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Why Home Is Suddenly in Fashion

Of the many things the industry has learned in recent history, one trend stands above the rest: fashion and home make good bedfellows.

Gap’s Walmart home collection, Levi’s collab with Target, a Wrangler partnership with Pottery Barn Teen, Anne Klein’s bed-and-bath tie-up with Macy’s, and Eileen Fisher’s West Elm wares all point to fashion’s growing opportunity to extend its influence from apparel into other areas of the consumer’s lifestyle—especially as the coronavirus pandemic kept shoppers safely cocooned in their dwellings for the past many months.

Fashion isn’t simply the garments that fill up closets, but also the treasures that make four walls into a home, the logic seems to say.

And the home category is brimming with potential, according Allied Market Research, which values the global home décor market at $838.6 billion by 2027, more than $220 billion over its 2019 estimate. To help fashion brands break out of their comfort zone and navigate this new category online, Edited has expanded its capabilities beyond apparel, footwear and accessories to serve this growing—and complementary—niche.

Edited Home analyzes real-time data from more than 40 global markets so that retailers branching out can maximize their fledgling homewares assortments while minimizing markdowns and hard-to-move goods, the retail intelligence platform said. Launched last week, the venture aims to nurture an apparel-focused company’s evolution into a “one-stop shop” that “strengthens brand loyalty amongst existing customers and increases brand awareness to homewares enthusiasts,” it said.

As consumers turn to the web for more of their purchases, brands have even greater opportunities to court shoppers browsing for bed, bath and beyond. At the British arm of La Redoute, the Covid-19 pandemic further accelerated the home goods category, which was already growing “significantly” in recent years, according to Paul Carmichael, digital market director for the 184-year-old French retailer.

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“Understanding the ins and outs of this market as well as we do the fashion vertical is the key to our future success,” he added. Said to be France’s second-largest seller of women’s apparel, La Redoute leverages Edited’s home data to “create a bespoke, data-driven multichannel plan to capitalize on new retail opportunities,” Carmichael noted, and the platform’s visual merchandising illustrates not just current and past customer messaging but rival retailers’ campaigns as well.

A number of trends have converged to fuel the rise of home, from a remote-work culture that looks to be here for the long haul to the growing ranks of “Generation Rent,” Edited said. But social media gets a lot of the credit, too, for shining the spotlight on interior design and fueling consumer desires for high-end aesthetics at palatable prices, it added.

Fast-fashion firms have excelled at offering shoppers “entry-level” décor like throw rugs, cushions, candles and potted plants, which collectively climbed 36 percent year-on-year in the U.S. and U.K., Edited found.

N Brown, a British fashion and home seller, has found success by clarifying and elevating its home goods offer. When reporting results last week for the fiscal 2021 year ended Feb. 27, N Brown credited its launch of the stand-alone Home Essentials brand for pushing home and gift products to 40 percent of its assortment from 29 percent the prior fiscal year. The “one-stop home brand” targeting millennial and Gen X moms sells private-label and third-party branded goods that serve customers looking to “dress their homes,” N Brown, parent to strategic brands including Jacamo, Simply Be, JD Williams, and Ambrose Williams as well as the home label, wrote in its financial report.

Working with Edited “has given us great insight into shaping both our long-term and short-term trading plans,” resulting in “actionable” intel swaying decisions around color, print and shape, said Julia Barnes, a senior buyer in home décor at the top 10 U.K. clothing and footwear digital retailer.

“Particularly for our homeware categories, the market intelligence has supported us in creating our range landscape, along with any pricing and launch decisions,” she said.