merchandise trends 2017

Retail Trends: Merchandise Categories That Will Drive Your Retail Sales in 2017

by • January 25, 2017 • Merchandising + TrendsComments Off on Retail Trends: Merchandise Categories That Will Drive Your Retail Sales in 20174503

2016 holiday retail sales increased 4 percent(!) over the previous year with a big bump in fashion and accessories. Keep your shop or site good and ready with the hot merchandise categories you may have missed — plus some predictions for 2017.

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday retail sales during November and December 2016 increased 4 percent over 2015 to $658.3 billion, as a strengthening economy encouraged consumers to spend even more freely than expected.

merchandise trends 2017

“Economic indicators were up, retailers offered great deals, confidence improved and all of that empowered consumers to spend more,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz.

What does this mean for independent retailers? Here a few items from NRF’s report that really stand out.

Online and other non-store sales increased 12.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

Fashion and accessories gained each month, even as some other categories declined.

  • Fashion and fashion accessories show no signs of slowing: Sales at clothing and accessories stores increased 2.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

merchandise trends 2017

Action steps: consider adding more high-margin fashion and accessories items to your existing product mix in 2017. Crossover buying into multiple categories will be the key to driving store sales.

ASD Insider tips on how to get started in high-margin Fashion and Accessories:

How Adding Fashion Transformed These Hospital Gift Shops

  • Sales at health and personal care stores increased 6.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.  #Wellness and #Beauty are definitely hashtags to search for on social media.

Action steps: keep an eye on the #wellness product trend in 2017. This can mean anything from teas, affordable yoga gear (“athleisure”), water bottles, natural oils, crystals (now carried by Target!), and “lifestyle” wholesale products.

merchandise trends 2017

Moody’s Analytics also chimed in recently by saying that core retail sales are also expected to increase by 5.4 percent in 2017 (Core retail sales exclude volatile revenues from auto sales and gas stations.) — well above the 4.2% in 2016.

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Attn: Gift, Novelties, and Souvenir Retailers

According to Adobe Digital Insights, between November 1 – December 31, 2016, total online sales totaled $91.7B (that’s 11% growth over the previous year!) and this;

  • Top-mentioned retailers (Dec. 1-31): eBay, Amazon, Walmart, Target, H&M
  • Top-mentioned toys (Dec. 1-31): Pokemon Sun & Moon, Barbie, Oculus, PSVR, Frozen toys
  • Top-selling classic board games: Operation, Sorry!, Ticket to Ride, Monopoly
  • Top-grossing toys: electric scooters & vehicles for Kids, drones, Lego sets

merchandise trends 2017

Action steps: look for more stationery, adult coloring books, Cannabis-themed novelties, craft composition books, crystals, cool work desk accessories, anything with LED lights, TV/movies nostalgia merchandise, good-natured family “escapist” fun.

Fashion Accessories, Wellness, and Smoke & Vape Accessories: E-Commerce Products

merchandise trends 2017Here are some hot merchandise categories to have on your radar for 2017, according to the leading e-commerce shopping platform Shopify:

  1. Paleo Bars
  2. Bow Ties*
  3. Pocket Squares*
  4. Wood Sunglasses
  5. Wood Watches
  6. Leggings
  7. E-Cigarettes
  8. E-Liquid (Refills for E-Cigarettes)
  9. Coconut Oil (especially for hair)
  10. Matcha Powder

*A note on men’s products: retail sales of men’s accessories are expected to hit $370 billion by 2017 (Forrester Research)!

Need help selecting some Gift and Novelties wholesale products for your shop? Check out ASD’s Gift & Novelties Product Buying Guide

What does this all mean for the independent shop owner?

Retailers have a lot to look forward to in 2017. Consumers are feeling really confident, so make sure your shop or site is ready. What are the breakout products in 2017? Find out at ASD Market Week!

What were your top-selling items? Go to our Facebook page here and let the Insider know!

ASD Market Week in Las Vegas is the only trade show that provides 90+ free retail and online selling seminars and access to over 2,000 high-margin merchandise vendors – all under one roof. Find product and private label partners easily and efficiently! Get your free ticket here.

Resources for this article:

Well and Good
National Retail Federation
CMO and Adobe Digital Insights


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