Sumit Kumar, Managing Partner, Catalyst Design Retail & OBS LLP, shares with Retail4Growth his thoughts on in-store lighting in our ‘Spotlight’series presented in association with retail lighting solutions company Gardler.
In your observation, are most retail brands convinced enough about investing in the right kind of lighting? How much of a challenge is it to convince them about the need to choose the right kind of lighting for their stores?
Yes I think so. In the current scenario of the growing experiential aspect of the retail industry, I think most retail brands today understand the importance of lighting in bringing around the brand image and customer experience to life. The opening of flagship stores and experience centers by brands have only added to the cause, although the awareness around the right kind of lighting still remains an area that needed to be worked upon. Once more awareness is created, convincing becomes a much simpler task.
What are some of the most common myths and misconceptions when it comes to retail lighting?
There are a few. For instance, doing a lighting revamp or upgrade of the store is an expensive process and does not add enough value. On the contrary, if we can specify the correct lighting for the correct areas and switch to the energy-conserving grade of lights, the change can be economical in the long run. On the other hand, upgrading store lighting can lift the level of consumer experience to a whole different level.
And, no. not every corner of the store needs to be well lit. Lighting up the right areas with the right kind of light lays emphasis back on the product and works a great deal in influencing consumer’s cognitive purchasing behaviour.
What has been your own approach to lighting when it comes to your store projects?
1. Set the mood of the store as demanded by the design
2. Decide on the layering of different kinds of lighting to create the cohesive lighting experience as per the design. Eg. Ambient, task,etc.
3. Decide on the luminosity and the tone of lighting.
4. Chose the correct fixture for the lights to achieve the effect.
5. Look for available options and execute
6. Suggesting right fit lightings for window display and focal point
What are the most critical parameters while deciding on the quality of lighting?
There can be a lot of technical parameters but I can sum it up to :
What are some of the common challenges faced in terms of getting the right lighting for a store?
How does the right lighting partner make a difference?
Actually, the right lighting partner can be a game-changer. The best of the designs are of no use if they are not met with the right solution. And if you have a technically sound lighting partner who exactly understands your requirement and matches it with the correct product then you are home. Besides being technically sound, it is also important that the lighting partner is efficient and has very good service standards after installation. Additionally, the right lighting partner is instrumental in getting innovative and sustainable lighting solutions to the table and keeps educating us on a regular basis. This can definitely give us better tools to achieve the correct fit in terms of design.
Can you share details of any store project you have worked on where lighting played a big role?
‘NEOS’ is a one of its kind running specialty multi-brand retail chain. The brief was to create a sports multi-brand store that offers premium products from different niche brands, all under one roof with an energetic and new age look and feel. To achieve this overall cool lighting was used across the space to give a more young and futuristic look and feel. Accent lighting was used at different locations to enhance the visibility of the product and create contrast. LED lights in the form of sharp triangular structures were used on the ceiling to re-emphasize the fast and energetic aspect of the brand. Lights were also used strategically to enhance product communication which plays a vital role when it comes to communicating active sportswear technology.
I would end by quoting something I read somewhere, “In the right light, at the right time, Everything looks extraordinary.”
11 June 2020