Showroom of the Year: Revenue Under $5 Million

A winner in three of the four years of Showroom of the Year competitions, Pace Lighting proves that slow and steady can win the race. Holding its own during the downturn, today Pace is taking advantage of Savannah’s improved economy by reaping seeds it sowed when sales were below par.

When it opened in 2008, the 18,500-square-foot showroom specialized in contemporary lighting. “Maybe that wasn’t the best choice for South Georgia,” says Manager Lisa Dixon with a laugh. In the last year or so, the offering was rounded out with transitional and traditional styles, and a home theater area became a Fanimation ceiling fan gallery. Slightly more inventory has been brought into the 6,000-square-foot warehouse. Pace recently filled a position that had been left open, hiring a warehouse manager. Every new step is intended to help Pace better service customers. Social media marketing and e-blasts get the word out.

“Designers never stopped doing business with us, but single-home and multi-family builders and homeowner are back, and they’re coming in to buy, not just window shop,” Dixon says. “They know we offer good quality, expert advice and stay ahead of the trends. We’re making steady progress and staying on our game.”

In the coming months, Pace Lighting will invest in the showroom, returning the white walls to their original brightness, and switching out low voltage mini pendants to LED light sources. It’s a big job; more than 100 mini pendants are on display. The move will save energy and costs, and allow customers to see LED illumination firsthand. The local power company has given Pace credits, which Dixon said offset the cost of the new lamps. The switch to LEDs will also support replacement bulb sales, a growing, lucrative niche for Pace.

Pace Lighting’s overall sales were up 18 percent in 2012, and figures are trending well so far this year. Foot traffic has gone up significantly and Dixon finds activity in the store is now consistent throughout the day. It’s hectic, but it’s all good, she says: “We are back to feeling comfortable in our world.”

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