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E-commerce for the lighting fixtures industry
Facts and figure around the growing market of online sales of lighting fixtures


World consumption of lighting fixtures was worth around USD 88 billion (factory prices) in 2016, with a 3.5% increase compared to the previous year. CSIL estimates that value at retail prices reached about USD 134 billion. Around 5% of this value, meaning USD 6.8 billion would be driven by e-commerce. Looking at different geographical areas, the penetration of e-commerce is higher in North America (7% or USD 2.6 billion) where over 90% of the e-commerce business is developed in the United States. China follows with a 6.7% penetration (USD 1.8 billion), and Europe with 4% on average (USD 1.1 billion).

Brick & click as a fast-growing channel

About 38% of e-commerce sales at a world level are estimated to come from wholesalers. E-tailers (mainly B2C) include global e-commerce platforms (like Amazon) and specialist lighting web stores (like Lampcommerce). This category is estimated to represent 27% of the market. Lighting dealers/distributors operate through both physical stores and e-commerce (mainly B2C) also called “brick & click”, which represent one of the fastest-growing categories driving 16% of total lighting sales. Furniture/Lifestyle/DIY chains are the large multichannel dealers selling furniture, homewares, accessories, home improvement and also lighting fixtures (mainly B2C). This category represents 20% of the total, meaning USD 1.4 billion of lighting sales.

Significant yearly growth of 22%

A comparison between a CSIL study carried out in 2013 and the survey made in 2017 outlines that the e-commerce market for the lighting fixtures doubled over the last five years, registering an average yearly growth of 22%. According to the figures released for single companies, ‘E-tailers’ have been the fastest-growing channel posting +31% since 2012. Amazon, Otto, Taobao/TMall, Wayfair, Lampcommerce, Home 24 and Yoox are examples in this category. Sonepar, Rexel and Grainger are among the leading wholesalers in the world, selling significant quantities through e-commerce in the B2B business. Global wholesalers represent over 30% of the total market and increased by 17% on average in the period 2012-2016. According to CSIL sample, there is no statistical evidence, that lighting manufacturers using e-commerce can grow faster, or reach higher profits. Nevertheless, it can be noticed that in comparison with an average 5% EBITA in the sector (as from other CSIL Reports to be published), many lighting fixtures manufacturers handling e-commerce record better performance: EBITA around 6%-9% for Paulmann, Louis Poulsen, Far Lighting, Belid, Eglo, Trio, and 14%-20% for Acuity Brands, Flos, Foscarini, Leds C4.


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