As millennials age and increase spending power, the home becomes increasingly important for shopping and self-expression. A steady increase in direct-to-consumer brands dedicated to home goods, particularly bedding and now cookware and kitchen accessories, reflects a rising interest in JOMO (joy of missing out) over FOMO, and home cooking over-ordering in. Developing categories include bathroom textiles and accessories, such as higher-end towels or fashionable robes. Behavioral trends towards staying in and investing in the home do not have to mean unplugging from technology. Cookware brands like Great Jones, Equal Parts, and Our place rely on social media for customer acquisition, appealing to customers with products that are highly instagrammable in themselves. As smart home technology develops, more items come online and can be controlled by either voice or mobile app. Smartphone-controlled wifi light bulbs, for example, tap into both the internet of things as well as the millennial sentiment towards creating and controlling a mood in the home. Home Depot’s continued positive stock performance reflects consumer interest in home improvement; however, given the growth of the gig economy and platforms like TaskRabbit, this interest of young consumers in home decor may not necessarily translate to an interest in home improvement. As Home Depot’s customer base ages, it will have to cater to the behaviors of millennials and, soon enough, Gen Z, rather than rely on its existing shoppers. Save for supply chain issues, categories related to the home may also benefit as a result of the fear around COVID-19, or coronavirus, as more local and state governments encourage citizens to self-isolate and avoid social activity or commuting. Home fitness is growing in popularity as well, and will likely get a boost in visibility following the hype around COVID and self-quarantining at home. Analysts predict this could positively impact brands like Lululemon, which has invested over $50m in-home fitness tech brand Mirror. However, a rise in working out at home may encourage new trends in activewear towards comfort over showing off in the gym.
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