Direct from Market: Trend Spotting at Americasmart

Every January, retailers converge at AmericasMart in Atlanta to find new lines, identify trends, place orders and gain inspiration to take back to their stores. Front and center in the showrooms are creative displays featuring new product introductions and highlighting trends. For 2017, several trends are showing longevity, as they have crossed over into the New Year by expanding across categories.


Stylized Geometry

Welcome the quadrilateral for a new angle on geometric designs. Trapezoids and triangles are trending in all gift categories from home fragrance to housewares, jewelry and lighting. Interesting shapes in handbags and backpacks are welcome surprises and offered as fashion accessories for all ages of men, women and kids. New introductions in personal hydration bottles have prismatic angles and rings that make them easy to hold and the eye-catching shapes and colors are ideal for creating retail displays aimed at drawing customers in for a closer look. The honeycomb shapes of late are being replaced with prism and pyramid formations, although the hexagon is not ready concede its popularity just yet.


Hygge Taps into Nature

Pronounced HOO-gah, Hyyge originates from the Danish culture and translates loosely to “well-being” and as it relates to the home and gift industries, “a warm and comfortable atmosphere”.  Consumers in the United States are embracing this trend and in particular, the elements that create a coziness by bringing the outdoors in. Although casual in nature, Hygge differs from rustic or wilderness trends by infusing the outdoors more subtly with wood accents like branches or twigs. Retailers may find that creating displays to fit this lifestyle trend is as simple as adding some tree stump risers, a few naked branches or some wood grain ribbon to accent the “coziness” of products.


Sprinkled with Fun

Retailers may find a sweet spot in numerous sales categories by adding some whimsy in the form of ice cream to their gift departments. The ice cream cone trend in gift products is evident, quite literally, as the iconic shape pops up on socks, dishes, patches, phone cases, stationery, ornaments, books and children’s products. Close cousins, the popsicle and milkshake are having their moment, too. With brunch positioned to become the new happy hour, ice cream stations are growing in popularity for at-home entertaining. Several table top vendors have introduced collections in sherbet colors and featuring small condiment containers, ideal as vessels for toppings and treats.


Pretty in Millennial Pink

Millennial pink is trending throughout every category—even holiday! So is mercury glass and copper, although gold has proven to exhibit staying power. Warm tones have been hot for a while and will press on in the coming seasons. Watch for pinks and warm metallics in décor, stationery, candles and just about every other gift category.


Under the Sea

Across nearly all categories, marine life is trending—specifically whales and mermaids. From stationery and toys to pillows, wall art and other home décor, whales and mermaids are making a big splash. According to our Gift Book consumer survey for 2017, 8 percent of consumers describe their home decorating style as coastal, up 2 percent from the previous year. If Atlanta is any indication, this number will only continue to rise.


Making It Personal

Personalization is still incredibly popular, from monogrammed bags and home accessories to engraved jewelry adorned with the receiver’s birthstone. And things that can be monogrammed with vinyl decals are top of the heap, thanks to the immediacy and low cost of the process to the retailer. In our Retailer’s Roundtable held at Capital City Club in Atlanta, retailers confirmed this trend of personalization unanimously.


Not Mom’s Pearls

You might recall your mother’s or grandmother’s pearl jewelry, traditional and classic, both in long, layered strands as well as shorter, resting at the collar. Based on the 2017 winter markets, fashion jewelry designers are looking to change the pearl’s reputation to make it a much more stylish look. Designers are mixing fresh water pearls with other materials to create an edgier appeal. The classic jewelry wearer will love a nod to an earlier decade, while the boho millennial will enjoy layering with other pieces to create a unique look.


On Display

A major theme across showrooms is to sell by vignette, creating a display that retailers can easily recreate in their store. Clients taking pictures on their smartphones are encouraged to do so. "It's almost like a craft kit," described Keith Schneider, President, Midwest CBK. In the company's holiday showroom, trees are displayed next to a wall of ornaments, an easy concept for retailers to emulate. Similarly, C.R. Gibson has stopped merchandising by item type, such as thank you cards, and started organizing by theme.

For more snapshots of trends we spotted in Atlanta, view our Trend Spotting slideshow.

GDA Staff | News & Commentary

Lenise Willis, editor in chief; Anne-Marie Earl, managing editor; Cammie Collier, art director; and Brianna Glenn, assistant editor, love reviewing new products for Gifts and Decorative Accessories . The team stays on top of the latest trends in bath and body, candles, gourmet items, stationery, home décor, fashion and more, and love chatting about their latest finds. Check in each week for more of their latest picks on GiftRap, and see more of the team on their new bi-weekly video series, Thoughts That Count.

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