Czech lighting producer Preciosa aims to expand on US, Russian markets


A leading Czech producer of lighting products, Preciosa Lighting, aims to expand its position in the United States. The firm with a centuries-old glass making tradition has now opened a permanent showroom in Dallas, Texas, a must for everyone who’s anyone in the industry, says Preciosa Lighting’s sales director Petra Macháčková. Radio Prague talked to Ms Macháčková about her company’s plans.

“We in our company, Preciosa Lustry, have decided to focus on two markets – Russia and the US. And if you want to establish yourself on the US market in residential lighting, you must be in Dallas. The Dallas market show, which is held in January and June, is considered the best show in residential lighting. So that’s why we are there.”

What about the products that you offer there? Are they different from what you sell elsewhere?

“We offer our complete portfolio which means cast lighting, mouth-blown lighting, and so on. But what’s different is the design. We had to adapt to the taste and the standards of the US market.”

How are the taste and standards there different from the Czech Republic for example?

“Well, let me start with the standards. You must take into account that ceilings in the United States are much higher; people are also not used to having to manually assemble the chandeliers themselves so we had to adapt them. And there are I would say slight changes to the designs. Sometimes the chandeliers have more trimmings; other items are in fact less decorative than those we sell here. I don’t think you can actually say what the difference is in general.”

Would you say the taste of your American customers is similar to that of your clients in Russia?

“I don’t think so. I think the taste in Russia is still very Russian. That’s the other market that we want to focus on, as I said, so the designs there will have to be different, too.”

How do you find out about these issues? Do you have experts who study the individual markets?

“In the US for example, we cooperate with Michael Beer, a former vice-president of Schonbek which is the most successful lighting company in northern America. He knows the market and he advises us and gives us suggestions. We also cooperate with designers from the local markets, plus our in-house designers travel around the world; we have subsidiaries where they go and stay for a couple of months, in Hong Kong for example, where they look around to see how things work there.”

How do you choose your designers? Are they mostly Czech?

“We very closely cooperate with art schools where we look for designers. We also have a group of some 15 designers who work only for us in out factory and who travel around with our clients. Another option is working with freelance designers; in the Czech Republic we work with Rony Plesl who designed some modern items for us. So we are very open. This year, we also sponsored the Czech Grand Design awards. We are not the main partner of the Talent of the Year category and the winner will have a chance to produce their design in our factory.”