What's new in various product categories; monthly
Gift Trends For 2004
Predictions from a leading magazine, and
comments on the relevance to crafts.
Below are edited highlights from a new survey conducted by Gifts
& Decorative Accessories magazine, the leading trade
magazine for the gift industry. To read the complete summary (and to
sign up for the magazine's free newsletter), visit www.giftsanddec.com.
For the complete survey, read the December issue. To subscribe, call
1. Selling gifts successfully requires making shopping fun,
educational, and engaging. (Comment: Probably true for all of
2. Purely decorative objects are out of favor. (Comment: That's
the "stuff" George Carlin talks about.)
3. Decorative accents must serve a function – vases, bowls,
baskets, boxes, tins, files, albums, and other products that can
hold or organize everyday items. Wall art and wall decor will be
popular because they help decorate without adding to clutter. (Comment:
Hmmm, that means photo/scrapbook albums, paintings and
cross-stitch wallhangings, etc.
4. One exception to the anti-clutter trend is holiday decor.
That's particularly true of Christmas, and it's growing for early
fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. (Comment: Not sure that
was true of crafts this past Halloween.)
5. As part of the concern for personal environments,
Americans will turn to home fragrancing products such as potpourri,
oil rings, steamers, and sprays. (Comment: Does everything
have to have a nice smell?)
6. Soft goods such as pillows and table runners are gaining
in popularity because they change a room's "look"
inexpensively. But too much can lead to clutter. (Comment: crafts
are the perfect way to make things that change the look of a room,
at very little cost.)
7. "Traditional" remains the leading design
direction, but "retro" and "nostalgic" are close
behind. Design trends in decline include "Americana,"
"lodge," and "safari/adventure."
8. "Earth tones" or "neutrals" will
dominate the color spectrum, punctuated by "brights" and
"jewel tones," such as oranges, yellows, reds, and
purples. Greens and blues will also be popular, and brown is making
9. Licensing continues to be a major force; new and expanded
licenses include Todd Oldham, the National Geographic Society, Betty
Crocker, Mary Engelbreit, and a host of others. (Comment:
Completely new product lines are such an expensive gamble these
days, licensing a popular designer can be seen almost as insurance.
This may be similar to Broadway producers investing in a remake of
Oklahoma rather than sinking money into a new play by an unknown
10. Perceived value is key – high-quality, but
value-priced. Low-end merchandise is out. (Comment: But some
craft retailers keep discounting and discounting and ....)