Our homes—once thought of as a place for eating, sleeping and relaxing—have now become our gyms, offices, zoom backgrounds, and schools. Even as we get back to normal this spring—the role of the home will continue to evolve with technology and flexible work arrangements. And while open-floor plans had become the trend in offices and homes, the pandemic has ushered in a return to separation and need to designate specific spaces for specific needs.
With so many people evolving their homes to fit this new normal while spending less on dining out and weekend trips, categories like home goods, athleisure, connected exercise and furniture are now booming. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, among the furniture and home furnishings specifically continue to over index.
Across our stores and brands we power retail for and the retail corridors we operate in, we’ve noted three big category trends that are the result of the home transforming
Big and small retailers are betting big on home goods sales and are making home decor a big part of their product assortment. “[Consumers] are making lots of changes with their home, be it new home decor or new furniture or mattresses and that…gives us opportunities to grow those businesses disproportionately,” Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette recently told Modern Retail.
Parachute just announced a new collaboration with Crate and Barrel to kickstart their customers into a new year where self-care remains top priority. On our Platform, Goodlife just launched a new candle with Apotheke, while NAADAM has been selling out of its cashmere blankets, and Something Navy’s marketplace partner brands that are centered around at-home and self-care accessories continue to win.
Snowe Home launched “The Every Edit” marketplace that featured seasonally focused products from other startups, with plans to release a capsule collection every month. Additionally, as more consumers look to decor and a breadth of fresh air inside, The Sill and Bloomscape saw a huge sales spike and with Bloomscape announcing its acquisition of plant care app Vera and $15 million in Series B funding
After experiencing tremendous growth in 2020, Lululemon bought Mirror a connected screen with work out classes that doubles as a mirror when off, with plans to start selling it in stores early this year.
COVID also supercharged at-home fitness equipment sales with gyms closed and companies like Tonal, Hydrow and Peloton are betting that convenience and safety at home will rule even after the pandemic.
“We can pack a gym’s worth of equipment into something that seamlessly fits into your home and your life,” Tonal CMO Chris Stadler adds, plus the brand has partnered with Bandier and Neighborhood Goods to put its equipment on display into brick-and-mortar.
Today’s consumers are forgoing suits and formal work wear for sweat sets, athleisure and WFH-approved attire. Lululemon’s sales have skyrocketed, and are attributing their success to extensive omnichannel offerings — especially with services like online ordering and two-hour pickup and a virtual waitlist that are vital as they continue to lean into physical retail and offerings.
Even more, brands are expanding into this WFH category at a rapid rate. Allbirds just announced their new eco-friendly clothing line that’s also WFH approved, Hoka, the sneaker-first brand just came out with a recovery slide for men that offers great support even while walking around the house, and Mack Weldon shifted from their commuter pants to doubling down on their WFH category, specifically with the Ace sweatpants.
From our Platform, our NAADAM stores have consistently sold out of its cashmere sweatsuits, and Something Navy is doubling down on its cozy knits and their at-home marketing efforts.
With spring arriving, retailers will have to continue to harness the WFH momentum and find ways to increasing brand awareness, create great products, acquire new customers and continue to invest in omnichannel.
We’re looking forward to working with the best modern brands in these categories to drive retail—and consumers—forward.
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The Digital Shelf Institute
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