Looking for ROI? Lighting for Impact delivers lasting results for operators

May 16, 2023
Proper lighting in a retail setting can have a big impact on sales and the customer experience.

About 10 years ago, Cam Cloeter had a hunch that proper lighting in a retail setting could have a big impact on sales and the customer experience. Based on data from lighting-related studies, Cloeter was right, and micro market operators would be wise to get to know his company, Lighting for Impact.

Cam Cloeter experienced a lighting-related epiphany while designing checkout racks for Impulse Marketing, his own company that supported supermarkets and convenience stores. “I was looking at the beverage coolers that were illuminated, and the rest of the products around them were not. I began to visualize how much better the checkout product racks would look if they were lit up,” said Cloeter, who then connected and partnered with the late Elmer Wessel, considered by many to be a lighting genius. Wessel was known for designing the lighting and scoreboards in football and basketball arenas.

“I convinced Elmer there was a business putting lighting onto retailer shelves, and we decided to try it,” he added. Lighting for Impact (LFI) was launched.

First customer test

Their first customer was Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh, which decided to give product lighting a test run. “We tested eight stores, putting the lighting at the checkout. The sales went up by 20% and that was after a one-year period of time,” Cloeter said. “We now have our lighting in about 60,000 retail stores across North America, which is probably a conservative number.”

Ready to serve micro markets

Recognizing the rapid growth and potential of unattended retail, Cloeter and his team are directing attention to the micro market industry. Their effort has yielded immediate and impressive success, as Lighting for Impact recently signed an agreement with a large national micro market operator to expand lighting in their locations. He is confident results will be excellent for any operator that makes a commitment to using his products.

Troy Geis, co-founder of Fixturelite, a leading supplier of micro market retail displays, equipment and design tools, is a big fan of LFI. “To be the best, you have to use the best components available. LFI is the supplier for lighting products for Fixturelite,” said Geis. “Our long-standing partnership has allowed Fixturelite to integrate an effective, simple-to-install lighting system into our markets that puts the right light in the right place to drive sales upward. We value LFI's expertise when it comes to retail lighting.”

Cloeter believes that most micro market operators, like most retailers in general, don’t truly understand the power of lighting. “As my late partner Elmer used to say, you can't see illumination, you can only see the impact of illumination,” Cloeter noted. “The reality is that when you illuminate products on the shelf, the packaging comes to life. Products look cleaner, they look fresher, and with all the work that has been done by consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, the packaging sparkles, and the data is clear – sales increase.”

A better customer experience

Why do sales increase? Cloeter said that when the packaging really jumps out, it becomes more tantalizing to the shopper. “People just dwell longer – it slows them down. They engage more with the product as opposed to just being transactional. And we know that there's a direct correlation between browse time and basket size. So, the longer they browse, the more they buy – they have a better customer experience, and they respond to that improved experience.”

Paid for in 54 days

Lighting for Impact did some recent testing with a convenience store group in the Midwest, using test and control stores. Lighting was installed, and then both the test and control stores were evaluated.  “Based upon the business growth, just the business growth, they could pay for the lighting in 54 days,” Cloeter said. “There's nothing else that a micro market operator could invest in that will provide that rate of return. It is really all about driving consumer behavior, increasing the basket size, maintaining your margins and watching your sales increase.”

How much will they increase? Cloeter said he gets asked that question all the time. “There are obviously many business factors in play, but we have seen sales rise as much as 40%. Our data is gathered in a careful and scientific manner over a 52-week period,” he said. “But ask yourself this. For a minimal investment in a solid location, if you could increase your sales by just 10%, how can an operator pass that up? Unlike a lot of consumer promotions where sales go up and they go back down to a baseline, lighting brings about a permanent change in behavior because people buy more.”

Typical questions

Cloeter explained that he sees the same questions asked by all potential clients, including operators.

  • Why should I do lighting?
  • Why should I do it now?
  • Why should I use Lighting for Impact?

“Why lighting? Because it creates a much better customer experience, they buy more product, and it's the best ROI for an operator.”

“Why now? From a financial standpoint, it just makes all the sense in the world, so why would you wait?”

“There's also some evidence that theft goes down when you illuminate products. LFI did some testing with a large convenience store retailer, and that was the conclusion they came back with. The data varied by store, but they did look at shrinkage numbers, and they said it did go down. The theory is that people are just a little more hesitant to steal when everything is well-illuminated,” Cloeter said.

Cloeter pointed out that Lighting for Impact offers some strong support for operators, giving his clients a clear competitive advantage.

  • Complimentary lighting design consultation: Consultation and design service on all projects.
  •  Quick custom quotes: Quote turnaround time within 1-2 days.
  •  Value-engineered system: Designed to maximize output with minimal components. Optimized designs for lower overall costs with pricing that is normally 25%–33% below its competitors.
  •  In-stock inventory: Large inventory on-hand and ready to ship, with a wide range of components available.
  •  Fast delivery: Industry-leading 2-week lead time on most orders with expedited processing available upon request.
  •  Installation and maintenance services: Using a national network of reliable installation professionals who can manage the installation process from start to finish.
  •  Five-year product replacement guarantee: If there is a problem with a product, Lighting for Impact will replace it free of charge. 

No supply chain issues

“Lighting for Impact is all about customer service,” said Cloeter. “We work with all of our customers to design the very best, most efficient and economical lighting systems to support their needs. This is also important to note: We have an enormous inventory in our warehouse in Lincoln, Nebraska. So, if you said to me, Cam, I want to do 100 micro markets two weeks from now – that is no problem. Considering the supply chain issues we have all seen, that has to be a refreshing change for operators.”

To learn more about how Lighting for Impact can help build your micro market sales, contact Cam Cloeter, founder and president, at 908-310-8680 or email [email protected]


Bob Tullio is a content specialist, speaker, sales trainer, consultant and contributing editor of Automatic Merchandiser/VendingMarketWatch.com. He advises entrepreneurs on how to build a successful business from the ground up and specializes in helping suppliers connect with operators in the convenience services industry – coffee service, vending, micro markets and pantry service specifically. 

Subscribe to Automatic Merchandiser's new podcast, Vending & OCS Nation, hosted by Tullio and designed to make your business more profitable. https://www.vendingmarketwatch.com/podcasts/VendingOCSNation

Also check out Tullio’s b2b Perspective Channel, which has developed a loyal YouTube following.

Tullio delivers this promise to any company that hires him for a 30-minute or 1-hour Zoom call: "One short session with me will elevate the performance of your sales team.”


Lighting for Impact
Lighting For Impact Q Channel Overview
Micro Market

Lighting for Impact launches new Q-Channel up/down lighting system

March 17, 2023
The new Q-Channel shelf lighting system illuminates both up and down from the shelf edge and installs in seconds.
Lighting for Impact
Lighting For Impact Grow Your Micro Market Sales

Lighting for Impact

Jan. 3, 2023
Grow your micro market breaktime sales units with Lighting for Impact's LED Wall Washers. Affordable, energy-efficient, and easy to install – the Wall Washers get results everyone...
Lighting Report Mmdnl V2

Free consultation from Fixturelite: how to maximize micro market lighting

Dec. 8, 2021
Often overlooked, proper lighting is a key component of the micro market retail experience. With extensive design backgrounds, Steve Orlando and Troy Geis, cofounders at Fixturelite...