By Andrea Lillo
Manufacturers headed to Las Vegas are hoping for a busy market, as the start of the new year necessitates fresh merchandise for retailers.
Though he expects traffic at the show to be down, Mac Cooper, president and chief executive officer of Uttermost, anticipates good business from the retailers that do come. “Many sharp retailers have low inventories at this point and need great new product,” he said. “I don’t think retailers will come to Las Vegas if they don’t have significant business to write.” Lighting stores that have not diversified into other product types are probably the most challenged at this point, he said, “so we don’t expect to see as many lighting stores in Las Vegas.” However, designers and home accent stores will most likely be well represented, he added.
In addition, buyers are now searching for updated traditional looks that “reflect quality and style,” Cooper added.
At the last Las Vegas Market, “We were 15 percent off,” said Daniel Edelist, CEO of Nova. However, “We’re predicting more activity this time because it’s a more desirable time to be there,” he said.
And even though conventional wisdom says that people turn to traditional looks in bad times, “contemporary is doing better in this economy,” Edelist said. In lighting, the trend is toward simple, soft modern looks, with Zen aesthetics. “After 9/11, people were looking for simplistic products—less specific and more practical,” he said, and the same thing is happening now.
For Hubbardton Forge, people are becoming more interested in reducing energy costs, and many of its introductions at market will be energy-efficient or dark-sky-compliant, said David Martin, designer. A number of them will be available in fluorescent and incandescent options. The company will also continue to add to its contemporary/transitional line, which the market is responding to, Martin said. The Airis indoor/outdoor dark sky wall fixtures, for example, is one contemporary group that offers screen, glass or textured plates to provide for different lighting effects.