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The home and garden industry is one of those markets which relies heavily on the economy, location and scale, and the trends which drive forward different homes styles and ways in which people interpret and use their outdoor space for convenience and leisure. As the housing market rises up and down in line with economic trends and demand for new housing, so the home and garden market reacts with new ideas, new designs and products, and innovative ways of turning an older property into something which feels fresh and new.
When we break the home and garden market down into its various sectors, it becomes clear that some products and collections sit under the umbrella of necessary purchases and key items of furniture, while others come under the heading of decorative accessories and soft furnishings. How a homeowner chooses to interpret these sectors as a consumer will largely depend on the kind of home they live in and the style of decoration that they are interested in channelling – as well as their budget and the way in which they choose to shop alongside industry seasonal trends, discounts and deals.
Interiors become particularly important with the rise in properties being let as rentals rather than purchased, with these accessories and items of furniture providing consumers with a way of making a space their own while sticking to their contractual obligations of avoiding permanent fixings and changes to the layout or appearance of a space. Thus, the growth in the home and garden industry, and the subsequent boom in brands creating innovative home styling products and decorative accessories, is largely down to the demand for items which create a specific style which is impermanent but effective. Meanwhile, those products found in the DIY sector which translate into more permanent renovations are most popular with homeowners.
When we talk about home styling, what we are referring to is the way that a space is dressed: whether it encompasses modern trends, industrial themes, rustic notes or contemporary aesthetics. A lot of this can be portrayed through the items of furniture brought into a space, with many homes treating the garden as an extension on their interior style – using complimentary colours and textures inside and outside and in the framing of doorways and windows.
An excellent example of this can be seen in the way that modern trends have taken over many new builds and home renovations, incorporating angular lines and neutral colours into often large and minimally dressed spaces. The concept of having large open spaces and tons of natural light is one which is distinctly modern, with builders often adding height to modern rooms to give them more of an open feel and combining natural garden spaces with more manicured patios and decking to provide a space which is infinitely practical as well as aesthetically pleasing.
The rise of the smartphone is one of the trends which is responsible for enabling the industry to grow and adapt in line with modern consumer demands, with technology companies teaming with interior design companies and appliance manufacturers to create connectivity between household appliances and install products which increase user control over the home. While these technology products are heralded for their functionality, it is their appearance which draws consumers towards them so readily, with retailers putting time into establishing the best ways of creating these products so that they too match and align with the overall home styling.
One of the great things about the home and garden industry is that there is always a new product on the market which can do something or solve an issue we never knew we had until it was presented to us. Because of this, the home and garden industry is one of the industries most welcome to innovation and change, with small independent creators and small businesses all fitting comfortably within a huge market which is powered by new ideas and new designs.
To break the product lines within the home and garden industry down in the most popular items is to first acknowledge that the industry is made up of both the necessary items and the decorative items. Examples of necessary and key products include:
Examples of decorative accessories and things which are designed for aesthetic value and turning a house into a home include:
For brands which are new to the market, and for those looking to plug gaps with new and innovative products, understanding the trends and demands within the sector is key to getting noticed; whether they are looking to enter the gadget and gimmicks sector with a unique and quirky item, or join the big players with a product line which is important for daily life. In recognising this, one of the biggest demands in the home and garden industry is for items which keep the home and garden safe – for example, natural candles which have seen a huge spike in popularity as a response to the release of information about the dangers of paraffin candles in the home. In the garden, this could be automatic motion sensor outdoor lights which come on and act as a guiding light for returning residents and a security light to scare away intruders.
What do all of these items have in common? They are products which bring a house to life, and which elevate the quality of life of those living in the home.
Most of the top retailers in the home and garden industry operate both a high street presence and ecommerce site, with the biggest names in the industry owning a series of stores all over the main towns and cities in the nation and beyond. Department stores are of course a big player in the home and garden industry, however there are also home specific and garden specific retailers, and a whole series of independent stores and small businesses which tend to focus on specific areas of the home or garden, or else specialise in decorative accessories and gifting items.
