Summer is a Flop in the USA
And we can’t blame this on Trump!
Our USA editor Randy Reid prides himself as being one of the industry’s biggest cheerleaders. At EdisonReport we try to accent the positive aspects, but there are times we have to report negative issues and this is one of those times. At the IES Annual Conference, he approached 13 colleagues (12 friends) from luminaire manufacturers and asked how their sales were during the summer:
- In a Funk
- Slow and lots of talks about layoffs
- None of your damn business, Randy Reid. Now get out of my face.
- I don’t really know, but management seems really unhappy
- I cannot be caught talking to you, but here is my private email
Sales dollars have slowed more than sales volumes–meaning price! One friend from a major conglomerate explained that she knew this time would hit, and basically BigChinaLED is taking its toll. She further explained that the large OEMs are hit with trying to take cost out of their products to compete with the Chinese (in many cases they are sourcing from the Chinese) and at the same time they are gearing up for IoT. She contrasted her situation with the Silicon Valley IoT companies who not only don’t have to worry about reducing cost, they don’t even have to show a profit.
We spoke to a person who does a lot of lighting layouts and learned that the vast majority of the layouts are for retrofit–very little new construction. Our reps tell us that the lighting designers are busy and there is lots of design work, but the jobs are just not being let as fast as the industry expected.
Some ESCO’s now buy direct from BigChinaLED, leaving out the OEM, the Rep and the Distributor.
Companies like Terralux, with $45M in VC money have closed their doors.
Cree and LSI have announced management changes at the top.
We have seen partners like John Daly, Jr leave rep firms, which they co-founded.
GE/Current is in the middle of something, but we really don’t know what. We have reported layoffs at Current and GE’s new CEO constantly talks about lowering costs.
Acuity stock trades in the $182 range and it was $90 higher a year ago.
The bottom line is that bottom-line pricing seems to be taking its toll and several companies are beginning to adjust to a new reality.