Fall 2017 CUTTINGEDGE Products 39 Today's consumer is on the hunt for products and services that make life easier. For example, a popular product at the International Home + Housewares Show was a smart rice cooker, which has the ability to differentiate different types of rice and cook other grains. Items like this allow users to set the product and go, as well as track cooking from a mobile device. Many products consumers want in this category are Wi-Fi-enabled to make them even more integrative with a smart home system. TOP TRENDS AND WAYS TO MERCHANDISE THEM As consumers continue to spend more on the home, providing a housewares department that delivers top trends will keep you in line with the competition. As you look toward the second half of 2017, there are several trends that you can easily incorporate into your housewares department. According to an article in Vogue about the top home decor trends for 2017, green is a color to watch this year. From lighter tones to darker ones, the color is prominent in most rooms of the home. Items like throw pillows, area rugs or even a simple pop of color with green-tinted glasses for the coffee table can bring the trend in without costing too much. The Vogue article also highlights the growing preference of rooms filled with a variety of textures. For example, having different fabrics on pillows, furniture without smooth lines or simply draping a nubby wool throw blanket over a couch can bring this trend into the home. Finishes that can make a statement in the home are marble and brass, designer Young Huh shares in the Vogue article. “We’re going to see this trend [of marble and brass] in both kitchens and baths,” Huh says. “It’s that combination of something very natural and clean, like white marble, and something industrial, hard and a little bit glamorous with the brass.” To showcase the trends among customers, retailers should consider creating a merchandising theme for their housewares department. If green-toned items are the theme of choice, they might create a table stack-out display with an array of table pieces, including vases, glassware, china, flatware and more. This not only shows how various products can mesh together, but it also shows how popular these trends are. Aside from trends, it’s important to use the housewares department as a way to offer more common products, like kitchen tools, as well as offer fun, impulse items, like steel-insulated mugs, eco-friendly plates, unique cleaning products and more. 38-43_Housewares&Consumables_Fall17.indd 39 7/19/17 9:03 AM