Industry Views - January 2014

Trends To Watch in 2014

Industry experts pinpoint specific trends and consumer mindsets that are predicted to hit big in 2014.

“2014 will see the influence of Millennials come to bloom. Many came of age as the crash of 2007 hit, graduating high school or college with a job market in shut-down mode. They’ve become innovative in survival and creative in earning a living. They will have the most influence on the job market and its direction going forward. Having adapted to life’s new rules, Millennials will play by their rules.

“Minor irregularties in nature underline the authenticity of natural products as our own ‘minor irregularities’ underline us as unique individuals. A relaxed atmosphere is so much more comforting than precision. Millennials are more embracing of themselves as individuals and are comfortable with their ‘minor irregularities’.
“Look for a strong up-trend in seasonal changes of home décor. Neutral hues are like chameleons, making it easy to adapt a new look with each season. A gray sofa is the neutral canvas against which one can easily adapt seasonal palettes.”—Jill Sands, The Trend Forecaster, 802-867-4079, thetrendforecaster.com.

“I believe consumers will feel increasingly optimistic about the economy and their future in 2014. The consequences of a shifting mindset from ‘my life is on hold’ to ‘I feel confident enough to spend’ have already been seen in sales increases. Consumers will begin to feel that it’s now OK to let others see their new-found (or returning) prosperity, even if that prosperity does not match 2007 norms. In fact, the ways in which consumers choose to exhibit their well-being will be tame as compared with 2007 and before.

“One of the best ways to allude to affluence will be subtle luster. Metallic leads the way, with gold advancing dramatically in 2014. Woven-in Lurex® threads, pearl-finished leathers and light-metallic glazes will play increasing roles, as will a return to brocade looks that are part of a shift from minimalist textiles to bulkier weights. By the end of 2014, chunky and bulky fabrics will replace minimalist linens as luxurious choices.”—Michelle Lamb, The Trend Curve, Marketing Directions, Inc., 952-893-1245, trendcurve.com.

“Today’s consumers are concerned with the quality of their lives and the items they allow to become part of them. When we were all living the good life in the mid 2000s, we didn’t really concern ourselves with the true quality of the things we bought. If it wore out or didn’t hold up, we would replace it. That changed as the economy began to tank. We found ourselves unable to replace poor quality merchandise and having to rethink how and where we spent our money.

“Now that the economy is picking up steam, consumers are being very cautious about spending money. We are asking ourselves, ‘Do I need this? Is it worth investing my hard earned dollars? Will it last?’ Manufacturers are having to rethink the quality of their products.

Brand names can only influence the buyer if they represent quality. When consumers find a brand that provides style and quality, they buy. Manufacturers are finding it beneficial to bring product production back to the USA because Americans still associate quality with ‘Made in America’.”—Vicki Payne, For Your Home By Vicki Payne, Cutters Productions, Inc., 704-522-9900, foryourhome.com.


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