It's beginning to look a lot like...
By Carole Sloan, founding editor-in-chief -- Home Textiles Today, 8/2/2004 12:00:00 AM
There seems to be a new mood in retailing.
Let's not call it a revolution — evolution would be more appropriate — and even snail-pace awareness of what could happen when one understands how customers shop and buy would be even more descriptive.
Cases in point — back to school and Christmas. One could almost call it viva la difference!
In recent weeks, there has been a surge in information from retailers about what they are highlighting for the holiday top-of-the-year sales period.
Normally, late summer is a period when business writers have to dig and plead for information. Maybe it's the disasters of some recent years that has spurred retail management to open up about what they are doing vis-a-vis their efforts for the fourth quarter.
This year there seems to be a collective effort, albeit independent of each other, to let all sorts of folks know what they are doing for this all-important sales and profit piece of the year.
And interestingly, these efforts seem to be forthcoming at a much earlier time frame than the few preview offerings in the past.
And if Christmas is starting earlier this year than ever before — usually the kickoff is around Labor Day — this year it's been just a tad post Fourth of July.
And the profusion of product and conversation has been unique to say the least.
Turning to the back-to-school period, which also seems to get earlier and earlier, retailers have been positioning their wares in July with great enthusiasm.
We're seeing circulars and early advertising with lots of fun and fashion looks. One important change is the trend to include products that relate to each other for the target audience. Not just a bunch of paper product, sleep products, electronics — but stuff that all works together.
And for the home textiles specific efforts, there seems to be a lot more of the dorm size, extra long sheets offered in a time frame more than just back to school.
Some of that stuff does need to be replaced.
We may be creating two more seasons for home textiles with these changes.
We would love your feedback!