The best retailers don’t just sell products that shoppers want, but seek out products they never knew they needed. With the latest products from 2,200 international suppliers on offer at one location in Chicago, the International Home + Housewares Show makes trend-hunting easy.
Run by the US-based International Housewares Association, the International Home + Housewares Show is held from March 10-13, 2018, at McCormick Place Exposition Center in downtown Chicago. It’s a hub for the global homewares industry, which, according to NPD Group home industry analyst Joe Derochowski, will be in a growth phase for the next five to 10 years.
The latest figures from the IHA show that homewares accounted for US346.9 billion at retail worldwide in 2015. Kiwi retailers have seen growth in homewares, too - ‘Furniture, Electrical and Hardware Retailing’ is the third-largest retail category according to Statistics New Zealand’s 2016 Annual Enterprise Survey. It accounted for $12.165 billion that year, with growth of 7.8 percent from 2015.
Versatility and convenience, healthy eating and cooking, and smart technology are all emerging trends which will be seen across the Show’s main categories:
- Dine + Décor: More than 800 companies will demonstrate the best new products for dining and entertaining under one roof.
- Clean + Contain: Goods which help shoppers organize and clean their home; decorate bathroom areas and care for their pets are found in this expo. There’s also the Inventors Corner, where 60 inventors will present their newest results.
- Discover Design: Fashion-forward, design-led products across every kind of homeware product are on offer here.
- Wired + Well: At one of the best household electrics exhibitions in the world, technology products sit alongside personal care and culinary expertise. Products from the fast-growing ‘air filtration and cooling’ category are also found in this category.
In addition to combing through new products and product lines which have yet to reach the New Zealand market, delegates can explore sourcing opportunities from China and Taiwan at the International Sourcing Expo, and research design-driven trends at the Global Design Points pavilion.
The International Home + Housewares Show can help equip retailers with information to process the fresh perspectives and visuals they’ll be absorbing at the event. Free expert seminars and workshops are available on everything from visual merchandising and branding to changing consumer lifestyles are a highlight.
Top picks from the Show’s education programme include ‘2019 Colour Trends’ with Leatrice Eiseman, IHA’s color expert and executive director, Pantone Institute; and ‘Top Trends 2018’ with IHA consumer trend forecaster and senior vice president, Global Trend & Design, Lifetime Brands, Tom Mirabile.
A particular point of interest for Kiwi retailers in the Hall of Global Innovation is the gia Retail Awards, featuring award-winning retailers from around the world showcasing best visual merchandising and retail practices. In 2017, Matakana retailer Green with Envy was one of five gia Global Honorees, with judges praising its “relaxed, unique style”. Mount Maunganui’s Paper Plane is New Zealand’s national winner for 2018.
Other exhibits in the Hall of Global Innovation include the gia Product Design Awards; Pantone ColorWatch and the IHA Smart Home collection.
Free pre-registration forms, plus more information on the International Home + Housewares Show exhibitors and services available for buyers can be found at housewares.org.