At last week's Dallas Market, I had the pleasure of presenting the fourth annual Showroom of the Year Awards, an event we proudly host with the Dallas Market Center each year. The finalists for these awards represent the very best in lighting retailing throughout North America, and this year's winners included both familiar faces and new honorees.
Just as before, we presented overall Showroom of the Year Awards in each of three dollar-volume categories. The 2013 Showroom of the Year in the Revenue Under $2 Million category was Living Lighting on King in Toronto, a hip urban environment that hasn't let being part of a franchise break its individualistic stride.
The Showroom of the Year winner in the Revenue Under $5 Million category was Pace Lighting of Savannah, GA — a past two-time winner in the Under $2 Million category. Year-to-year sales increases of 18 percent helped boost this store into a new echelon, where it proved to hold its own for our judges.
Norburn Lighting & Bath Centre of Burnaby, BC, won in the Revenue $5 Million and Over category for the second year in a row. This store famously recruits for attitude and trains for skill, resulting in the right mix of technical expertise and customer service.
We also presented three specialty awards, including a brand-new award for Social Media Star that was partially selected by your votes on Facebook. The first-ever winner in this category was Boston's Yale Appliance + Lighting. Other specialty awards were for Outstanding Merchandising Display, won by Denver's Urban Lights, and Exceptional Community Involvement, won by our neighbors Northwest Lighting and Accents in Mount Prospect, IL.
We will have some slight modifications to the timing as our 2014 Showroom of the Year Awards roll out. Entries and nominations will go live on www.ResidentialLighting.com in November, one month earlier than in the past, and will close earlier as well. You may have also heard that next year's June Dallas Market will have a Wednesday-to-Saturday date pattern, putting our opening night awards event on Wednesday, too. So keep that in the back of your minds as we celebrate this year's victories. Congratulations to all!