Making Retail Exciting
In increasingly volatile times, retail experts always say that consumers make spending decisions around “needs” and “wants”. To get consumers to spend on “wants” and desires only gets harder in tough times. So for retailers and buyers in the homewares, home improvement and gift sectors, where it is all about creating desire, the challenge is even greater.
Despite this, UK retailers are proving that they are skilled at creating attractive stores and offers to entice customers. The UK housing sector, a key driver of the market, is currently reflecting the economic volatility but at the same time, the lack of housing stock is encouraging consumers to spend money on their homes rather than moving. This is reflected in the results of the UK’s biggest home improvement retailer, Kingfisher, which saw its UK formats of B&Q and Screwfix increase like-for-like sales in the first quarter of 2017 by 3.5% compared to a 5.5% drop in its French division.
“THERE IS A REAL TREND FOR HEALTH & WELLNESS AMONGST CUSTOMERS WITH PRODUCT SUCH AS SPIRALISERS, WATER BOTTLES, CERAMIC COATED COOKWARE PROVING POPULAR”
According to AMA Research, the UK home improvement market was worth £7.2 billion by value in 2015 showing an annual increase of 4%. A trend driving this sector, as DIY skills decline is for “do it for me” with householders embarking on more ambitious improvements but by employing builders and craftsman. In the giftware sectors, the biggest driver is special events, with Christmas being far and away the biggest season. But other events are being embraced by consumers such as Halloween which according to the Giftware Association represents a £330 million boost to retailers. All of these trends are pushing retailers and buyers to seek out new products and suppliers. Spring Fair’s research shows that 88% of visitors say they attend to source from new suppliers.