March 16, 2023
More Big Changes in the Charlotte Lighting Market
Major agent to cease operations. 69 lines and Current HLI jockeying for new agent partners.
Three weeks ago, a Charlotte market shakeup was initiated when Acuity Brands announced that it was parting ways with longtime agent partner, S.L. Bagby, and partnering with the agent currently known as TEAM Charlotte, effective May 24.
With the move, TEAM Charlotte is spinning from the Carolina-wide TEAM lighting agent alliance – with Greensboro, Durham and Greenville, North Carolina as the other separate TEAM businesses – and is announcing a new agency name on March 30. The Acuity Brands move to TEAM Charlotte leaves Current™ HLI Brands (the former Hubbell Lighting) searching for a new agent partner in the Queen City.
S.L. Bagby to Close
Another major change has been whispered about the territory in recent weeks and is now verified – S.L. Bagby will officially be winding down its business and ceasing operations on or about May 24. We verified the information with longtime S.L. Bagby Principal, Johnny Morgan, who also informed us that his staff has been notified. Morgan also told us that letter is going to be distributed to customers and other stakeholders today and tomorrow.
The SL Bagby line card has 69 brands that are not part of the Acuity Brands family – and thus those brands will be searching for new homes. The S.L. Bagby online staff list cites Morgan and 15 other individuals.
Where do the Bagby Lines go?
Inside.lighting confirmed with TEAM Charlotte that two of S.L Bagby’s important independent brands, Kenall and Q-Tran are making the move to TEAM Charlotte.
The other brands are up for grabs which is causing some manufacturers to act quickly to shore up a new partner sooner than later. Other brands on the SL Bagby line card include:
HessAmerica (and the other Experience Brands)
LF Illumination (and the other Delta Light North America brands)
Where does Current™ HLI go?
When we published the news of Acuity Brands and TEAM Lighting on February 23, we also stated, “Soon-to-be free agent, S.L. Bagby, seems like a leading candidate to represent Current HLI in the Queen City, but don't rule out a Current HLI/GLI consolidation or other options.”
With S.L. Bagby no longer an option for Current™ HLI, local feedback from the market indicates that Affiliated Lighting and Controls – the current Current™ GLI agent – is believed to be a leading contender, but no contracts have been announced and we are unable to confirm if any advanced discussions or negotiations have occurred among the parties.
We reached out to Current™ Chief Commercial Officer, Chip Taylor, who seemingly channeled Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith by stating, “We have a plan and things are coming together.”