The CORT merchandising team attended the 2014 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago, where over 2,100 exhibitors from over 45 countries came together to debut thousands of new and innovative products for the home!
Walking through the exhibit hall, the merchandising team saw nothing but color. From celery green to various shades of purple, color was applied to all types of housewares such as bowls and wood trays. White remains a staple in the design color wheel because of its fresh, crisp appeal when used in contrast to a bold, vibrant hue. Ann Sennewald, CORT’s VP of merchandising, loved earthy items such as wood martini glasses with white stems.
As far as designs, functionality continues to be important, balanced with an organic look and feel. Some exhibitors showcased nesting storage pieces, everyday kitchen items that flattened for easier storage, as well as drain and serve colanders, and beautiful glass carafes that preserve as well as serve wine. All items are multi-functional and conserve cabinet space.
Small electronics continue to focus on the beverage market. The team found a new machine from Keurig that makes the perfect cup of joe, but also a craft of coffee. Also on display were new cold beverages introductions, enabling consumers to make their own soda or fruit drink in the comfort of their home. Color even made its way to the electronics category with mixers, coffee makers and blenders featured in every pantone color.
With the knowledge they gained from the Home + Housewares Show, the CORT merchandising team plans to update the company’s housewares offering to provide customers with even more flexibility to build their own kitchen or bedding package, and to be able to choose what is important to them. Over the next year, we plan to introduce well-known brand names to their product lineup where it makes sense. And customers can look for forward to upgraded cookware, table-top items, glassware and electronics.