Two Who Set the Tone
Retailers, I'm going to let you in on something. Nearly every new brand you see this week - and you will be seeing a lot of them - has been designed to win over one of two accounts: Bed Bath & Beyond or Macy's.
In that order.
Preferably with an upper tier that gets picked up by Macy's and an upper-moderate tier that sets hears aflutter at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Just like every introduction you saw at last market. And the one before that.
Third place goes to Target. As in: "If it doesn't get into department stores or specialty, we can reposition it for Target."
TJX, suppliers love you. You move a lot of goods, but you pick up other retailer's brands rather than establishing your own. Understandable. That's your schtick.
And yes, all other retailers, suppliers desperately want your private label business.
But first dibs - on just about everything - go to Bed Bath & Beyond or Macy's. And make no mistake, what appeals to those two retailers drives the broader design direction of the market.
That may explain why this market seems likely to be remembered as the moment when the tastes of the Millenial generation moved to the forefront. There are dead-on, Millenial-directed brand introductions keying off hot apparel brands - Kensie at Duck River and Southern Tide at WestPoint being two prominent examples. Hugo Boss, which is produced by Sunham, this market is debuting a new tier dubbed the Hugo Boss Home Collection that aims for the hipper (younger) consumer. HFI - which made its bones in jacquard bedding - will unveil a branded line of prints, Palmetto Printworks, concentrating on modern looks.
The youngest of the Baby Boomers - a generation commonly considered to have closed out in 1964 - is now 48. Their kids will soon be out of the house, or are gone already. The oldest of the Millenials are raising young children.
So, it's no surprise that Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy's - and Target, for that matter - are deeply vested in capturing Millenials. It's not that Dollar General and Walmart and Kmart aren't, but their come-on is deeply economic. Kohl's and JCPenney certainly hope to snap up a goodly share of Millenials, but each faces its own distractions at the moment.
So thank you, BBB and Macy's, for pointing the way to the future. That thundering sound you hear is everyone else running to pick up what you passed over.