HOUSEWARES & CONSUMABLES PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT 38 CUTTINGEDGE Products Fall 2017 Housewares Category Drives Traffic to Business Score With HOME DECOR n today’s retail climate, business owners need to be able to diversify their products and service offerings to remain competitive. Whether a retailers store features a small selection of housewares items or offers a larger, boutique-like presence, there are many ways to find success in the category. This includes staying up to date on trends and establishing a thought out merchandising plan. When retailers head to the various buying markets this fall, they will want to keep an eye out for the latest products featured in the housewares category. Items that stand out are those consumers are asking for or are popular regionally. Aside from attending a market or other industry trade show, there are a variety of ways to stay in the know about the biggest trends in this decor-driven category. Spending time online is a prime place to start, as this will give retailers an understanding of what consumers are researching before making a purchase. Idea-sharing websites like Pinterest or DIY blogs that are constantly being updated can provide a snapshot of what consumers want. PRACTICAL PRODUCTS WITH A TECH-FOCUS While today’s consumer is more price-savvy than ever, they’re often willing to spend more if the item they want is well made. Last spring, the annual International Home + Housewares Show displayed thousands of products that caught attendees’ attention based on their aesthetics as well as their craftsmanship, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. “Homeowners are willing to pay a premium for products that last longer and look sleek as they are functional,” the Chicago Tribune says. “And as technology advances, electronic housewares are adding more customization to individual products.” Trends on prime display at the show included products with inspiration from architectural design and fashion. For example, many manufacturers added floral designs and color to the items they showcased. In regards to electronic housewares items, products that feature a technological element are becoming more common. For example, an item like a coffee pot can now be controlled through an app on a smart phone or tablet. I 38-43_Housewares&Consumables_Fall17.indd 38 7/19/17 9:03 AM