Planning for Profits
What’s old is new as 2014 trends focus on retail ‘staples’
Looking ahead to 2014, it’s easy to see that some trends” from the past have become retail staples today. American-made, fair trade and eco-friendly are just a couple of examples. Because of that, we took a different approach for this year’s story on trends and instead selected a few categories retailers should make sure to refresh, renew and reboot.
After all, sales never go out of style.
Office and Digital Accessories
The worlds of work and home have collided in the past few years, making the category of office and digital accessories one of the largest growing categories in the market.
It’s on trend to change your smartphone case like you would a purse, so stock anything for the smartphone in a variety of design choices. We will continue to see the bright and bold patterns dominate, and retailers should offer plenty of items that the customer can monogram or personalize to really create their own unique product or gift.
I think we will also see more and more of the hand-drawn and hand-lettered look. I believe the huge popularity of geometric patterns (think chevron) has prompted the desire to have more of it’s “opposite” — a casual, one of kind, hand-done feel.
Regardless of what comes and goes, plush will always remain a viable retail staple. That doesn’t mean that they don’t still follow trends, and having the “it” items are key for retailers of all shapes and size.
Dee Dee Valencia
Whether designs are realistic, whimsical, semi-realistic or licensed, soft and cuddly plush is always a win, and in 2014 we’ll see more innovative trims and fabrics that are used as accessories and accents on plush pieces.
While pinks and purples are always hot for girls, pastels with a tone-on-tone pop of color, earth tones and bright colors continue to be popular overall. Aurora top plush categories include bears, dogs, cats and jungle, and popular themes include princesses, sea life, iridescent and hombre.
Retailers must have a nice array of price points for plush covering impulse buys and small, medium and large sizes. It’s also important not to lose site of the extra large statement pieces for impact and fourth quarter sales.
Fun print patterns and bright colors are definitely trending in the market right now, and a good teddy bear is always a “must-have” item for stores. What I see from successful retailers is the commitment to display and merchandising. Product is half the equation; prominent displays are what make the sale happen. The essential components are variety, depth of product, signage and different retail price points so there is something for everyone.
According to the 2011-2012 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 62 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 million homes. Whether it’s a new customized collar and leash or a kitschy food bowl or shirt, many shoppers look for a souvenir or unique gift item for their four-legged friends.
More and more retailers are establishing pet sections in their stores and are including unique and clever gift products to sell to animal lovers. Apparel, jewelry, totes, small gifts and home décor appear to have the greatest appeal among these shoppers.
New in 2014, retailers can expect Dog is Good to introduce more home décor such as pillows, table linens, bathroom décor, beach products, items for the car and more gift items to satisfy the animal lover’s insatiable urge to express their love of dog, cat, horse and more.
Functional products with bold, simple design and bright colors bring extra fun to you and your pet’s life. Wildebeest’s XX Bandana Collar (2-sided and adjustable) is a fun, low-pressure gift item, and our Meadow Pet Rug (textured, fluffy and washable) is a unique, tasteful gift that can complement any interior/exterior environment.
Candles & Home Fragrance
Whether it’s a customized candle purchased as a souvenir or a high-end diffuser purchased as a gift, this fragrant sector is staking its claim in the industry.
Trends in candles and home fragrance are strongly influenced by fashion and home décor trends. For example, patterns and colors inspired by fashion and home décor will influence candles in 2014. Also, fragrances that remind people of positive experiences in their lives — their childhood, vacations, favorite baked good that Grandma used to make when they were little, etc.—sell well.
Wax melts are also trending. Colonial Candle’s Simmer Snaps are one of our best-selling product forms because people love the flameless option and the ability to make their own fragrances by mixing and matching different Simmer Snap fragrances together.
Colonial Candle also selects candle colors based on trending colors in home décor and fashion. Rumor has it the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year will be a shade of pink, and Colonial will also introduce a Paris Destinations fragrance collection in January 2014 that offers two gorgeous shades of pink.
Turquoise is very hot overall right now, as well as metallic for year round. A new emerging trend seems to be rose gold in particular. Chevron and geometric patterns in general are trending, and you will see them everywhere from high end all the way down the line.
From our Chesapeake Bay Candle seasonal collections, the glass owls and wax owls are as popular as always. Mint and aqua combined with soft yellows and coral will be big for spring, so you can expect to see these colors in the lineup. Brazil is still very relevant for summer, so we will see bright colors and big florals. Fall and holiday will bring richer, deeper colors and fantasy type trends based on Games of Thrones. Black and white will also be strong, and we expect owls and birds to continue trending next year as well.
Apparel and Accessories
Whether it’s a T-shirt or pricier handbags and jewelry, this category can appeal to any demographic and price point.
Dawn Nials and Denise Wright
Look for darker shades, including black, blues and grays, burgundy, plum, emerald, deep autumn hues; filigree and antique styles, fabric and stone combos, brushed metal, burnished metal, blackened metals, wood, leather, pearls and rhinestones — very estate looking jewels; and organic motifs like flowers, leaves and birds. Also make sure to stock pearls, cuff bracelets, neck collars, leather — whether alone or mixed with stone and/or metal — and black, which is still the top selling color.
Customers’ eyes struggle to see individual pieces that are placed on the same plane. Use risers and/or displays with different heights to give the eye a place to start and an inviting roadmap from piece to piece. And make sure you send your customer away with a well-packaged purchase. Many retailers overlook packaging, but it is the last impression you will make on a customer.
Brightly colored affordable designer accessories that are functional and fashion forward will see a spike in sales as they catch the buyer’s eye. Geometric patterns will continue strong, but have distinct bohemian and tribal influences.
We will continue to see a strong trend in red, especially for accessories. The red of 2014 is more sophisticated compared to what we have seen the past several months. The bright poppy red will transition into deeper shades of scarlet, burgundy and wine.
Also look for affordable, colorful accessories that punctuate a tired wardrobe for the casual chic gal on-the-go.
It has been around, but we are seeing that any style in neon has done very well. We are also doing remarkably well with our heathered items. It is all about color and “feel” softer fabrics — for both girls and guys.