Showroom of the Year Finalist: Lappin Lighting
May 27, 2010 - 8:54am

Finalist, Revenue Under $2 Million
Lappin Lighting,
Division of Pahl’s Premier Design Collection

Located in a building more than 100 years old that has 18-foot ceilings intentionally left open and untiled, Lappin Lighting looks different than most lighting showrooms.

Its address in the North Warehouse District is within the confines of the oldest neighborhood in Minneapolis, yet the showroom is famous for its extensive contemporary lighting selection. Its staff is different, too. Many have a background in interior design, and can help pick out a single fixture or create a layout for a restaurant or art gallery.

Mailings and networking opportunities have helped the store build relationships with interior designers and architects. The unique product selection and the staff’s up-to-the-minute knowledge of lighting technology recently helped win a contract to light one of the largest upscale restaurants in the Twin Cities. The project has increased the trade’s and the general public’s knowledge of what Lappin Lighting can do.

The showroom is run very democratically. Employees have a say in new vendor selection, selling and marketing strategy and more. Merchandising in particular is a group effort. The showroom is an expansive rectangle with a large window near the entrance. The window provides a high-visibility area for creative displays. A window display that got a lot of attention was a take-off on the hit TV series “Mad Men.” Featuring lighting and accessories, the display showed modern lighting reflecting the essence of the 1960s without being too retro. According to the company’s entry statement, the display demonstrated “the dynamics of good lighting regardless of the era it is from.”

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