While textiles is a small contributing category in regard to gross sales, the category continues to be important to retailers. Of those who responded to the State Of The Industry survey, 23.8% are planning to grow their textiles offerings in the next year; 69% will maintain the current selection going into 2020; and 7.2% will scale back in the category.
Gift-giving opportunities continue to create sales prospects for textiles. Retailers use the goods to create whimsy and pops of color amongst hard lines in gift baskets. Kitchen textiles can help add visual interest and make a gift more substantial while keeping on or close to a given price point.
Textiles have also helped to tout a local message, which has becoming increasingly important for retailers. Soft goods designed with the community in mind make unique gifts as well as souvenirs for those customers that have traveled to the location. Textiles that are handmade from a local artisan or stamped with the store’s name or location are still increasing in sales, as they have in the past few years. These goods can also become a marketing vehicle for gourmet housewares retailers as consumers who purchase these products tend to keep the goods on display at home or give as a gift.
Textiles have become a bit bolder in the last few years, as goods with daring designs and cheeky sayings have become more in-demand. This has attracted more consumers to the category as it helps to bring facets of their personality into the kitchen and can also make for a funny, yet personal gift.
While some retailers display textiles in shelving units, others create merchandising displays that utilize tablecloths, cloth napkins, tea towels and aprons while incorporating hard lines. Not only does this allow for more visual interest throughout the store, but it also allows retailers to carry a wide assortment of textiles without dedicating a large amount of floor space to the category.