Bed Bath & Beyond has been dominating the private label news cycle with its ongoing launches of 10 new owned brands scheduled to hit shelves into the next fiscal year. The chain’s launched store brands covering bath, bedroom, kitchen tools and housewares, all aimed at revolutionizing how shoppers view the store and the category.
But it’s not just Bed Bath & Beyond looking to fuel the home goods category. Target reported in its first quarter report a record breaking 36%, year-over-year sales increase in its store brand sales, fueled largely by increases in home goods. That category was up 30% on the year.
Part of this success comes through continued new partnerships in the area including a Pillowfort store brand tie in with author Christian Robinson, offering more than 70 exclusive, limited-time goods. There’s a partnership with Jungalow on home goods in its Opalhouse line, an exclusive partnership with Levi’s that leverages the apparel company’s designs into a home collection, and a first-ever limited-time rollout with plant stylist Hilton Carter.
“Because of our unique capabilities in product design, development and sourcing, our owned brand products offer an unbeatable combination of design, quality and value,” said Christina Hennington, EVP, chief growth officer, Target, during the Q1 analyst call. “These brands aren’t something that our guests pick up while they’re at Target, they’re a big reason why they shop at Target, which is why we continue to invest in them.”
According to data from The NPD Group, the housewares category saw a 25% spike in sales in 2020, fueled by a rise in cooking at home. “The housewares industry has been super hot,” said Joe Derochowski, home industry advisor at Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD. “Consumers turned pandemic-driven boredom into an opportunity to experiment with cooking. We’re starting to see a bit of a decline versus a year ago, but sales are still up significantly versus 2019.”
IRI data shows that across all channels, dollar sales of non-electric kitchen tools for the 52-week period ended May 16, 2021, grew 21%, drinkware surged 20% and kitchen storage was ahead 12%.
And as consumers continue to be more adventurous with food prep at home, specific housewares segments are likely to see continued upside. Sales of bakeware were particularly strong during the pandemic — NPD data shows the segment with 44% year-over-year growth in the three months ending August 2020 — and consumers have shown a continued interest in baking at home.
In a 2019 podcast on cookware and bakeware trends, Erika Sirimanne, head of home and garden at London-based Euromonitor International, observed that consumers are focused on enjoying time spent at home, and are also craving simplicity, health and wellness at home. “This back-to-basics approach has stoked a demand for home baking,” said Sirimanne.
While the pandemic shaped the kinds of foods people served — for instance, sales of mini Bundt cakes pans soared when sharing foods became taboo — as consumers ease restrictions on gatherings, Derochowski advised retailers to stay tuned to subtle changes in how consumers are preparing and serving foods, and adapt their assortments to reflect those new trends.