While many of the major retailers draw consumers in with a reliable service, regular sales and discounts, and tons of online reviews attributing to the quality of the various products, it is the smaller businesses which are gaining steadily more traction with the rise of marketplace sites like NotOnTheHighstreet and Etsy, particularly as a response to the growing demand for consumers to shop locally and support these smaller businesses rather than channelling all their money into large corporations and chain stores – where products are often made abroad and are put together cheaply.
Some examples of chain stores which sit at the top of the home and garden industry include:
For those consumers looking for home and garden items, mainly accessories and add-ons, which are both cheap and cheerful, one of the rising trends of the last few years is the increase in supermarkets and everyday stores stocking home and garden collections and ranges – with a particular focus on seasonal products to help consumers capitalise on the summer or winter months for affordable prices.
With regards to many retail sectors and industries, it is often easiest to look at how demand drives forward the marketing of many products and items, particularly when the products are seasonal and high in fashion. While this works with decorative accessories and homeware soft furnishings, when it comes to the larger purchases in the home and garden industry, marketing takes a different spin – instead relying on the power of demonstration and recommendation as opposed to just taking a few attractive pictures. This has led to the rise of television channels like QVC which literally dedicate their entire viewing space to advertising and demonstrating all manner of different home products, accessories and gadgets. Targeted at bringing small business products and ideas to life, these kinds of advertising sites and marketing tools can drive huge business in the industry, using the power of consistent messaging, demonstration, and very appealing deals and discounts to create a FOMO demand.
Another method of marketing for the home and garden industry comes from the rise in consumer interest around homes, gardens and interior design – all driven forward by the huge rise in television series’ and programmes which focus on these areas of the industry. Examples of these kinds of shows include:
When you look back at the history of all of these television shows, the interesting thing to note is just how long they have been on for, spending years nurturing the home and garden industry and gradually driving and increasing interest for consumers who use the programme as inspiration for their latest home projects and DIY decorating tasks. In short, these programmes all glamourise the home and garden industry and, using famous faces at the helm as presenters, make the industry a popular one to focus on.
As with so many other industries in the retail sector, one of the major trends in the home and garden industry is the rise in technology and the way that technology is changing the way that consumers interact within their homes. The rise of the Amazon Alexa device was a gamechanger a few years back, giving consumers the ability to control many of their electrical devices from one central hub – and using voice activation as a way of turning on and off the light.
When you really break the home and garden down into actions and reactions, nothing that consumers were doing before was challenging. Getting up and switching a light on or off is not a hard task, and neither is it one that consumers begrudged before Alexa came along. However what the arrival of Alexa on the market showed is that consumers are driven by a huge demand for convenience – meaning that any product which makes like that little bit easier is always going to become popular if it is marketed right and sold at the right price.
Another trend in the home and garden industry is one we touched on before, and that is the rise in modern home styling and the concept of suddenly stripping everything back and creating minimalist spaces which rely on neutral colours and a lack of clutter to deliver the perfect ambience. In terms of the home and garden industry, this has sparked huge change – with retailers suddenly having to move away from the vibrant bright colours of previous trends and instead focus on bringing greys and beiges and creams to life. One of the best ways that this is achieved by retailers and creators is through textures, with small businesses and independent crafters providing some of the most innovative decorative products on the market in terms of adding life to the home through texture and material rather than colour. This rise in the modern home has also lent itself really well to the concept of being tidy and organised – leading to a huge spike in the sales of home organisers, storage boxes, shelving units and storage chests, as consumers look to channel their inner Marie Kondo and create the perfect zen home with lots of tidy pace.
And finally, the rise in natural products within the home – that is, the popularity of natural wood furniture, flowers and indoor plants, and the enhancement of natural light rather than covering windows and filling spaces with artificial light. In line with the modern trend, this reliance on natural products and natural finishes has completely overhauled the industry and has forced retailers to backtrack on decorating wooden furniture – instead, leaving it in its natural state of finish.
For those seeking deals and discounts within the home and garden industry, the wide range of retailers dominating this sector means that there is always a sale or seasonal discount to be found – it is simply a case of shopping smart and knowing where the best deals can be found.
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