Another year and another expansion of the Luxury Products Group.

The luxury bath and kitchen products buying group arm of Omni Corporate Services reported another increase in membership at its recent annual meeting held at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio. “This was our biggest meeting ever,” LPG Executive Director Linda Hoff told Supply House Times.

Hoff said this year’s meeting featured 70 vendor booths and attracted more than 325 people. The group welcomed nine new members and 11 new vendors to this year’s meeting.

“It used to be a lot of our membership was made up of Omni members with showrooms,” she explained. “Now, 17% of our membership comes from independent showrooms that have nothing to do with Omni. That’s going to continue to be our focus. We have the Omni members with showrooms that joined the group and now we’re trying to build on those independent showrooms.”

LPG has expanded its product reach into the lighting and aging-in-place/ADA categories. “Those are areas that are very important,” Hoff said. “We’ve brought in some home and health vendors and we’re offering continuing education classes. We feel the lighting category is going to be huge and we’re going to build on that in future years. We think it can be as profitable as traditional plumbing products. With the kitchen and bath space, lighting is a natural.”

Hoff is proud of where LPG has risen to in the seven short years it’s been in existence. “It’s taken a little while to get the word out,” she said. “Now, everybody wants to be involved. They see the value of belonging to the group not just for the rebates, but building into the Omni and LPG families and how they can learn from each other.”

During the meeting it was announced LPG raised funds for the purchase of two police K-9 bulletproof vests for a pair of police dogs near Omni-LPG headquarters in Ohio. One vest is earmarked to the Mantua, Ohio police department and the other to the Garrettsville, Ohio police department. This initiative was in response to Hoff, a dog enthusiast, reading about a police dog being shot to death in Cleveland because it had inadequate body armor. LPG worked with the Vested Interest in K9s organization in securing the vests.