Monthly Archives: October 2009

News: New Retail Landscape Starting to Emerge

At the moment we’re researching future consumer behaviours that we think will impact design trends for Spring Summer 2011, when we expect we’ll really start to feel like we’re coming out of the recession. We expect the retail landscape and shopping experience as we know it to have transformed somewhat, and in some instances be radically different from the pre-recession mass-consumerism. This will be a selling environment where the customer (the word consumer will sound so outdated and inacurate by 2011; this term will seem insulting, passive, wasteful, decisionless) will genuinely drive the market, make demands of brands and request or decline relationships with brands.

We’ve been reading a lot about VPI, volunteered personal information; where individuals will offer up information about future purchases they wish to make, and invite companies to pitch for their business. So if you want a new car next spring, you would share this information (social networking sites are ripe for this type of development) and tell brands you’re looking for a new family car, next March, for a specified price, and then invite the automotive brands you like to pitch you their best offer. Customer really is king in this scenario. This new way of buying has the power to turn the system on it’s head, it would eliminate the need for advertising as we know it, and would transform the roles of salespeople to relationship managers within an organisation. The concept of brands hard-selling goods to consumers, and customers passively consuming just seems so old-fashioned all of a sudden.

As with all future trends, the beginnings of the ‘next big thing’ are already here, there are little clues in the way society operates, the way taste evolves, the dissatisfactions with how things are currently done, that provide us with insights into how new needs will be met. We’ve seen some great examples of temporary retail environments like mobile stores and  ‘pop-up’ restaurants and shops, and some clever mechanisms for selling online, but what does this mean for traditional retail environments? How will the big retailers begin to engage with us again? We’ve found a few examples of trends emerging which we’ll share with you over the coming weeks. We thought the concept of time-limited discounting was an interesting one to start us off…

Japanese trend scouts C Scout recently reported a new retail phenomenon spotted at the Shibuya 109 teen shopping complex where ‘time sales’ have become popular. For 10 or 20 minute periods, certain items are offered at knocked-down prices so that shoppers can take advantage of bargains. To draw attention to the special offers, staff hold up signs or shout (with a megaphone!), luring shoppers away from other stores. This is just one example of the new retail landscape that’s starting to emerge as we move out of the recession. Please share your thoughts with us- what do you think the future of retail looks like as we think about emerging from the recession?



Filed under 1, News

Home Trends: Bathroom Accessories

Bathroom accessories are undergoing a design revolution as consumers spend more time at home, and the bathroom becomes a focus for pampering and ‘me time’. We found evidence of these 3 key trends for Autumn Winter 2009 in stores across the UK and at the trade shows this summer- have you got them covered? Our key items are the stripe bath towel, the bold-coloured soap dispenser and clever bathroom storage solutions… but mostly, it’s all about being brave with colour- bathrooms are the perfect place to add temporary colour hits through clever accessorizing. 

bathroom 1bathroom 2bathroom 3

Leave a comment

Filed under Home Trends

Trade Show Report: Design Event 09

This week we visited the 2009 Design Event festival in Newcastle, UK, which has been going strong since 2005.  It was the first regional design even festival take place in the UK outside of London.

We started at the Great North Museum to see the Sustainable Play exhibition; Doing It For The Kids. Sustainability in terms of materials and waste, as well as the idea of toys growing with and adapting to children, are key themes in the world of play. Toys that are made from ethically sourced and sustainable materials, or else that last a lifetime and have an almost heirloom quality will be key. At the show we saw a number of ‘upcycled’ toys made from existing products,  such as Christopher Jarratt’s contemporary take on wooden block sets, through to more radical concepts of sustainability such as Alex Green’s Twin Teddy Kit, which rather strangely transforms the placenta  (by -product of childbirth) from medical waste  into a soft teddy. …! We’re not sure this will catch on, but it’s worth looking for ways to encourage sustainability in toys and it their packaging. 

Here we’ve picked out some our favorites from the exhibition for you to have a look at.

doing it p4doing it 5
doing it p2doing it p3


Leave a comment

Filed under 1

News: John Lewis post consecutive increase in profits

John Lewis posted a fifth consecutive week of rising store sales, benefitting from weak comparative sales and a new store opening. John Lewis are seen as a barometer of consumer spending in the UK, showing a 13% increase in sales to £54.6 million in the week to October 17. Fashion sales increased 19.3% while home technology and electricals increased 11.9% and sales in home products rose 9.9%. John Lewis also owns the 218- store Waitrose supermarket chain, which increased sales 14.3% to £84.6 million, underscoring its current position as the UK’s fastest growing grocer. (Reuters)

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Trends: Overview of Kids Lifestyle Trends for 2010

Here’s an overview of the trends we forecast for our 2010 Kids Lifestyle publication, on sale via our network of global sales agents; find your nearest agent on our Global Agents page.

Our Spring Summer 2011 Kids Lifestyle publications containing 4 new trends is available early November. 

Vintage Tea Party

Adventure Playground



Filed under 1, Kids Trends

Trends: Overview of Home Interior Trends for 2010

Here’s an overview of our four home interior trends for Autumn Winter 2010/11. The recession is still playing a major part in influencing trends and colours, so watch out for themes that revolve around cocooning, familiarity and comfort and spending time at home; the eternal search for optimism and positivity in this difficult economic climate; and lastly trends that feed off the negative mood and inspire dark, sinister palettes and ethereal themes….spooky!

To get an in-depth view of our trends and an understanding of where they come from, you can buy our Autumn Winter 2010/11 Lifestyle Trends for the Home forecasting book. Visit our Global Agents page for a list of our sales agents around the world. 

We are also now selling our latest edition; Spring Summer 2011, Lifestyle Trends for the Home forecast. 





Leave a comment

Filed under 1, Home Trends

This Week We Love: Baby Bibs

When collecting research for our Kids trend book for Spring Summer 2011, we came across a selection of really cool baby bibs. Here we’ve picked up two key trends; vintage inspired prints for girls; look out for printed terry cloth, aged florals and cute gingham checks;  and cheeky slogan prints for boys; watch out for quirky messages and bold typography. We forecast vintage style floral prints for our Vintage Tea Party theme in our Spring Summer 2010 trend book, and bold typography prints in our Futureplay story- it’s evident that these trends are starting to emerge. 


Vintage Inspired…

best bibs

Main picture: Rosie & Romeo. Bibs by Nordic Kids; Pakhuis Oost; Ziestha; 


Cheeky Slogans…
best bibs2Main picture: Snuglo. Bibs by;  Elodie Details; Present Time; Nordic Kids; Olive and Moss.

1 Comment

Filed under This week we love....