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Hermitage Design Center turns off the lights, but doesn’t pull the plug

Hermitage Design Center turns off the lights, but doesn't pull the plug

Hermitage carries a wide range of big lighting brands.

Hermitage Design Center, Nashville’s iconic lighting showroom that has been in business for 78 years, has sold its flagship property and will move to an online-only model.

The city’s hot real estate market prompted the decision, according to owner Jack Fleischer.

“With the development of downtown we’ve had the opportunity to gain significant benefits by selling our property,” he said in a statement. “We are looking at our retail business to move to a fully online model.”

The store is clearance-pricing everything and will sell to “the bare walls,” he said.

The fourth generation, family-owned lighting company got its start as an appliance distribution company but later grew to include lighting, plumbing and home accessories. It now caters to single family home builders, custom bath and kitchen installers, and retail customers through lighting vendors such as Generation Lighting, Hinckley and Savoy House. The company has been nominated for an ARTS award next January.

COVID changed the way the company operates, Rachel Fleischer, the senior purchasing agent and Jack Fleischer’s daughter, told Home Accents Today in August. When forced to temporarily close, the company had a chance to evaluate who they are and how customers shop them — many of them browse online and then come into the store knowing what they want. Hermitage is known for its “outrageous customer service,” she said.

“We think this is the right time and the right approach to help benefit our valued customers,” Jack Fleischer said. “The pandemic has shown us that we can continue to grow without a significant showroom presence.  It has been an incredible ride. We have enjoyed all the interactions and relationships along the way.”

Moving forward, retail customers can work through their respective contractors or purchase directly online at gohermitage.com. Hermitage Design Center will continue its pro model with appointments only to the trade, operating as normal. Builders, designers, architects, developers and national accounts customers will continue to have sales representatives that will work directly with them.

“We want to thank our retail customers of middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky for all the support over our 78 years in business in Nashville,” Fleischer said.

The Hermitage offices and operations will move to 3640 Trousdale Dr., Nashville, TN 37204.

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