July 8, 2020
Sullivans’ survey frames the future home décor purchasing habits

A new Sullivans’ survey highlighted the future of consumer home décor purchasing habits. The home décor industry is fine, according to a survey by Sullivans. Despite an uncertain economy and the pandemic prompting a priority on basic staples such as food and toilet paper, over one third (36%) of U.S. consumers opted to spend their paychecks on home décor products.

Looking ahead, 65% of shoppers plan to purchase home décor once social restrictions loosen. These are just a couple of the promising statistics found in the 2020 Sullivans Home Décor Consumer Behavior Survey that showed the industry won’t be plagued by the pandemic.

Of the 86% of consumers who find home décor important, emotion is one of the biggest motivators for product purchases. And during a worldwide pandemic, consumers shopped these items to improve their mood and decrease boredom. As some semblance of normalcy returns, they’ll continue to create a physical space to improve their emotional state.

“During home isolation, everyone relates to the monotony of staring at the same four walls all day. It’s no surprise people get joy from shopping for home accents, whether it be adding a splash of color with a pillow or breathing new life into a room with decorative vases,” said Tawni Buhler, director of marketing for Sullivans.

Even with safety on shoppers’ minds, in-store traffic won’t suffer in the future, according to the survey. When asked about the likelihood of returning to physical locations, 70% of consumers said they’re likely or more likely to visit a store than before social restrictions. That said, consumers will expect retailers to demonstrate how they’re creating a safe environment while COVID-19 remains a risk.

Nearly one-third (29%) of participants said they will favor shopping at local retailers and small businesses over large chains and online sites post-pandemic for high-levels of service, unique offerings and instant gratification. This doesn’t differ significantly from pre-COVID preferences, but there is a shift in motivation. Consumers have a heightened awareness of the impact of buying local, and this new emotional tie has a greater influence than preferring an in-store experience alone.

Of the survey participants, 50% said they will shop at small businesses to support the local economy, while 12% are motivated by the ability to see/touch products in person.

“We were very encouraged by consumers’ strong desire to do what they can to boost the local economy following the devastating shutdowns brought on by the pandemic,” noted Lisa Juul, vice president of sales for Sullivans.

To one Californian survey participant, buying from community businesses is important: “Mom and Pop stores support kids’ little league and soccer. They are the ones that donate to school raffles. They, much more than big chains, should be supported.”

After months quarantined to the same place, consumers plan to focus on updating high-traffic and outdoor areas, such as the living room, bedroom(s) and patio. When survey participants were asked what type of products they shop for, decorative pots/planters and vases (53%), pillows and blankets (49%), candles (41%), and artwork (42%) scored the highest. And they purchase these products at a high frequency. Over half (57%) of consumers buy home décor at least quarterly, and 25% at least monthly.

For a more in-depth look at the 2020 Sullivans Home Décor Consumer Behavior Survey results, visit

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