Outdoor entertaining or bringing the outdoors in? How about both? The past few years have seen a steady shift to a focus on the outdoors— not just as a separate entity—but as something seamless and an integral part of everyday lifestyles. And your customers are paying attention. Cozying-up to a fire pit or building a soothing garden is no longer an occasional pastime but an essential aspect integrated into a sense of well-being.
“The newly rebranded Outdoor Living temporaries recognizes this consumer shift and incorporates key categories such as gardens, birding, backyard nature and coastal elements into one holistic collection,” says Kristen Harbin, manager of trade show sales for Outdoor Living and Seasonal/Gifts. “Buyers can find unique gifts and accessories from all these categories under the umbrella,” she adds, “providing opportunities for both those retailers who carry traditional gardens merchandise and those who want to incorporate a fresh element to other stores.”
Digging In Case in point: decorative tiles from Tile Craft Inc. encourage buyers to cater to nature lovers as well as lovers of flowers, gardens and backyard animals in their stores. The tiles, says Jerry Nomburg at Tile Craft, serve a variety of functions—as trivets, as decorative garden accessories and even as backsplashes and pool tiles. Such a wide variety of applications makes them readily cross-merchandised, which is always a good idea when selling in smaller gift shops.
The key elements of the outdoor living category lend themselves easily to cross-merchandising and upselling: gardening gloves and watering cans with journals make for wonderful gifts as do pottery accessories, housing recipe books and cooking utensils. Developing your displays emphasizing the lifestyle element allows for generous doses of creativity. “While space considerations always factor in for independent shops, the outdoor category has unique and eye-catching accessories to fit all shops and budgets,” Harbin says. Sheri Weinhold of SLM Gifts offers a variety of unique designs of handmade metal garden art that are smaller. The company also makes custom displays to highlight products efficiently with a low footprint.
The same goes for indoor and outdoor rugs which are a specialty for Trans-Ocean. “The rugs,” says Dean Smith at Trans-Ocean, “are UV-stabilized to reduce fading and can be cleaned with water, essential components for outdoor use.” Smith encourages buyers to talk to vendors about display options so consumers easily visualize the product in their home space.
The Sky’s the Limit The reimagined Outdoor Living collection includes an assortment of nature, garden and birding vendors to shop and also includes a higher-end, more design-focused LUXE section for buyers who want to kick their offerings up a level.
And while gardens bring seasonality to mind, the temps offer gifts for enthusiasts who will appreciate a piece of the outdoors all year round. “From big statement pieces such as a massive fire pit to an urban lifestyle that can only accommodate accessories for a balcony; from commercial uses to residential ones, this new take on the outdoors is more than just about space— it’s about accessories complementing a lifestyle,” Harbin says. Your customers love the outdoors and you have room to make this category pay rich dividends. The sky really is the limit.
Images courtesy of SLM Gifts, The Trans-Ocean Import Co. and Tile Craft Inc.
Article written by Poornima Apte
Shop Outdoor Living and Outdoor Living LUXE Temporaries in Building 2, Floor 4 during July Market.