The upcoming holiday selling season was top of mind for suppliers and retailers at the summer Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. Add-ons and unique marketing angles, as well as competitive pricepoints, have been hot topics of discussion throughout the showrooms at AmericasMart.
“Consumers are going to be looking for new housewares to add to their kitchens, not products that are going to replace other items,” said Robyn Evans, national sales manager, Maker Homeware.
For example, she noted that the company’s grill pan has been a top-seller at the summer market. “It would make a great gift because not only is it new, but it also capitalizes on healthy eating and cooking. Someone could get this for the holidays and be ready for when the healthy eating push starts in January,” noted Evans.
Jamie Newman, sales director, DKB Household USA, said that price versus the consumer’s return on investment will continue to pressure the market. He pointed to the company’s Zyliss Easy Pull food processor, a kitchen tool that retails for $29.99, as an example of kitchenware that does not carry a big price, but allows consumers to make a variety of healthy foods ranging from cauliflower pizza crusts to soups and hummus.
Other vendors have found success in taking existing housewares products and repackaging them for different uses.
Rich Cronin, general manager/housewares, Lenox, said the company successfully repositioned its Dansk-branded traditional butter warmer as a hot chocolate pot. “It sold out so fast that they couldn’t keep it in stock,” Cronin said. “It ended up being a great giftable item that makes two cups of hot chocolate and its smaller size allows it to be stored easily.”
Deborah Vanni, export area manager, TVS, said the company has put a technological spin on its iPan in an effort to differentiate the piece from other products in the cookware segment. Offering iPan in iPhone colors including silver, gold and space gray, a QR code is also included on the packaging that brings users to a recipe page when they connect with their smartphones. The iPan carries a suggested retail price of $40.
As housewares suppliers and retailers look to grab their share of consumer discretionary dollars this holiday season, many believe consumers will be looking for quality products at good prices.
“There will always be price sensitivity in the market, but consumers will be looking for quality matched with style and longevity this holiday season,” said Carl Headley vp/ZicZac, a kitchen textiles company.
Cronin agreed. “We see a lot of consumers who are willing to spend the money, but it has to be on goods that they can trust to perform. Design plus confidence in the brand will be two major factors in purchasing decisions.”