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 DF: How important is lighting in the home or in a retail setting?
PT: Lighting is everything. The  rst thing I change when I’m designing a space is the lighting. Good lighting transforms a space so quickly.
DF: How can retailers showcase lighting so a consumer/ designer can see how it will fit in the home?
PT: Showcasing a lighting element is about creating a room. It can be a wall-less room with sheer fabric separating it from the rest of the store, or a partial wall. Create a small vignette that invokes a mood and style. Add a small sofa or reading lounge chair. Add a Christmas tree during the holidays. Create a space that showcases outdoor gardening.
It doesn’t have to be costly. Develop B-to-B relationships. Get furniture or rugs on loan from another local retailer. Share their
information so you can share customers. Create business and merchandising opportunities within your community.
DF: How can lighting/home retailers create effective and efficient merchandising displays?
 LIGHTING
IS EVERYTHING. GOOD LIGHTING TRANSFORMS A SPACE
SO QUICKLY. — Paul  ompson
PT: I tell all retailers that they have limited time for visual merchandising, especially when it comes to lighting. If you can change something every quarter, that’s fair. That’s the minimum that anyone can do.
The  rst quarter of the store should be the seasonal set. That’s the area that changes. When customers come in, they see a seasonal variation, and the retailer doesn’t have to re-create every square foot of the store. A general rule is that the  rst entrance into the store needs to be appealing.
  Develop rooms with stories, especially in the front window. Add pillows and wall décor. Curb appeal is important. It’s a fashion thing. How does your store look from the outside?
Lighting is a commitment in many ways and not always an easy decision for the consumer. You need to know your customer. When developing visual displays, you have to  gure out the sweet spot in your own business.
DF: With limited space, how can retailers maximize the breadth of lighting options?
PT: Cross-merchandise within the store. Take a collection in the same style and show di erent options. It gives the customer variations on a theme. If it’s mid-century or transitional, you can talk about it. Many pendants or  xtures come in di erent sizes. You don’t have to show all sizes, but let the customer know this comes in di erent widths.
Everything in the store should also be in a full printed catalog. Find the style the customer is looking for and then sit with them to discuss variations. If you think you only have what’s on the  oor, that can be
a mistake. If a customer comes into your store, you want to sell them something, even if it needs to be special ordered for them. They can go to another store to get that connection if you don’t make it. Customer service is really important in lighting.
Leverage relationships with your customers too. Have designers and contractors take pictures of installs in homes they are working in and
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