By Andrea Lillo
More clean, uncluttered designs will be seen at the Las Vegas Market this September, as lighting manufacturers expand their portfolios and increase their offerings at the lower end of the price scale.
Amid a tough market, manufacturers continue to introduce products and promotions to entice buyers, especially ones that have not attended earlier shows.
Pacific Coast Lighting anticipates a good market. “Many retailers are expecting business to pick up toward the end of the third quarter and they know their inventories have been depleted,” said Rick Spicer, vice president of sales and marketing. “The need to show new products in the stores to entice consumers is critical so we anticipate seeing retailers who feel far more confident coming to market.”
While E.L.K. Lighting’s new Dimond division was discussed at the Dallas International Lighting Market, Las Vegas is where buyers will actually view the collection. “The Vegas Market is heavily attended by designers and furniture store buyers, and our new division’s product line better suits their needs, so we expect an exciting, well-attended debut,” said Brad Smith, chief executive officer.
Shown in E.L.K.’s redesigned showroom at the Las Vegas Market, the Dimond division will launch with more than 150 items, including 14 under the licensed Trump brand and 30 under the Mary-Kate & Ashley brand.
E.L.K. will also display a line of designer fixtures including smaller scaled chandeliers and European product that have both home and commercial applications.
AF Lighting plans to drive business with an advertising campaign highlighting its newest introductions and special promotional opportunities, said Karen Fallon, national business development manager. In addition, one buyer at the Las Vegas Market will win a trip to Canada to meet designer Candice Olson and view a taping of a Divine Design segment for HGTV.
“Our expectations are very high [for this market] as we feel the time is right for retailers to start taking a serious look at exciting new product,” Fallon said. Retailers will be looking for “extraordinary design at a value, both of which AF Lighting will be offering this market.” Of AF Lighting’s 24 new Candice Olson SKUs, ten will retail at $99 and ten will retail between $149 to $299, Fallon said.
Value-oriented product continues to be a key element, and many companies will expand their SKUs in this category. At Nova, value-priced lamps—which “still offer innovation and intelligent design” and can retail for $99—will debut, said Daniel Edelist, chief executive officer. With the recession still in progress, retailers are looking for “innovative product to excite a shell-shocked consumer,” he added.
Dale Tiffany will fill in the value-oriented price points of its current line, said Ken Kallett, executive vice president, including a line of competitively priced crystal chandeliers. The company will also offer a placement promotion to get new product placed in the stores with a minimum investment.
Dale Tiffany did better at the Dallas show than expected, and the company is viewing both the Las Vegas and High Point markets “with guarded optimism,” Kallett said.
Product also now has more uncluttered looks than before.
“The newer, cleaner looks help as the more detail on a product the more the product costs, but we are maintaining the integrity of the product by not compromising on the materials or quality,” Kallett said. “So where we can, we are controlling our cost basis and working on tighter margins.”
With 30 years in design, Joel Kent, director of marketing, Lite Source, agreed. “I continue to see the clean, straight lines emerging from every design aspect,” he said. “When things around the buying public get chaotic, the retail shopper looks for what calms them down, brings them solace or offers them familiar comfort. The less fussy, more mainstream looks—unfettered and uncomplicated—make them feel comfortable.”
Lite Source will promote more than 150 introductions in its restyled main catalog along with its new Elite and Classic catalogs, as well as retail promotions for new products and the fall/holiday season.
Though retailers continue to be cautious in purchasing and have smaller open-to-buy budgets, Kent said, “most retailers are looking to freshen existing inventory—as a result they are looking for the unusual or that ‘wow’ piece to help them make a fresh look in their stores.”
Four months after the merger of Midwest of Cannon Falls and CBK, Midwest-CBK will debut its new 13,500-square-foot showroom in Building C. “The September show is the first time buyers will experience the newly merged Midwest-CBK line in Las Vegas,” as well as new designs and dating programs and specials, said Jerry Foreman, vice president of product development. “Retailers want unique and innovative design, quality, selection and excellent value so they can compete in this marketplace and drive consumers into their stores to buy, especially during the all-important fourth quarter.”
Besides the hundreds of introductions in its home decor and gift categories, Midwest-CBK will also add more than 35 new lamp designs in its Casa Cristina line. This collection is inspired by designer Cristina Saralegui’s travels to southern Spain and Morocco, but with a modern twist, Foreman added. A Moroccan pattern from a wall in Marakesh is applied to sleek metal barware, for example. “We reinterpret everything for today’s styles and trends,” he said.