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Retail Golfsmith
Golfsmith creates inviting atmosphere
with new Retailer Luminaires

Walking into a Golfsmith store is like stepping into the pages of a golf supply catalog. Shoppers may choose from just about any golf-related item—from golf clubs and clothing to gifts, balls and accessories.

Because Golfsmith wants its store to simulate and create the feel of a golf course, the new store in Northville, Michigan features a putting green in the middle of its retail space. Next to it, a landsaped waterfall adds to the overall effect.

“We want people to hear the whisper of the falling water. We want them to relax and enjoy the CD music that we play in the background,” explained Chris O’Brien, general manager for the Northville location.

Because sound is an issue in this 25,000-square-foot store, ballast noise became a consideration during the design of the lighting system. While the store wanted the advantages of the white light associated with a metal halide system, O’Brien was concerned about the ballast buzz he had heard in other stores illuminated with metal halide lighting fixtures.

Luminaires installed are Holophane Retailer® fixtures with Endural® prismatic glass reflectors and clear 400-watt pulse start metal halide lamps. The luminaires, which are new from Holophane and specifically designed for the retail market, are encapsulated in a resilient potting compound to reduce and absorbs ballast noise. The encapsulated ballast also promotes maximum energy savings and longer ballast life.

Fixtures are installed 16 feet above the hardwood floor, mounted on a threaded rod with a hook that attaches to the metal deck ceiling, which is painted gray. The luminaires are spaced 16’ x 18’ on center, with spotlights used to emphasize certain merchandise and the red and gold signage that hangs in each departmnt. Light levels are 70 to 75 footcandles.

“The new store had to be light and bright—but not so bright that the spotlighting lost its effect,” O’Brien related. “We like the Retailer fixtures because they provide a sparkle that is impossible to achieve with the acrylic high bay luminaires with coated lamps used in other Golfsmith stores. In the past, we visited other retail stores where inadequate illumination resulted in a drab, gray environment. Our goal was to provide an attractive contrast that would help generate interest in our merchandise.”

O’Brien indicated one of the challenges in designing the lighting system was to assure the wall displays get enough illumination from the main light source. Fixtures with acrylic lenses used in other Golfsmith stores often did not provide sufficient light to illuminate merchandise located on the edges of the building.

Because of the Retailer’s photometrics, the luminaires deliver excellent vertical footcandles on the merchandise without glare. According to O’Brien, minimizing glare was especially important on merchandise such as golf clubs.

“By using the Retailer luminaires, we were able to maintain a warehouse feel with the open truss ceiling,” said O’Brien. “The fixtures are attractive, yet unobtrusive. They help create an environment where shoppers say, yes, this is a store where I want to shop.”

The Retailer fixtures are manually switched and are illuminated approximately 60 hours per week. Based on Golfsmith’s satisfaction with the lighting system at the Northville store, the chain has installed the fixtures in two other new locations in California.


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