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Retail storefront? What do you think?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mr. Quik electric, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Mr. Quik electric

    Mr. Quik electric LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    So, the owner of our company asks me last week, "what do you think of having a retail store to sell our lighting in? Do you think that would work?" I tell him I have no idea since I have never heard of anyone that has tried. What do you guys think? It would have to be in a high traffic area to even be feasable if you ask me. It could be fully landscaped inside with incredibly lit gardens and such. Not sure about it though. Any thoughts?
     
  2. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    Personally i dont think its a bad idea. I think it could be really nice.
     
  3. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    there is a large multi state company that just opened up a retail store in my town that specializes in lighting. While we do 2 totally different styles of lighting I think they are doing pretty well with it. If I am not mistaken what I heard was it was a joint venture with a landscaper and a landscape architect.

    Personally I would wait to see how well the lighting takes by mining the existing client base of Mr quick. You may soon have more work than you can handle.
     
  4. MAGLIGHTING

    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248


    You can kill 2 birds with 1 stone tomorrow. When you call SPJ ask them how their Hollywood Electric and sales West retail store does. They are located right off a major freeway and have a sign visible from the freeway that reads Landscape lighting showroom. Then you can call BQL lighting which is a stones throw away and ask them the same as they also own a retail store that caters to DIYers (they also send their employees out to install without the proper license or insurance to do so).Then you can call CLL who again is located in the same area. They have a retail website and a beautiful showroom at their industrial park site that again caters to the diy purchaser. Valley industrial electric again in the same general vacinity has a retail showroom that showcases fountains and landscape lighting- they also are supposed to be wholesale to the trade-yeah right. Then there is Dabmar who has a retail store, no showroom and several other smaller brands and internet discounters all in the same area that have either retail store locations or industrisl park locations all easily found by those searching for landscape lighting.
    I guess the answer is yes in the Los Angeles area because there are so many of them located in the same locale and none have gone under yet so I suppose it can be done. How profitable they are , I don't know you'll have to ask.
     
  5. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,533

    There is an electricial contractor who opened up an outdoor lighting showroom here. Nightscaping was really courting their business (to the annoyance of my regular distributor). I made one purchase there before I knew who owned them.

    Then one day when approaching an existing irrigation client about replacing his worn out outdoor lighting I found out that someone from The Lightworks had already been out, measured, counted and had replacement fixtures on order. Sounds like they were going to do the install too.

    www.thelightworksstore.com

    They probably sell more to DIYers than contractors, but I know a few guys who buy their stuff there.
     
  6. Classified

    Classified LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 988

    I know im never in this part of the forum so please do not see me as an intruder but the thread title caught my eye while searching all the new posts.

    I think it could definately work but with all retail; LOCATION is the key. Also, what market do you plan to cater too? the DIY'ers or as a showroom to sell your work?

    I think a store close to a nursery or possibly even a home depot would be a good area. That way you have already funnled your likely target customers into one area. Then the marketing should be your next very best friend.

    GL!
     
  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    I have considered two retail storefront concepts. I seriously looked into the idea of renting a small space, doing the nice displays, stocking the product and promoting both the services of INTEGRA along with offering 'pro grade' components to the DIY'er and 'competing contractor' market. The only problem with this was the overhead! I could not get my head around how I would make this a profitable venture given the monthly expenses and the seasonal nature of the business. Then there is the issue of retail / DIY customers. From all of my investigations, the problem with selling pro-grade product to DIY customers is 'warranty' claims. Seems that no matter how good the product, if it is installed incorrectly, something will fail and sure enough the products end up back on your shop floor as a warranty claim. Either that or you phone rings off the hook asking for a site visit. (So I have heard from others.) You have to keep in mind that any type of storefront operation is going to require keen, well trained, knowledgable staff too.

    I have also explored the concept of a Kiosk, basically a POP display insided an existing complimentary business. This idea seems to have a lot more merit. Not for the purpose of selling components to the DIY community (will you really be able to compete with on-line retailers? I think not) but for the purpose of promoting your contracting services to an already interested (almost captured) market. A small disply, well lit, strategically placed in a Garden Center, or Outdoor furniture Retailer, etc. could go a long way to sparking interest and gaining motivated leads.

    Perhaps in 12 month a year markets, such as CA, AZ, TX, FL, etc the retail store concept can make a go of it. But there is no way that in a season market, a retail store selling only Outdoor Lighting can cover the 12 month a year expenses.

    Regards.
     
  8. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    I would think if you were going to do something in your area james you would no doubt need to add a complimentry winter time business like holiday lighting or holiday decor.

    I like the kiosk idea. I just dont have the time to take on a storefront idea.

    I like being a small scale operation. It allows me to dedicate myself personally to each and every project. I also feel you cannot suggest or spec products to complete a project without a site visit anyways.
     
  9. MAGLIGHTING

    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248


    This is true. That is why I am flying out to Cape Cod Massachusetts this morning to set up a job, coordinate with other trades working there and work out the particulars of doing a project that is 3,000 miles away from my home base of operation. God bless America :usflag:
     
  10. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 848

    Mike, Best of luck to you on that venture! Keep us posted on this project if you can as it sounds like a great one.
    You might encounter a little turbulence over the center of the country. Some nice spring thunderstorms going on!

    Keith
     

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