February 4, 2016 • Sarah Schwartz
Welcome 2016! Retail forecasts for the year are cautiously optimistic. Kiplinger’s Economic Outlook predicts that retail sales will be up 4.7 percent in the New Year, a smidgen up from 2015’s 4.5 percent.
But, if you are still operating on a traditional sales model, you’ve got to up your game, cautions Nielsen. “Responding to sales gains made by online competitors, brick-and-mortar retailers are evolving their business models to add more choices for online and offline ordering as well as delivery and pick-up options,” reads Neilsen’s Retail USA: What’s In Store 2016 report.
However, one of the most successful sales strategies will always be speaking to consumers’ needs and desires, often before they realize what it is they themselves want. That’s easier said then done, however, so focus on the big picture and then fill it in with compelling finds.
Go back to basics with product that plays on nostalgic currents like Art Deco, rose gold and engraving. Honor the natural world with the lodge-y look and impromptu garden opportunities. Dazzle your customers with gilded edges, mercury finishes, ombré effects and pops of color. Throughout it all, evidence of the artist’s hand always catches the eye. And, keep reading for more product and design trends.
Art Deco Rich colors, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation never go out of style, they are just endlessly reinterpreted.
Color Overlap Passes through the letterpress make new entirely colors and add an element of surprise to the ever-popular printing method.
Engineered to Pop How better to add dimension to a usually flat medium than via unexpected pop-up elements?
Gilded Edges These studies in subtlety combine Old World craftsmanship with our current obsession with gold.
Hand-Illustration A touch of humanity is a soothing salve to our digital age.
Indigoes These faded textures allude to the past as well as exotic cultures, yet still feel fresh.
Interesting Cuts Nothing adds visual interest to stationery like cleverly planned die- and laser-cutting.
Lodge-y Looks You can almost smell the crisp clean country air with these fresh-minded finds.
Ombré Effects Color washes are appealing on their own — and sometimes livened up with a touch of gold foil.
Paper Lovers Encourage stationery zealots to announce their devotion loud and proud!
Pops of Color These designs literally straddle the line between traditional and edgy.
Vintage Technology Cameras, telephones and typewriters make for visually interesting and nostalgic design elements.
Cards with a Surprise Old-fashioned interactivity makes a big comeback in these cards.
Day of the Dead This Mexican-accented iconography is simultaneously colorful yet dark — and resonates year-round.
DIY This can-do trend shows no sign of slowing, and self-contained kits especially succeed when tailored to stationery basics.
Gardens to Go Anyone can grow anything — especially with the help of product like this.
Graphic Gifts Everyone wants their present to have presence — and how better to do it than with pattern-driven polish?
List Pads Updated presentations of the classic form are larger in size and with more fields to fill in, making tackling tasks fun.
Mercury Finish These dynamic surfaces add visual interest and an aristocratic air to any vignette in which they’re placed.
Paper Placemats This category is still trending up with good reason — how better to infuse any tabletop with style and polish?
Despite its retro roots, this shade of gold is once again resonating with consumers in a big way.
Statement Jewelry The most compelling pieces reveal the wearer — be it the faces of family, personal beliefs or sheer love of big baubles.
Stationery for Men This long-neglected category is recently reborn, with personality-driven offerings that even reluctant correspondents can embrace.