Built to Shine
As Australia’s largest lighting retailer, Beacon Lighting, celebrates its 50th anniversary, Business State checks in with its executive director and visionary, Ian Robinson, to learn about the company’s history and how it grew from one humble store to now 103 across the country.
By Jamuna Raj. Photography by Marija Ivkovic.
At Beacon Lighting’s massive store in Burwood, Melbourne, the doors have just opened for business. It’s a quiet morning; there’s no one in here apart from the two ground staff on hand, the photographer and two others – Beacon Lighting’s executive chairman Ian Robinson and me.
While we are setting up for the photoshoot, and with no customers in sight yet, Robinson takes the opportunity to do some overdue shopping. He turns to me and says, “My wife has been asking for new light fixtures for about three months. I’ve some time now and can get around to it.”
Robinson is no doubt a busy man. Not only does he serve on the board for Beacon Lighting and oversee a number of responsibilities, but he is also the director of the Lighting Council of Australia, a director of Indice Ecotech Pty Ltd and the president of the Large Format Retail Association. He is also a family man, and all four of his children hold various roles within the Beacon Lighting group.
Despite this, Robinson is himself still heavily involved with the day-to-day operations and fully committed to the specialist lighting retailer’s trajectory. And how could he not be? Under his management, Beacon Lighting has grown from one humble store along Chapel Street in Melbourne to become one of the biggest players in a market that is worth $3 billion nationally, with over 103 stores and counting.