For most ‘non-essential’ retailers, 2020 was not the best year. But many quarantined consumers re-channeled their entertainment spending into improving their household environments and home offices. As a result, multi-brand home specialty retailers saw profits actually increase during the health crisis--and general merchandisers with robust home offerings experienced significant boosts as well.
A number of these home-focused sellers had struggled pre-COVID, and their reversal of fortune featured some dramatic milestones--including tripling the number of year-over-year new customers, increasing profits by more than 100%, and a 160%+ boost to online sales. Analysts raised company ratings from negative to stable, and overall the home fashions and products sector--as well as the related home improvement category--have experienced a year of heartening growth.
And the good news doesn’t stop there. Experts anticipate home textiles will expand at least through 2024. As economic recovery progresses, so will consumer capacity for discretionary spending. And with hybrid models planned for many workplaces moving forward, the focus on home isn’t going anywhere soon.
This growth market, however, comes with a new set of customer expectations--and therefore new pressures on home fashions brands and retailers. Experts anticipate online purchasing will continue to dominate, shoppers will prioritize ease of purchase, and demand increasingly flexible and seamless cross-channel interactions--such as BOPIS and related models. Consumers will prioritize racial equity, sustainability and upcycling in their purchase decisions--at the same time as they expect better performing fabrics. Evolving supply chain pressures add more complexity to the landscape, as do questions about recovery timeline and the need to balance physical and online footprints with changing shopping behaviors. Most importantly, brands and retailers must streamline operations and use data-driven insights to stay agile through this time of unknowns.
Recognizing that digitization represents a significant opportunity for the home industry, JOOR and the HFPA (Home Fashions Products Association) have come together to offer a webinar on best practices for virtual selling. JOOR’s best-in-class digital wholesale platform and virtual showroom technology give home brands and buyers the ability to meet today’s highly-accelerated market demands and provide the efficiencies and insights needed to capitalize on growth opportunities as they emerge.
JOOR’s virtual showrooms provides home brands a safe alternative to in-person meetings while the pandemic continues, and an engaging and cost-effective way to do business in the long-term. Dynamic video and rich zoom-in technologies tell brand stories, communicate the ‘look and feel’ of products, and let buyers experience textures and colors close up and in motion. Smart automation allows manufacturers to send time-saving, customized product line sheets to buyers at scale. And brands and retailers can digitally meet to create assortments collaboratively, while retailers can purchase final edits directly from the platform.
Thanks to the JOOR platform, retailers can access home brands for discovery, orders, reorders and closeouts at any time.
JOOR’s easy-access reporting will offer home brands real-time insights into order status and inventory, as well as forecasting capabilities. Reports include key information to optimize future production and sales - such as better understanding best-sellers, as well as sales by representative, region, retailer and style.
The automation and scaling of labor-intensive tasks like custom product line sheet creation, appointment scheduling, report creation and more creates bandwidth for manufacturers to work with buyers in more impactful ways. When brands bring such formerly manual processes online, they gain time to focus on more strategic and individualized feedback designed to improve buys and support mutual success.
JOOR is proud to partner with leading brands in the home fashion category to provide the digital efficiencies and intelligence needed to power growth into the ‘new normal’ and beyond. Take full advantage of JOOR’s virtual showroom capabilities and start growing your wholesale business today. See JOOR in action