July 2008
’Tis the Season to be Trendy By Jasmina Dolce

Holiday trends are constantly changing, and choosing which products to offer your customers each season can be a real challenge. You need to take into consideration everything from the hottest new hues to the latest introductions in decorative items. Below you will find a selection of some popular items we’ve come across recently at garden centers and gift shows. Be on the lookout for these products; they may just excite your customers enough to boost your holiday sales.

Extending Autumn

Last year, many consumers ditched the traditional red-and-green decorations and used warmer, autumnal colors — orange, yellow and light green — to adorn their holiday items. This trend continues to grow in popularity. Many consumers begin their holiday decorating before or on the Thanksgiving holiday. Why not make it easier for them to keep their fall decorations up throughout the Christmas season by offering color choices that can be used for all the end-of-the-year holidays?

Ornament Storage

Many consumers decorate their Christmas trees with ornaments they have collected throughout the years, whether they were purchased on their own or handed down from previous generations. For most people, ornaments tend to be heirlooms or have a special sentimental value; putting their treasured pieces in ordinary plastic storage bins just doesn’t seem to fit the emotional value people place on their collections. Try offering storage chests, such as this one from Sterling Pear (www.sterlingpear.com), for those consumers who are looking for a storage option that suits their individual style and offers a plush environment for their collectibles.

Miniature Trees

Although you probably sell the standard fresh evergreen tree to most of your tree-buying customers, you can’t forget the urban dwellers who may not have the space to house such a large tree. Offering mini Christmas trees will satisfy those consumers living in apartments and condos who still want that evergreen aroma to fill their homes. And just because they’re mini does not mean they can’t be decorated. Try giving consumers ideas by adorning the trees with small ornaments and bows.

Novelty Poinsettias

For the past few years, consumers have been going crazy over nontraditional poinsettias. Of course, there will always be a demand for the staple red poinsettia plant, but the novelty craze doesn’t appear to be winding down. There are a few novelty varieties you can offer, such as white, pink, orange or marble — many growers are adding these colors to their programs in addition to red. But if you are sticking to traditional poinsettias, you can still offer a novelty item by adding glitter to the leaves or painting them completely. Either way, by offering a selection of novelty varieties, every customer will find something he or she likes.

Religious Themes

For a while, many consumers appeared to steer away from religiously themed holiday items, and Christmas became more of a commercial holiday. Because not every consumer follows the religious tradition associated with the holiday, you must offer products that will appeal to everyone. However, we’ve seen a trend of homeowners going back to the religious beliefs behind Christmas. Don’t forget those consumers who really emphasize the Biblical Christmas story. They want to decorate their homes with angels, baby Jesus and the Three Wise Men. Keep your store stocked with the items they’ll need for their Christmas nativity scene in addition to the secular items you offer.

A White Christmas

White has always been associated with Christmas and the holiday season. Fluffy white snow looks beautiful hugging the trees and covering the ground outside. But as you may already know, that beautiful white snow can become a huge inconvenience and is best kept outdoors! To get that feeling of a white Christmas, consumers love to adorn their homes with white lights, white ornaments, white trees, etc. And if you are located in a Southern region that does not typically get any snowfall, you might want to stock even more white decorations for customers wanting to simulate the snow they are missing.

Plants as Ornaments

What better way to dress up a Christmas tree than with eye-catching, aromatic cyclamen plants? These mini-plant ornaments serve multiple purposes. Consumers can buy them for themselves to use as ornaments, or they are available with a card attached and can be used as gift items as well.

Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at jdolce@greatamericanpublish.com.





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