Housewares Retailing: Heating Up
On a practical level, home improvement and appliance retailer Lowe's exhibited at CES, promoting its new website, "MyLowes." This integrated online tool helps customers track their in-store and online product purchases and stores in their online profile. Users can create rooms and store room dimensions, organize products, paint colors, ideas and more.
The highlight of the CES exhibit floor was to catch a glimpse of the 'smart appliance' evolution which is underway. Are we there yet? Yes and no. We got a sense that perhaps the Jetsons were advanced for their time. Sleek styling and improved energy savings collided with connectivity and new ways to interact with the mundane, utilitarian refrigerator, washing machine and other appliances. It seems that many of these products would fall more into the more premium pricing range aimed at the upscale consumer—or purchased for new constructions or by the growing legion of consumers who are into home remodeling (See Trends column).
Many of these products were also selected for the CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award—a terrific marketing and selling tool for retailers and distributors.