Merchandising specialist Denis Caldora shares his strategies for creating maximum impact in minimal space.
First of all, this category is so important that I truly believe it warrants having a designated room/section to show the products best. However, I understand that many showrooms today are tight on space, so I have prepared some alternatives.
Demonstrate How It Works
This may sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes I’ll see a series of recessed lights above nothing in particular on the showroom floor. Unlike many other lighting products, when it comes to recessed and track lighting, you are really selling the effects that they create…which brings us to point #2.
Show the Context
In my opinion, the only way to sell the recessed and track category is to show what the products can do. Instead of having a recessed light shine down onto the floor, have a vignette arranged where you have a table underneath with some accessories on it. This way, the customer can see how the proper use of recessed lighting can make a dining table’s centerpiece come alive or the glasses and dinnerware sparkle. You could also show a customer with a small dining room how emphasizing the table surface in this way can make a room look bigger since the walls would be darker (in contrast to the illuminated table) and it would be harder to see the line of demarcation within the room.
If you already have a vanity display with two sconces flanking the mirror, why not put two recessed lights above so that, together, they evenly illuminate the face during grooming tasks?
In your kitchen vignette, you can add recessed or track lighting to highlight the cabinetry or a food prep area.
Use track or recessed lighting in your showroom to highlight artwork, drapery, specific pieces of furniture, or even to gently wash the walls with light.
You Have an Advantage
Think of the stores that are giving us competition in the lighting category today, like Restoration Hardware. They don’t sell recessed lighting. Anyone can sell one lighting fixture, but what really separates lighting showrooms from the home centers and the specialty stores offering decorative lighting is that your sales staff has the expertise to show customers how to layer the light to create warm and inviting environments in their homes. You can’t do that with just one fixture. You can essentially use recessed lighting throughout the entire house to supplement the other layers. Our main business is lighting, therefore we are the experts in showing customers a full palette of products for illuminating their homes from top to bottom – other retailers can’t offer that level of expertise or selection.
Utilize the Accessories
The great thing about recessed and track lighting is that there are accessories available – gimbal rings, lenses, gels, louvers, different shapes and sizes of track heads, plus housing and trim choices – that will give your clients the exact effect they are looking for. Personally, I think framing projectors are a terrific way to highlight a piece or artwork or sculpture. It’s a little more expensive than other methods, but to the homeowner who has a valuable collection, it’s worth every penny because of the way it makes the highlighted objects stand out.
I believe having an area where you can showcase your track and recessed lighting to the fullest will increase your business. You need to have a place where the customer can see the effect of what recessed and track lighting can do – even if all you can afford is to create a corner with a table in it as I discussed earlier plus artwork on an adjacent wall. It’s worth creating a dedicated space, no matter the size, because this is an investment in your business that will pay off.