HSN Sees Customization As Key For Gift-Giving

NEW YORK— HSN’s “More the Merrier Holiday in July” event previewed the retailer’s newest fashion, accessory, jewelry, beauty, home, tech and culinary holiday offerings from HSN, HSNi and Cornerstone brand partners, here. This year’s gift giving collections highlighted unique, one-of-a-kind gifts with an emphasis on personalization.

“The gifts this year are designed to be fun and unique. An overall theme is ‘that thing you didn’t know you wanted,’” Zuri Woodard, associate merchandiser for the HSNi home team, told HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®. “We’re not looking to push things that are mass produced. Our offering this year has a boutique-y feel.”

For its culinary assortment, the company will be showcasing new products under brands such as Wolfgang Puck, Joy Mangano, Joseph Joseph, Zoku, Sodastream, Philips, Holstein and more. Bright pops of color, engraving or personalization options, and solution-oriented products are a few key attributes that the retailer will be highlighting in its holiday assortment.

While Woodard estimates that roughly half of the company’s holiday offerings are exclusive to the retailer, many of those offerings are done through set customization. This year, the retailer is pushing a “keep one, gift one” selling strategy in which the customer can purchase a set of products at one value pricepoint, such as a set of three holiday-themed Holstein mini treat makers for $49.95, and then keep one for themselves while gifting the other two. Such a strategy involves communication and partnership with suppliers, Woodard noted, to ensure that all set items are individually packaged, and that all pieces offer something slightly different.

Under the Chasing Fireflies brand, top themes this year include ballet-inspired children’s apparel, fur textures, dress-up costumes (including an exclusive line of Disney character themed costumes) and toys. This year marks the first introduction of a toy gift book that offers items such as sleds, tricycles and more. Personalized, engraving options are available from capes to toy cars to pajamas.

Nordic inspired designs play a big role in the Garnet Hill brand holiday offerings. From hand-knit stockings to U.S.-made flannel blankets, key concepts this year focus on heirloom quality and nostalgic designs.

“We know people are busy and technology-focused, so our collection focuses on the warm feeling of being home. Everything in our collection has a story, and we try to balance design and function,” said Angela Menendez, director of home merchandising at Garnet Hill. “Our end goal is always to delight the customer.”

To cater to the customer after the Christmas tree comes down, HSN will be offering storage and organization products through its Improvements Catalog. The company offers over 26 different storage solutions for ornaments, trees, gift-wrap and more. “We offer the ‘I didn’t know they made that’ type of product. Everything is solution-based,” said Charlie Pellenberg, president at Improvements Catalog.

For Frontgate, a theme across its holiday assortment is “spending time with family,” said Tyler Thompson, manager of public relations. Previewed products include parlor games, wine bars, Vitamix’s personal blender, Beats speakers and headphones as well as pet beds and a 3-D printer.

For the Grandin Road brand, Urban Nature is this year’s design theme with items such as battery-operated faux birch candles marrying the natural look of birch wood with the ease and apartment-friendliness of a battery-powered candle operation. “We created Grandin Road holiday décor for style and giftability,” Thompson said. “What we’ve found is that customers will buy our home décor for the holidays, but they’ll find ways to use it year-round.”