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How Home Textiles Retailers Can Reach the Millennial Shopper

 

Millennials Shopping Textiles
As they enter their prime home buying years, Millennials are a key target for home furnishings manufacturers and retailers, but it’s critical to segment this cohort by lifestyle and demographics to better understand what drives their purchase decisions.

For some Millennials—those ranging in age from late teens to mid-thirties—price is a driving factor as they balance other budget concerns, while others are strongly influenced by sustainability and eco-friendly product features that are often more pricey, for example.

Millennials Home BuyersLooking through the trends in shopping by this demographic, a few facts have emerged which may govern their shopping choices for home décor products. First, as detailed in a story in the Washington Post, a large percentage of Millennials have reached the age in which they are ready to buy a home, which, ordinarily, would lead to the belief that this group is on the lookout for home textiles and other décor products.

However, as the Post story said, a couple of factors are persuading Millennials to put off that home purchase. One is—at least in the Post’s territory of the District of Columbia, northern Virginia and Maryland—that there are fewer affordable houses now than there were three years ago. In April 2014, 45 percent of all available homes in this area were priced at $500,000 or less; today, 33 percent of available homes carry that kind of price tag, according to the story.

In addition, these potential homebuyers are being put off by their student loan debt—a problem that faces Millennials throughout the nation. In a study titled “Student Loan Debt and Housing Report—2016” from the National Association of Realtors (quoted in the Post story), 71 percent of non-homeowners cited their student loan debt as the reason for them not to purchase a home at this time.

Thus, one class of Millennials who are in the market for home textiles will consist primarily of apartment dwellers. And, with those student loans to pay off, price will be a primary consideration in their choice of textiles.

Another class of Millennial shoppers will be hunting for textiles that are produced sustainably, with as little harm to the environment as possible. A global online study by Nielsen found that three out of four Millennials would be willing to pay extra for products in any category that are produced sustainably.

Made in Green certification from OEKO-TEXThis group will thus be looking for textiles that can be certified as sustainably produced. These products will have to carry labels with their certifications such as the Made in Green certification from OEKO-TEX, the independent textiles testing institute, which confirms that the textiles bearing this label have been made with materials that have been tested for harmful substances, and have been produced in environmentally friendly facilities that are safe and socially responsible.

As explained by Dina Dunn, founder and CEO of sustainability firm Blink LLC, Made in Green is actually a label that can be found on packaging. When a shopper scans the label with her smartphone, the label displays all the information about where the product was manufactured, and whether that factory used sustainable practices in making that product.

Nina NadashNina Nadash
Reaching out to Millennials will be the subject of a seminar titled Appealing to the Millennial Shopper: What Home Textile Retailers Are Doing to Capture this Critical Demographic, which will be held during the July Home Textiles Sourcing Expo in New York City. The seminar will be presented by Nina Nadash, senior home and interiors marketing manager for North America for Lenzing Fibers; and Jennifer Marks, editor-in-chief of Home & Textiles Today.

Among other seminars scheduled for the Expo are Post Consumer Textile Recycling: Opportunities & Challenges, featuring Arthur Friedman, senior editor of Sourcing Journal; Jeff Wilson of Textile Exchange; Tricia Carey, director of global business development for Lenzing; and Meredith Boyd of Unifi. The panel will discuss trends and the latest developments in the recycling of used apparel and textiles.

Another seminar will be Asthma and Allergy Friendly Textiles and Breathe Easier. Conducted by Dr. John McKeon of Allergy Standards, the session will discuss the lack of government regulations that can verify the claims made by manufacturers of asthma- and allergy-friendly textiles, along with how manufacturers can capture a piece of a market in which some one out of four Americans suffer from asthma and allergies.

The Expo will also offer a seminar called Sourcing in Central America. The panel will include Edward Hertzman of SJ, David Adkins of Lenzing, Norberto Mendez of SG Knits and Lucia Palacios of Vestex, who will talk about sourcing opportunities in Central America.

PantoneIn another seminar, Muse: Colors to Inspire HOME, Pantone’s Laurie Pressman will present what the color marketing firm believes are the most up-to-date trends in color for home décor.

Owned and operated by Messe Frankfurt, the Home Textiles Sourcing Expo is one of the largest sourcing events in North America for fabrics used to manufacture home textiles. It will be held from July 17-19 at its usual locale, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Also as usual, it will take place along side two other Messe Frankfurt textiles sourcing shows—Texworld USA and Apparel Sourcing USA.

The Expo is the only event in North America to focus solely on fabrics and finished soft goods for home applications. It will present products from more than 125 suppliers of textiles representing more than 10 countries throughout the world. Among the exhibitors will be country pavilions from India, Pakistan and Turkey.

Those interested in attending the Home Textiles Sourcing Expo can click here.

Messe Frankfurt Textile Show

About Author

Messe

Messe Frankfurt

http://www.messefrankfurt.com/frankfurt/en.html

Owned and operated by Messe Frankfurt, the Home Textiles Sourcing Expo is one of the largest sourcing events in North America for fabrics used to manufacture home textiles. It will be held from July 17-19 at its usual locale, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Also as usual, it will take place along side two other Messe Frankfurt textiles sourcing shows—Texworld USA and Apparel Sourcing USA.

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