Home Improvement Spotlight Illuminates Housewares

This is the sixth installment of a special series, presented by the National Hardware Show, exploring key trends and developments driving the growth of housewares and home goods in the home improvement retail business.

Home improvement retailers big and small recognize housewares as traffic-drawing complements to traditional hardware and building products for today’s DIY lifestyles. Hands-on, personal service, meanwhile, has helped keep the channel’s brick-and-mortar outlets vital as operators work to advance e-commerce operations.

With that, big-box home improvement centers and local hardware stores present a potent sales growth opportunity for housewares as other traditional retail channels and retailers confront their disadvantages and vulnerabilities.

Home Depot presents an educational air purifier department.

The big home centers have expanded the scope of their housewares programs to underscore the segment’s appeal to an expanded shopper demographic profile. Lowe’s for years has touted a wider housewares selection geared toward women as a key differentiator. Home Depot, historically in and out with select housewares promotions, has elevated its everyday play in the category with an upscale online program that could set a template for a wider in-store rollout.

The big hardware co-ops, meanwhile, have helped sustain independently owned hardware stores, many of which for generations conveniently have stocked plenty of housewares for loyal neighborhood clientele.

Local hardware stores, while adhering to traditional service values, can be among the most progressive independent retailers of any type.

Woods Hardware, with several True Value stores in the Cincinnati area, is implementing a 3D e-commerce experience for customers to walk “virtually” through the aisles of its stores, click on items and have them delivered the same day.

Ace’s acquisition of The Grommet, a growing online platform for unique lifestyle products, has further stoked the evolution of the neighborhood hardware store into a resource for omnichannel innovation beyond traditional hardware products.

From smart home to outdoor living to home environment to home organization to cleaning, several home improvement retailers already are hubs for housewares solutions enabling today’s preferred lifestyle experiences. A broader range housewares is primed to command an even brighter spotlight in the home improvement channel.

The 75th anniversary of the National Hardware Show, taking place May 5-7, 2020 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will showcase an expansive selection of innovative housewares and home products in such popular Show exhibits as Homewares, Smart Home, Outdoor Living and The Backyard Marketplace.