At the retailer’s annual general meeting on Tuesday, CEO Glen Robinson said the company is looking forward to achieve record sales and record profits this fiscal year.
The company is the largest specialty lighting and ceiling fan retailer in the country, with 110 stores nationwide, and has flagged the potential to add up to 67 more locations to its store network.
Beacon Lighting has already opened two new stores since June in Warrnambool and Mackay, Queensland, and expects to open two more in Moore Park, NSW, and Craigieburn, Victoria, this fiscal year.
Robinson also noted Beacon Lighting’s push into smart lighting from brands like Philips and its private label brand, Lucci, which is understood to be launching a line of connected products in a matter of weeks.
The retailer has successfully trialled a smart lighting demo area in its South Melbourne store, where staff can show customers how to use connected lighting products in conjunction with smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
“One area is hooked up to Google Home, and the other area is hooked up to Alexa, and employees talk to [the devices] to have the lights change colour or dim to 20 per cent,” Beacon Lighting Mick Tan told IR in a previous story about the company’s investment in its technological infrastructure to enable similar initiatives.
According to Tan, Beacon Lighting is in the process of rolling out these demo stations to 48 stores across Australia. They are expected to help the company differentiate from other retailers that offer these products but aren’t able to show customers how to use them in-store.
“It allows us to educate the customer,” Tan said.
Robinson also noted that Beacon Lighting now has 22 design studios operating in stores, where specially trained staff are able to advise homeowners on lighting specifications and placement. Customers can bring in their floor plans, and staff can save notations on scanned copies and send them directly to the customer’s architect or builder.
This service – targeted at customers undertaking home renovations – is one way that Beacon Lighting hopes to weather the storm of the falling housing market in Australia.
CoreLogic’s Hedonic Home Value Index recorded a 0.3 per cent decline in Australia’s median home price in August, the eleventh straight month of falling home prices in the majority of capital cities.
So far, however, Beacon Lighting’s comparative sales are flat for the first quarter of FY19, compared to the prior corresponding period.
Beacon Lighting posted record profit of $19.6 million in FY18 off the back of strong gross margin growth to a record 65.7 per cent.