Strong buyer attendance at last month’s Dallas Intl. Lighting Market combined with fresh new showrooms and products from exhibitors have many feeling optimistic about the year to come.
“Commerce roared ahead in Dallas as a record number of new and expanded exhibitors were matched by gains in attendance across key buying segments,” Dallas Market Center CEO Bill Winsor said in a statement. “Coming off strong holiday sales, retailers were ready to buy and attended from all 50 states and 53 countries… We anticipate a banner 2012 as exhibitors reinvest in the marketplace and as retailers keep pace with rising consumer demand.”
According to the Dallas Market Center, in the overall Dallas Total Home and Gift Market, retailers attracted more buyers per store, and twice as many made travel arrangements for the June show. The lighting market also had a strong turnout, with increased buyer attendance from across the U.S., as well as an uptick in international buyers, according to DMC’s Director of Public Relations Meredith Hite.
Another highlight of the market was the ARTS Awards on Jan. 21, which drew over 650 people to its new location, the Hilton Anatole, along with a new corporate sponsor, Swarovski Elements. For a full list of winners, click here.
On the exhibitor side, dozens of manufacturers debuted new or expanded showrooms, including 13 lighting companies. Many lighting exhibitors also brought their largest product introductions in recent years, and the response to their efforts was overwhelmingly positive. (For photos of ribbon cuttings and other market events, check out the Dallas photo album on our Facebook page.)
Joel Kent, Vice President of Marketing at Lite Source, says he saw a dramatic increase in foot traffic in Lite Source’s expanded showroom, as well as a great response to the company’s new introductions. He also noticed a more positive vibe among the market’s attendees.
“I feel that store owners and operators are tired of being in a holding pattern,” Kent says. “They have held their breath for the last 18 months in uncertainty, only to see business dwindle due to a lack of selection in their stores or lack of a fresh look. They are realizing that they must continue to add to and freshen their selections even when business is slow to maintain their market share.”
Rick Wiedemer, President of Hinkley Lighting, also noticed an upbeat mood, both in Hinkley’s new showroom, where the company celebrated its 90th anniversary, and at the show as a whole.
“Hinkley experienced a very positive reaction to our new showroom. Our reps and customers were excited and energized by all we have to offer,” Wiedemer says. “There was a positive attitude at market, and most are anticipating a strong year ahead.”
“The market felt more vibrant than in recent years, and we were pleased to see our showroom filled with our wonderful customers,” Scutaro says. “The positive reaction to our new introductions has set the table for another successful year for Feiss and Monte Carlo.”
Robert Cooper, National Sales Manager at Cal Lighting, says this was the best Dallas market in his company’s history. Cal Lighting’s newly expanded showroom saw a lot of traffic, and Cooper says he’s confident this will continue to build throughout the year.
Harry Rosenblatt, Owner of Access Lighting, says he and his staff were “absolutely thrilled” with the response to their revamped showroom.
“Our new releases were also extremely well-received, which translated into our writing good business at the market,” Ronsenblatt says. “It was also great to see the positive attitude that most customers exuded regarding business and the economy in general.”
Ron Hersh, President of Authenticity Lighting, says the show marked an excellent start to the year.
“We are very pleased with the response to our third introduction on the first anniversary of our initial launch,” Hersh says. “Customers were very upbeat and positive about the prospects for 2012.”
Fresh product and creative presentation also helped four lighting companies gain recognition in DMC’s Best of Show Awards, which recognize one exhibitor on each floor for innovative displays. In the Trade Mart, Philips Consumer Luminaires won on the third floor, with student-designed window displays showcasing one of their new LED fixtures, and Varaluz was honored on the fourth floor, thanks to an eye-catching window display using hanging vintage typewriters. In the World Trade Center, Global Views won on the sixth floor and Stylecraft Home Collection won for the tenth.
The next Dallas Intl. Lighting Market will take place June 21-24, 2012.
Varaluz won the Best in Show Award for the Trade Mart's fourth floor, thanks to this creative window display.
Student-designed displays centered around a new LED fixture helped Philips Consumer Luminaires take home Best in Show for the third floor of the Trade Mart.