These Home and Housewares Executives Feel Optimistic About 2017… You Should Too!
Earlier this year, the International Housewares Association (IHA) conducted an informal survey of its members. It revealed that many executives in the industry had a lot on their minds when asked about where they saw the home and housewares industry heading in 2017.
Here’s what they had to say:
On consumer behavioral trends…
“Cooking and taking care of the home will continue to be part of everyday life,” said Greg Cairo, IHA’s Board Chair and President of Groupe SEB USA. “Consumers will want the best quality cookware and home appliances that fit their lifestyle.”
Indeed, with millennials twice as likely to cook in 2017, brands are doing their best to empower them by providing fresh, high quality foods at a moment’s notice. And with more and more consumers migrating out of the dining room and into the kitchen, housewares brands are adapting by expanding their assortments to include less traditional pieces that, quite literally, fit in with the customer’s changing lifestyle.
On ever-evolving retail channels…
President of Select Brands Bill Endres believes omnichannel consumers will continue to be the industry’s biggest potential for opportunity. “It’s all about using bricks and mortar to support online retailing and vice versa,” Endres said. “The most successful people in our industry will find a way to marry the two.”
Truthfully, the face of brick and mortar is changing, with major retail corporations racing to become lead innovators in the space. Consumers have grown to expect very little difference between their online and offline shopping experiences and craft brands are quickly stepping up to the plate. “I believe there’s a smaller retailer out there that is up and coming that is going to have a profound impact on our industry,” Endres continued. “Maybe it’s a hybrid of a bricks-and-mortar store with online ordering kiosks, but it will probably have a smaller footprint and be more educational in nature.”
On millennial consumers…
Unsurprisingly, millennials will continue to drive how home and housewares brands and retailers market their products. “Globally, our investment in digital and e-commerce … will double in 2017,” said Kris Malkoski, President of Global Business and Chief Commercial Officer of World Kitchen.
In addition to placing a focus on e-commerce and social media, millennials will continue to have a major influence on the consumer marketplace. We’ve already seen examples of how their need for easy customization, personalized products, lower price points (without scrimping on quality), and updated branding and design have changed the game and insiders expect to see more of that this year, according to the IHA.
On the role of innovation within the industry…
Many of the executives agreed that one of the most exciting things to look forward to this year will be innovation in all aspects of the business. “New technology, like apps and connected devices, will create loyalty and continue to increase product usage,” Cairo said.
But that’s not to say this won’t come without some challenges. “Some retailers are very resistant to playing an active role in launching new products and building the demand with the consumer,” said Evan Dash, CEO of StoreBound. “At the end of the day, suppliers are left to spend all the money to market new product launches while absorbing all the risk from any retailers who decide to capitalize on early trends.”
What do you think of these observations? Do you believe any of the insights above will be impacting your business this year? Sound off in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!
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