The opportunity to convert healthier living into a healthier housewares bottom line takes the spotlight in the June 25, 2012, issue, which features two HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® annual reports: the Chain Drug Report and the Health & Wellness Report.
The evolution of HomeWorld’s positioning of the Health & Wellness Report provides a guide to how housewares makers and retailers could rethink the presentation of an expanded scope of products that contribute to healthy lifestyles.
The supplement was launched several years ago as the Home Health Care Report. At the time, the report responded to a call for retailers to create health care appliance sections combining plaque removers, health monitors, massagers, air purifiers and the like. Such sections often were aimed at the sweet spot of a then-aging population base in most need of such aides.
Major mass merchants had begun to move health care appliances out of housewares and into HBA departments. And merchandising presentations often conveyed a clinical tone expected to resonate with consumers seeking convenient and affordable preventative measures during an era of rising medical costs.
Early editions of the Home Health Care report supported that positioning: The pages even included such medical-themed graphics as the familiar rod-and-snake physician’s symbol.
The transformed Health & Wellness Report suggests the convergence of traditional home health care appliance merchandising with a lifestyle approach that can extend presentations to encompass a wider spectrum of health-inspired housewares that appeals to a broader consumer base.
The report’s usual market analysis and statistics for core home health care staples have been supplemented with coverage of such categories as juicers, kitchen scales and steam cleaners. The latest entries in these categories are amplifying nutritional and environmental benefits in an effort to attract those seeking to surround themselves with all sorts of healthier alternatives.
There’s even a new category in the report— Healthy Baby— that underscores the emergence of specialty food prep housewares and the repositioning of core basics for a new generation of protective, young family starters. Note, as well, the family imagery that accents this year’s Health & Wellness Report.
Housewares retailers looking for ways to reenergize their selling floors might want to infuse a more holistic wellness strategy into the development of healthy-product presentations. That, in turn, could inspire consumers to invest in multiple purchases by exposing them to products they otherwise might not have considered.
While such merchandising execution seems more suitable to specialty retailers and department stores with more flexible category boundaries, mass merchants should be no less inclined to tear down the gondolas where possible to optimize the scope and visibility of the wellness merchandising opportunity.
This not only could advance the cause of a new generation of health-angled housewares solutions, but it also could provide a shot in the arm to some once-booming home health care basics that have become lower priorities on the shopping depth chart as the economy has tightened.
American consumers are guilty of neglecting their own health and wellness at times, even though they know better. Housewares merchandisers are in a good position to remind their customers of the diverse selection of products available to make a healthier life a little easier and more affordable.
It might make the bottom line a little healthier in the process.