What’s the pulse of the housewares industry? After spending four days in blustery Chicago with just about everyone in the industry, the word that was most heard on the floor of McCormick Place was caution.
Virtually every supplier said that the change in taxes and the end of the payroll tax cut was hurting the sale of housewares products thus far this year. Interestingly, a number of suppliers pointed to the stock prices of major retailers to verify their points. Unfortunately for them, Walmart is at an all time high right now and other retailers seem to be doing nearly as well. So, it may be a case of asking for too much from the category from suppliers who are getting used to large sales increases each year.
As for new products, the focus seems to be on color, with Pantone’s color of the year, emerald, at the forefront.