many in the lighting industry this month, as the Dallas International Lighting Market (Jan. 20 to 24) and the Las Vegas Market (Jan. 24 to 28) overlap for the first time. And what awaits it at both shows is the theme of less is more, as new products this month continue to show cleaner lines and fewer embellishments -- unless they add the wanted details of sparkle and shine.
While the shift to contemporary styling continues, it's not as fast as it has been, said Ken Kallett, executive vice president, Dale Tiffany, as traditional is the bulk of the business in tough times. "People feel more secure with what they know and what they are used to," and its Tiffany line remains a firm basic category. But whether the product is contemporary or traditional, the styling is still leaning towards a cleaner, simpler feel, he added.
Jeff Dross, senior product manager, Kichler, agreed, adding that retailers found in cutting-edge areas will find "satin-brass and satin-gold monotone finishes look to be around the corner."
Lite Source's Joel Kent, director of marketing, sees sparkle, as retailers are asking for reflective finishes and crystal. "I attribute this to the warm feeling that a shine gives to people, retailers and their customers love sparkle and shine," he said. "Consumers are coming out of the scared phase of the downturn."
While Lite Source offers a range of price points, Kent said the "sweet spot" is from $59.99 to $129.99, given the economy, but higher price points are still moving, albeit more slowly.
"Rather than purchasing based on emotions, customers of today are looking for substance that is created with the perfect balance of style, quality and value," said Libbe Milicia, director of decorative product development, Progress Lighting. Consumers want to simplify their lives, she said, so Progress will debut its new Lifestyles program. With five style categories -- Grace, Elements, Relax, Transcend and Loft--consumers can mix and match products within that program by color-coded classifications.
AF Lighting will add a new designer--Greg O'Neal--to its Horizons series, which it introduced a year ago. O'Neal offers a more neoclassical/Greek look, said Paul Spano, director of product development. The company will introduce 75 new products overall, he added, including a strong focus on its Candice Olson license.
Category expansion will also be part of the gameplan for many. Philips' Forecast line will complement its top-selling Organic Modern sustainable hard-wired series with two groups of portables: the clean and transitional Fischer Island and Embarcadero, which is also transitional and offers natural wood accents. And like many other companies, Philips will focus on the LED category, debuting LED-based collections as part of both Thomas and Forecast lines.
Kichler will reinvigorate its mirror category with 15 decorative mirrors. The line gets inspiration from popular color palettes, beach-inspired natural materials and childhood favorites.
With the announcement last month that Visual Comfort & Co. received the lighting license for Ralph Lauren Home, buyers in Dallas will be able to view the new Ralph Lauren Home and Lauren Home collections in Taylors on Ten, World Trade Center #10010.
In Las Vegas, Pacific Coast Lighting will debut a new showroom, located in Building A, #301. It will also host an opening reception with Kathy Ireland on Monday, Jan. 24, from 4 to 5 p.m.