Strategic Lighting Means Big Bucks for Stores

Store with display and ambient lighting

People cannot look at lighting as an expense, but rather as a way to increase sales and profitability. You can have the most beautiful store and the best jewelry, but in the end you want to be able to present your jewelry in the best possible light.

-Mickey Minagorri, Artco Group, Director of Business Development

As a consumer, you have most likely walked into a store and have unknowingly been affected by strategic lighting. Maybe you bought more than you planned on or you were attracted to a certain item on display and made an impulse purchase. Interior designers, sales analysts, and savvy managers have long known the secret of using lighting to improve the bottom line. Strategic lighting is the systematic planning of quality lighting to increase profits and decrease expenses. Basically, strategic lighting is the “what” and quality lighting is the “how.”

There is a host of elements to consider when implementing strategic lighting. To no surprise, you want shoppers’ eyes to be drawn to high-profit items and staple items priced at a value to encourage repeat business from customers. Additionally, shopping fronts, checkout areas, and display windows are all high-stakes areas when it comes to lighting ingenuity. Have you recently evaluated how you are using strategic lighting to boost sales and cut costs for your business? If not, the following information will make you realize the importance of doing a strategic light audit.

5 Ways Quality Lighting Is Used For Strategic Lighting

  • Accent. Directional light can be used to increase sales and to lure customers to high profit items and desirable store areas. According to the Lighting Research Center, the incorporation of high quality lighting at the point of purchase increases the likelihood of a sale by 40%.
  • Atmosphere. Particular lighting in a store builds a custom impression for a store that is a vital part of the brand. This enhances not only the product’s image but the customer’s entire in-store experience. Additionally, quality lighting makes customers feel more comfortable thus making them more likely to stay longer and shop more.
  • Clearness. High quality accent lighting shows colors more accurately and without glare. For stores selling items such as clothing, accessories, jewelry, furniture, home décor, fabrics, and food items, this factor is crucial for customers to determine quality and desirability.
  • Color Rendering. Lighting, particularly when it uses high CRI sources, enhances the appearance of customers themselves. This factor is especially important for clothing and jewelry stores because the customer appears more attractive and feels more positively about themselves and the item to be purchased.
  • Contrast.  The effects of light and dark areas are improved by the careful use of directional lighting in displays. People are naturally attracted to differences and lighting contrasts can help achieve this desired output. Customers are significantly impacted by the ambiance of a store and the way that it makes them feel whether consciously or unconsciously.

Thalhimer Brothers Profits Light Up

Still not convinced of the effectiveness of strategic lighting? Changing the lighting system in attempts to save money and increase profits, contributed to an annual sales increase of $1 million for a Thalhimer Brothers branch store in Cloverleaf Mall of Richmond, Virginia. When the profit portion of the sales increase is also measured with the energy savings of approximately $20,000 per year, the payback period was less than a year for replacing a six-year-old system and installing 800 new luminaries and light bulbs.

According to Dr. Robert Young, Thalhimers’ vice president of properties at the time, “Everyone was pleased with the new lighting. Management, of course, was doubly pleased because the improved quality cost so much less. You can imagine the delight, then, when we started to take a look at sales figures. Virtually overnight, sales shot up by about 8%. And it was sustained. The one and only explanation seemed to be the new lighting.”

The Bottom Line is the Bottom Line

Environmentally friendly, long lasting lighting products save on energy costs and give your store an image of social responsibility. Thalhimer Brothers upgraded from their less efficient and less long-lasting incandescent bulbs to improved color fluorescent ones. However, LED light bulbs, arrays of light emitting diodes in common light bulb shapes, provide increased energy efficiency and longer life compared to incandescent, halogen and most fluorescent and HID light bulbs. LED bulbs save 75% to 80% on energy costs when substituting LEDs for incandescent or halogen bulbs. LED bulbs save “ladder time” of 15 to 30 bulb changes with LEDs compared to incandescent or halogen, and 3 to 5 bulb changes compared to CFLs.

This article is an extremely brief overview of the ways quality lighting is used to implement strategic lighting. By delving deeper into the subject of strategic lighting, you can see many more ways how strategic lighting can bring your business to life. If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions about strategic lighting please share them in the comments below!

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