In the world of retail store design, good lighting continues to play a key role in attracting customers, creating a polished image, and properly showcasing virtually any type of merchandise. And in today's competitive marketplace, more and more retail operators have enlisted the aid of lighting professionals to provide an added-value element of entertainment to their stores and showrooms. Whether it's a multimedia show of light, sound, and video to define the image of an athletic footwear retailer, or colorful illumination to highlight the sheen of a new line of automobiles, retail lighting is now relying on a careful mix of automated and more traditional architectural luminaires.

For this annual issue focusing on architectural lighting, Lighting Dimensions surveys the shopping landscape from Hawaii to New York. Images of a water and sea triathlon inspire the lighting of NikeTown Honolulu, while a giant Trojan horse garners the colorful spotlight at FAO Schwarz in Las Vegas. A major overhaul of Manhattan's shopping landmark, Bloomingdale's, includes brighter illumination as part of the revamped presentation strategy. At the General Motors showroom a few blocks away, deft lighting enhances "lifestyle vignettes" that imaginatively entice potential drivers. Meanwhile, in a Boston suburb, Foot Locker reinvents itself with an in-store multimedia format which it will roll out in outlets across the country.

Vilma Barr, our resident retail expert, also checks in with LD Bernie Bauer, who is chairing a subcommittee that will soon issue updated retail lighting guidelines for the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. It's an issue that will bring you up to date on what's in store. Meanwhile, see you at the mall.