In a year that many have labeled as disruptive, retailers large and small in 2017 have worked to develop new initiatives that serve to further merge store and e-commerce operations while also meeting the ever-changing needs of a more fickle and educated consumer base.
While some retailers have struggled to meet current-day challenges, others have taken positive steps forward to establish foundations upon which they hope to boost sales and gain market share in 2018.
HomeWorld’s first annual Retailers to Watch, in the November 6 issue, looks at eight retailers from various channels making big moves to reinforce their futures. Selected by the HomeWorld editorial staff, each of the retailers chosen are taking aim at top-level sales growth in the year ahead with housewares and home at the forefront of their growth strategies.
Total Stores: 1,816 (as of Q2 FY2017)
2016 Total Sales (in millions): $69,495
2016 Housewares Sales (in millions): $6,914
OVERVIEW: The past few years have seen Target struggle to develop a new identity that would set it apart from its competition. In 2017, however, the retailer that was once given props for its selection of “Cheap Chic” products is reaching back to its past as part of an effort to rejuvenate its home assortment.
More recently, Target has launched Project 62, a collection of mid-century modern furniture and home décor whose name references the first Target store that opened in 1962, added Cuisinart and Ayesha Curry to its housewares assortment and formed an exclusive partnership with Magnolia, a home and lifestyle brand founded by HGTV hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines.
WHAT TO WATCH: Target’s recent efforts in home conjured up memories of when it sought to break the mold of traditional discount retailing and teamed with architect Michael Graves along with noted designers such as Philippe Starck to develop proprietary collections of housewares and home decorative items.
While the success level of those and other designer collections was mixed, Target was credited with changing the thought process of mass retailers and gave consumers access to affordable products from renowned designers.
Now, Target has the same opportunity to convince customers that they can shop for unique home products designed by familiar names such as Curry and the Gaineses in the same store where they can also buy their necessities such as milk and eggs.
In a recent conference call, Mark Tritton, Target’s chief merchandising officer, said the retailer is counting on private labels to differentiate from competitors and also keep in-store and online assortments fresh.
In the near term, proper execution of not only the products themselves, but in-store and online merchandising along with marketing through traditional and social media outlets will be key in boosting consumer enthusiasm for what’s new in Target’s housewares and home departments. And that could once again make Target a retailer consumers need to visit when looking to freshen up their homes.
2018 Retailers To Watch (click on name for profile)