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The tabletop segment has proven to be a growth point in 2017 for the independent gourmet housewares market. The category, which stands at $5.4 million at 2017, has increased slightly from 2016’s $5.3 million. Of those who took the State Of The Industry survey, more than 17% said they plan to expand their tabletop merchandise in 2018, while 66% said they would be planning to keep the same amount of inventory during the last year.

The purchasing patterns in tabletop have seen a shift, industry insiders said, as consumers are investing in more everyday table settings and less in china. They are also purchasing smaller sets — like servings for six or eight — instead of sets for 12 or 16. In addition, color and pattern have been a selling point in tabletop as those customers want to showcase their personality on their dining table.

Serveware and specialty glassware are also trending in the tabletop market as home entertaining is still top of mind with consumers. More at-home cocktail, wine and beer tastings have encouraged consumers to have the beverageware that will allow the best tasting drink, while unique serveware pieces act as a conversation starter on the table.

Drop shipping by vendors and e-commerce sales have also continued to play an important role in the tabletop category. These allow retailers to offer a wider variety of tabletop products without having to keep them in stock, which takes up dedicated floor space.

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