NPD: Back-to-School may fuel home textiles growth

Retail Editor 7, Tom Edmonds, September 7, 2010

Port Washington, N.Y. - The third and fourth quarters of 2010 are poised for growth in the home textile industry, according to Kathleen Cella, director for The NPD Group's Housewares and Home Textiles divisions. Sales data for home textiles during the same time last year show a return to spending for many consumers.
"While many consumers were holding back on spending last year, the back-to-school season may have helped fuel some growth in the home textiles industry," Cella told HTT. "Third quarter '09 (July, Aug. Sept) generated double-digit growth over second quarter ‘09 (April, May, June), with categories such as comforters, comforter sets, pillows, bath mats, and shower curtains showing the strongest growth." The firm anticipates similar results for the upcoming quarters. Among the categories still struggling are mattress pads, which are off by about 15%, according to Cella.
Within the bedding category shoppers are still looking to neutrals, with the color white showing the biggest dollar increases, followed by cartoon logos. White also led dollar growth in the bath category, according to NPD. More daring consumers are turning to prints, especially geometrics, which are making a comeback.
While pricing remains a sensitive issue all around, consumers polled by NPD actually ranked price as a secondary motivator compared to how a product looks when asked what is important when shopping for products. NPD reported that 32% of consumers surveyed in the home and housewares categories noted that looks influenced their purchases the most.
"People who are shopping the last quarters of the year may be willing to spend more on their kids for back-to-school, for instance, and perhaps are not as focused on price during their shopping around the holidays," noted Cella.


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