Celebrating 30 years as a leading American watch and lifestyle company, Fossil, based in Richardson, Texas, is renowned for its classically styled watches and accessories, featuring streamlined silhouettes, fresh hues and materials, and timeless designs that pair fashion and functionality. And thanks to a new lighting design in several existing company stores and recently constructed Fossil retail outlets that involves cutting-edge VioLight™ LED technology from Solais Lighting, Fossil has also demonstrated its leadership in the areas of visual merchandising, customer service and sustainability.
With more than 260 retail accessory, clothing and outlet stores in North America – all featuring the brand’s signature watches – Fossil relies on outstanding visual design to help display its merchandise in its truest and most appealing form. Store lighting plays a pivotal role in achieving that objective. “We’re responsible for partnering with our design and construction teams to create optimal retail environments and procure the fixtures, flooring, lighting, furniture and equipment that are required,” explained Amanda Ceja, Procurement Manager, Store Design & Development for Fossil.
In late 2013, Ceja and her team worked with a design firm to introduce a fresh lighting concept for several new North American stores, based on an approach recently installed in the company’s flagship location in London, as well as to replace aging LED track fixtures in existing stores. “We needed to find alternative, high-quality and affordable lighting solutions that worked, were easy to replace and enabled us to procure responsibly with Fossil’s best interests at heart,” she said.
Seeking a replacement for the LED track fixtures previously installed in Fossil’s existing North American company stores following performance and sourcing issues with the manufacturer, “our new lighting strategy revolved largely around product quality, customer service and availability,” shared Ceja. “For existing stores, as well as in support of the tight eight-week schedule in place for the construction of our new stores, we understood that a delay in getting our lighting fixtures could subsequently delay store openings and further affect the timing of our promotions, as well as our relationships with landlords and employees – so we couldn’t afford lead-time issues.”
Though Ceja and her team had initial difficulty finding the optimal lighting product for their stores, all of that changed in early 2014 when she attended a lighting industry trade show and viewed a demonstration of Solais Lighting’s new VioLight technology. During a side-by-side comparison showing the way VioLight fixtures illuminated Fossil products next to the retailer’s previously specified lighting brand, “I knew immediately that it was what I’d been looking for,” Ceja said. “We loved the crisp, clear way that VioLight [fixtures] lit the space, produced a sharper visual and made our product pop,” she added, noting that Fossil quickly began working with Solais to test the product, designing store mock-ups.
“Fossil had already been using LEDs to light its stores, but the company wasn’t necessarily happy,” confirmed Sam Newberry, PowerSecure Lighting’s Senior Vice President of Sales, referring to Fossil’s previous lighting configuration. With its outstanding color saturation and ability to broaden the recognized color palette under the color spectrum, “VioLight fixtures registered all the primary colors as well as the pastels, turning on hues in Fossil watches and leather items that hadn’t stood out under standard LED technology,” Newberry said.
A breakthrough product for high-end retailers and commercial users that require unparalleled color vibrancy in their environments, VioLight enabled 17-watt/1450-lumen and 22-watt/1850-lumen 3000K products additionally feature Solais’ exclusive Luxiance® active-cooling technology to support superior life, light output and performance; they also deliver a long average life – rated at 50,000 hours – and are fully dimmable. “Because they enable colors to look most true to natural sunlight,” Newberry said, “VioLight LED technology is ideal for retail applications in which high color rendering, strong center-beam candlepower, maximum quality and performance are paramount. It will be a go-to lighting source for the market’s most discerning retailers.”
Since officially specifying VioLight technology for all of its new stores as of early 2014, Fossil has so far completed installations within newly constructed outlets in California and Nebraska. The company will complete installations in several other new stores by year-end, including two Skagen, Denmark, locations, and has earmarked another two dozen newly constructed or existing stores nationwide for either new lighting installations or upgrades over the next several years. “Our watches look great under glass with VioLight [fixtures] lighting them,” Ceja said. “These products didn’t really pop under our old lighting, but VioLight technology defines colors and details in their truest sense, drawing attention to the products.”
“Many retailers have embraced LEDs for their comprehensive benefits,” Newberry acknowledged, “but VioLight products offer an unprecedented opportunity to improve on LED quality and brightness. In the evolution of LED technology, VioLight technology introduces new levels of brilliance to the illumination of merchandise, providing a significant upgrade for retailers.”
“In addition to the fact that our designers love the new lighting layout, color and brightness, VioLight fixtures incorporate a very user-friendly driver within the unit, have a clean look, and are easy to maintain and service,” Ceja agreed, adding that the technology “makes life easier and keeps our stores running smoothly.” In addition, she said, “The Solais team is very knowledgeable and approachable. They truly regard us as partners, as opposed to just customers.”
With the company poised for a new era of visual acuity and sustainability in the life of the celebrated Fossil brand, Ceja recommends that other retailers follow suit. “It’s worth your while to have a Solais expert demonstrate VioLight technology on your products and do a test in your store,” she said. “Once you see it, you’ll be very impressed.”