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  2005 Dec Issue
   
Cover Story
Catch the new wave Philips enhances your image statement
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‘Warehouse Retail Scheme in Singapore breaks new ground
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Shopping scene in Singapore launches operation spruce-up
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Matahari charts new growth and business expansion
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ANUGA 2005 – successful business platform for international F&B trade






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Cover Story
Catch the new wave Philips
enhances your image statement

 


Whether you are retailing high-end fashion, luxury watches or running a supermarket chain, every retailer would want to have their own unique image and image statement that their customer prefers. Angeline Yeo finds out how from lighting experts in Philips.

Don’t you want to be the shining star among the shops in the mall? Are you constantly struggling with how to get an impactful face-lift from your store? Won’t you want to stand out from your competition?

A host of possibilities for enhancing your store design through creative use of lighting need not be an expensive investment. You simply need to make the right lighting choice.

With a simple tweak, lighting can greatly transform a store from drab to fab, promote or create a distinct brand identity, effect a desired ambience or simply — and perhaps most importantly — put merchandise in the best possible light.

Philips realises that in today’s competitive retail industry, reinvention of identity is a continuous process and each in its own compete to create the most inviting environment to draw customers in to ensure a personal atmosphere to make shopping an experience, encouraging longer stay to browse and buy.

In support, Philips has unveiled two new series to its range, the Ceramic Discharge Metal Halide (CDM) lamps and the Dynamic Lighting luminaires, both of which promise to provide retailers with optimum lighting, at minimal cost.

While the new ranges feature a myriad of lighting possibilities, one common factor binds them both — the flexibility it gives to change lighting moods and levels.

Highlighting the importance of providing retailers with this flexibility, Megan Carroll, marketing consultant of US-based Carroll Consulting, said: “CDM-R reflector lamps are really good for retailers.”

She also noted that they are smaller, thus removing clutter from the ceiling. In this way, the merchandise becomes the focal point of the store, and not the lights.

“We offer more dynamics in our products, like the lightdimming option. The more options we offer, the more the products are appreciated by endusers, as we give them more freedom and flexibility,” added Jan Willem Ruisch, director of OEM marketing for Philips, Asia Pacific.

To drive the impact of their merchandising, retailers often have to change their product displays on a regular basis. With Philips’ Dynamic Lighting range of lamps and luminaires, store-owners now have the flexibility to change lighting levels and positions with ease — at a click of the remote.

More importantly, the ability to change the lighting levels means storeowners can use concentrated amount of light on the merchandise they want to highlight, and somewhat lower the lighting levels on the rest of the store. This, in turn, translates into cost savings.

“Studies from all around the world [show] that good lighting does increase the overall turnover of the shop,” said Professor Wout van Bommel, president of the International Lighting Commission, or Commission Internationale de L’Eclairage (CIE).

K Seshadri, vice-president of Philips Lighting, Asia Pacific, agreed. He said: “In that respect, for sure, investing in good lighting is the right thing to do.

“The actual cost of a lighting installation is not recovered immediately like other investments in a business. It is spread over a period of about five years. So if you take that [into consideration] … the cost-benefit ratio is rated highly in terms of benefits for the retailer.”

MASTER Color CDM
Ten years ago, Philips pioneered the CDM technology, and created the MASTER Color lamps and control system.

Started in Europe, the US and especially Japan and South Korea, South-east Asia is fast jumping on the CDM bandwagon, particularly for shoplighting.

Today, Philips has perfected the technology, coming out with the Mini MASTER Color range of lamps and control systems for effective and dramatic lighting.

On August 2 this year, a public seminar was held at the Swissotel The Stamford in Singapore on “MASTER Color CDM Lamps and Shop Lighting Applications”.

There to explain the technology were Megan Carroll of Carroll Consulting and Greg Nelson, director of development, High Intensity Discharge (HID) for Asia Pacific.

Creating dazzling retail displays
What Philips is trying to achieve is to ensure the merchandise — be it a mid-range T-shirt or designer suit — never looked better, all the while maintaining a retailer’s budget.

“It is no use to just create a cost-effective lamp for the benefit of the retailers. [It has to] attract the customers, as well,” said Ruisch, who was also at the seminar.

Thus, part of the MASTER Color launch included a tour and analysis of lighting used in stores located in Raffles City Shopping Centre, one of Singapore’s mid- to high-range shopping malls. During the tour, Carroll, who has been associated with Philips Lighting Company of North America for the past nine years, pointed out how unsuitable lighting in some of the shops had rendered the colours of the merchandise with almost no brilliance at all. Customers would end up viewing drab, dull colours that do not impress, much less hold attention, she warned.

What would be worse, the inappropriate lighting would even make the merchandise look as if it were old and discoloured, Carroll maintained.

To overcome this, lamps with a Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of 80-90 (CRI is measured on a scale of 0-100, with the better-colour rendering scoring higher on the scale) should be used. The new Philips Mini MASTER Color promises to bring out the best in merchandise, making colours vibrant and attractive, and guaranteed to capture the customer’s attention.

Dim the lights ... save the energy

Facing high costs because of energy bills?

Philips is aware that the cost of operation is one of the most important aspects to consider. Advancements in CDM technology broke new grounds with the launch of the Mini MASTER Color to meet market demands for smaller systems, offering design freedom. Philips not only offers retailers a myriad of lighting possibilities but also improved energy savings, resulting in lower cost of ownership.

“Retailers can save their energy cost by using CDM instead of halogen lamps. It is only 1/3 of the energy cost and lasts three times longer,” said Rico Gonzales, general manager of Philips Lighting, Singapore.

