Showroom of the Year: Revenue Under $5 Million
 
Showroom of the Year Under $5 Million winners Sam Folino (left) and Luca Felice of Prima Lighting, Vaughan, ON, ensured an award would land in Canada.

Located in Canada’s fastest-growing city, Prima Lighting represents the vision of two old friends and lighting industry veterans. When the company outgrew its first location, partners Luca Filice and Sam Folino decided the new 22,000-square-foot showroom would be a departure from standard showroom fare in every way. Good-bye slot ceilings; all lighting is hard-wired and shown against drywall or custom displays. The setting is open and airy; the beauty of each fixture is easy to appreciate. Throughout the day, behind-the-scenes Lutron controls adjust the lighting levels for optimum efficiency and just the right ambience for shopping. Complete room settings please consumers and designers alike.

Owner Luca Filice talked to Residential Lighting about what's next for Prima Lighting:

Residential Lighting: What’s new at your showroom?

Luca Filice, owner: We are constantly evolving. One of the ways we meet the needs of interior designers, builders and architects is by always having something new and exciting. Since we submitted our entry, we have updated our garden lighting section, and we’ve worked on our Crystal Room. Crystal is a very big category for us; we offer many grades and style choices. Since we moved into our new showroom about a year ago, we’ve really emphasized contemporary designs, and now our clients look to us for this. I would say our mix is 70 percent contemporary, 30 percent traditional.

RL: What do you think your showroom has done right during the downturn?

LF: The move itself to our new store was really important. The new store is bright and airy with wide, open views. After the move, we continued to work on the format.
Our format makes the shopping experience very special and is the key to our success. We rotated our inventory so the showroom is always fresh and new. This year, we have already switched out 300 to 400 SKUs. Even in this economy, we were fortunate that our year-over-year sales were good. 

RL: What do you think your showroom did not do very well during the downturn?

LF: I think we should have hired more staff. You can never have too many people on the sales floor servicing your clients. We did not anticipate how much our business would increase after our move. But no one has a crystal ball. It was a recessionary year and with the move and all, we were not sure how we were moving forward. Now we have two new people in the front and three in back handling shipping, receiving and such. We have caught up with our stride now. We’re in a good position. 

RL: What’s on tap for next year? 

LF: We’re more established now, so we are working on updating the showroom to appeal even more to designers. We have worked with a designer customer to create very special room settings with the latest colors, patterns and furnishings. The dining room is fully furnished, including carpeting and wallcoverings. In the kitchen area, we show real appliances. People shop with their eyes, and our premium designer rooms inspire them. Our brick-and-mortar store is meant to provide insight and information beyond what you can get on the computer screen.