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garden lighting expansion of options’


With several years of continued growth and consumer appeal showing no signs of slowing down, opportunities continue for retailers in the garden lighting market


W


ith consumers increasingly utilising their gardens as outdoor rooms, the need for functional or decorative lighting options has increased. As such, garden lighting has been an exciting category in recent years, with new products entering the market and retailers seeing the benefit of consumer interest.


Smart Garden managing director Jonathan Stobart shines a light on an upwards trending market.


“Garden lighting continues to grow as a category, fuelled by a dynamic expansion of lighting options over the last two or three years,” he explains. “Smart Solar is at the vanguard of this, by both introducing and creating a whole new level of high performance Super Bright solar lights, as well as innovative and attractive ranges of decorative lights.


product designs such as Eureka lightbulbs, Flowers, Fairy Houses and inlit animals, whereby the products offer décor by day and light by night. As well as design and performance, customers love the ease of installation with no mains wiring and no running costs.”


As well as new product launches and innovative technologies, retailers have been a key driver in the market. “The increase can be attributed to a much wider range of lighting available in retail stores and in particular garden centres,” Jonathan says. “Interest in gardening and outdoor spaces is also on the up through social media, home and garden programmes on TV, as well as magazines helping to inspire homeowners to


While the actual light effect is of course only visible at night, customers increasingly want a product that also looks good by day


“The choice of product for use as functional lights for pathways and borders has been transformed by the introduction of brighter lights, and the consumers have been quick to choose and upgrade to better performing lights, evidenced by retailers prioritising more shelf space than ever for solar lighting, and Super Bright lights in particular. These brighter lights deliver a much brighter light performance with stake lights for example at 5- 10 lumens of brightness compared to the 1 lumen typical of most mainstream solar lights. For welcome and security there are now PIR lights within our range up to 1000 lumen, a truly super bright light and the brightest in the market.”


He adds: “Beyond functional lighting, sales of decorative lighting is also increasing dramatically, through attractive and innovative


20 | www.gardencentreupdate.com


take more interest in the home and garden. Events like Chelsea and Hampton Court are useful in raising the profile of gardening and creating beautiful outdoor spaces.” That customer interest goes hand in hand with increased expectations, Jonathan warns. “Customers are increasingly interested in and demanding higher performance and better designed products,” he explains. “While the actual light effect is of course only visible at night, customers increasingly want a product that also looks good by day, hence a move towards glass and stainless steel, and away from plastic. There is a move towards fusing décor and lighting to deliver attractive and fun lit garden products.”


Compelling displays that showcase products are an excellent way to grab customer attention.


‘A dynamic


Products are increasingly required to look good during the day as well as at night, with a fusion of home décor and lighting appealing to consumers


Jonathan comments: “Retailers can improve sales by ensuring they have


enticing and eye-catching displays that clearly display the products and highlight the features and benefits. They can also increase pick up by placing products in key locations in store to drive impulse sales or by cross selling with related products.


“Smart Solar have recently produced a ‘Guide to Solar Lighting’ which explains how solar lights work, what the benefits are and how to choose the most appropriate lights. It comes with a handy dispenser that is easily attached to most shelf edges. Digital screens showing how solar works and the breadth of range available can also be used on existing wall displays.”


Retailers who are looking at the category should be optimistic about future opportunities, Jonathan adds.


“Based on the past few years of continued growth, the lighting market is predicted to continue to grow and there is little evidence that demand is slowing down, fuelled by innovation and improved product performance,” he says. “We continue to drive the market forward with further extensions to our Super Bright range, as well as additions to our successful Eureka, Flower and Silhouette ranges. The range of products will continue to grow and Smart Solar will be launching even more lighting products than ever at Glee this year.”


GCU September 2017


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