The CDM technology can significantly slash a retailer’s electrical bills as it allows commonly-used halogen lamps to be replaced with CDM lamps. Höglund Art Glass, a retailer in Raffles City Shopping Centre, was proud to disclose that it had switched from 18 50W halogen lamps, using a total of 900W, to CDM-R lamps, with a total of only 350W, thus demonstrating the significant cost savings, in addition to having a beautifully-lit store.

Protects from discolouration

Often, merchandise are discoloured due to possible UV rays from some light sources and retailers have to constantly rotate displays which is unproductive. “Philips’ CDM helps reduce this hassle as it is practically free from UV,” said Ruisch.

Light’s many roles
By applying the composition of ‘white artificial light’ and the use of colour-changing light, shop-owners can attract and guide the customers to selected displays that the store-owner wishes to highlight, or to focus on special detail in the merchandise that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Using strategically-placed highlights to draw attention to certain sections of the store means the retailer has the option of reducing the number of staff working on the shop floor. Staff whose responsibilities once included personally highlighting merchandise can now double up and focus on other important matters, such as restocking. And every retailer knows that employing fewer staff on the shop floor equates to lower costs.

Let your creativity run wild
Said Carroll, who has shared her expertise on lighting with luxury brand names such as Armani and Ferragamo, good lighting does not necessarily mean flooding the stores with bright lights. “A good design is also the careful placement of shadow,” she pointed out.

This means dimming certain areas of a shop just enough to accent other areas. “Dimming is important in creating that certain sense of mystery, creating form and shadow.”

For example, boutiques specialising in evening wear may generally use warm dim lights with focused beams on merchandise to create the right mood.

In particular, a relaxing dining ambience would not be appreciated in a busy jewellery store.Carroll said: “Obviously, there is a different technique for different situations. Lighting is not one size fits all!”

Different light for different retailing needs
Different stores should use different lamps, to suit their needs, Carroll suggested. For example, a jewellery store may want to use a lamp with 4,000 Kelvins (K) colour temperature (cool white in appearance), which is “bright, and will show off the sparkle of the jewels”. A general merchandise store (GMS) perhaps needs a lamp with 3000K (with a warmer look) and a minimum CRI of 85 or higher, “because a GMS needs to effectively put colour in such a variety of objects”.

A tip from Philips’ Ruisch: “You don’t want to mix different colour temperatures in one shop, because it can cut your shop into too many pieces and make it very uncomfortable to walk through.

“What you want is one colour temperature, but you can be flexible with highlights and accents, more powerful lighting to draw focus to your merchandise.”

Dynamic Lighting
At the very heart of Philips’ Dynamic Lighting range of luminaires is the concept of flexibility, and the ability to change the light according to retailers’ need to best cater to the emotional wellbeing of his staff, and customers.

“Lighting has two effects — the visual effect on a person, and the biological effect,” said CIE’s Professor van Bommel.

The light colour and light output can be regulated to follow the natural daylight pattern and exposing workers to this pattern helps to maintain alertness and productivity.

Speaking at the Philips Dynamic Lighting seminar to showcase the latest creative lighting solutions, the professor explained that daylight remained the best form of light with which we are most comfortable, and which has the most beneficial effect on our sense of well-being. And as daylight is never constant, neither need be the Dynamic Lighting.

Philips launched a series of modular skylight systems (Carpe Diem, Arano, Celino, Savio and Strato) that bring the impression of daylight indoors, complete with programmable variation in both light intensity and light colours so that retailers shape the mood by changing the lighting in their stores from a warm white of 2700K to a cool daylight of 6500K.

In shops, artificial skylights can be used for dynamic daylight simulation to emphasise selected areas.

“If you have this kind of shops, you may not want to install one light for all. Here, you can use the trick of dynamic lighting to create different atmospheres for different shops,” said Professor van Bommel. “[Philips’ Dynamic Lighting gives this flexibility of choice] because department stores sometimes have to change their store layout twice a year.”

Lighting for the well-being of customers
“In office lighting, we propose dynamic lighting in terms of variation in lighting levels and in its tint of whiteness to positively influence the health and wellbeing of the workers. In a retail environment, we can use the same variations to play with the emotion of the people,” said Professor van Bommel.

“With the right kind of lighting for the right customer group, it can bring them to an emotional state which makes them happy [and conducive for a buying mood].”

More interestingly, the retailer is able to adjust the lighting colour temperatures according to what would attract consumers at different times of the day. A cooler, more crisp white light, for example, may counter the postlunch dip in energy and alertness while making the store look much more vibrant and alive.

Dynamic Illuminance attracts your target consumers Different customers have different light colour preference. Therefore, highimage shops would apply different colour temperatures to suit their target consumers.

“[They] can change their lighting within the day, from day to day, week to week and season to season.”

Professor van Bommel also believes that dynamic lighting — lights that can change at a faster pace — can also boost attraction.

As such, he advises retailers to consider using light-emitting diodes (LED) which can change lighting colours dynamically, making the store look more vibrant and attractive.

“[LEDs] are a breakthrough technology for lighting; they are very small and thus very suitable for creating pronounced beams, available in very saturated colours, easy to regulate and dim. By doing this in an installation that uses different coloured LEDs, all colours can be made [to change] in a dynamic way.”

“The lifespan of LEDs is much longer than most conventional light sources,” he added.

“We see dynamic-lighting installations for both indoor and outdoor (facades) retail lighting.”

Professor van Bommel also spoke about a store’s “stopping power”, which he defined as the lighting employed in the display window even after the store closes at night. “It is in the shop owner’s interest that people look into his shop, and not the shop of his neighbour. This is what I call the ‘stopping power’ of the light.

“If you do something very special in your shop window, like dynamics — and I’m talking about real changing dynamics like fast-changing colours — then the attraction to your shop is perhaps higher than that of your neighbour’s.

“The next morning, it’s more likely that the customer will stop at your store than that of your neighbour’s!”


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