Y2K: New Year's Reprieve
Another look back in honor of our 20th anniversary: Lighting showrooms enter the new millennium double-clicking to a different drummer.
Cori Dunn
Residential Lighting magazine

Fears of a computer-generated apocalypse that would melt nuclear plants, destroy the power grid and poison the water supply were quickly quelled as people rang in Jan. 1, 2000. Millennial anxiety was soon replaced by the dot-com bubble burst in early March. Flashy new online home furnishings sellers bit the dust just as the lighting industry got its Internet act together.

Showrooms were busy registering domain names for their “e-catalog” websites. A new column in Residential Lighting called Net Worth featured timely information ”all
about e-.” During the first Dallas Intl. Lighting Market of the new millennium, the American Lighting Assn. (ALA) announced a major survey to evaluate and respond to members’ most pressing “e-business” issues.

Emboldened by a new millennium and enabled by the Internet, people were streamlining their lives, wanting to do more in less time. Personal computers, growing Internet access and faster speeds were creating a nation of home office workers — good news for our industry: “More power commuters mean more home offices, and more lighting,” noted Adesso President and CEO Peggy Traub. With its innovative frosted acrylic panels available in a choice of neon colors, the iMac computer swung open the door to the stylish home office.


Y2K Predictions

“Younger people especially don’t read the newspaper anymore. Showrooms need to think about this because, as they grow their next generation of customers, the Internet will probably play a key role.” Roxanne Stout, President, Bitterroot Marketing, February 2000

“In time, everybody will deliver product faster and hold more inventory to please the consumer.” Seema Williams, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research, March 2000

“There is every indication that consumer demand is strong enough to support the recent increase in retail space.” Terry Oelschlager, Senior Vice President, CIT Commercial Services, May 2000

“No matter how many sofas a buyer might have bought from a manufacturer, he will still want to sit on them before placing a large order.” Tom Mitchell, Vice President, MMPI, June 2000


Looking Back: 2000

New miniature line voltage halogen bulbs from Osram at Messe Frankfurt’s first Light + Building event eclipse the company’s introduction of LED light sources.

At the 11th ARTS Awards In January 2000, Sergio Orozco is the first to be named Product Designer of the Year, and Carolyn Kinder is the first woman to receive the group’s Academy of Achievement Award.

Suites at Market Square opens during the Spring 2000 High Point Market. The 347,000-square-foot, three-story addition to Market Square is large enough for 350 vendors. Showplace debuts at the fall market, adding 500,000 square feet of showroom space.

Runway models wearing giant lamp shade hats introduce fashion designer Bob Mackie’s first portable lighting collection for Murray Feiss at the January 2000 Dallas Market.


About this author

Cori Dunn

Cori Dunn has been covering the retail, lighting and furniture industries since 1982, and was the Founding Editor of Residential Lighting. Dunn also created Furniture Style and Home Fashion Forecast magazines. In this blog, she takes a look back at the last two decades in the lighting industry, in honor of Residential Lighting's 20th anniversary.

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