“On-trend” not trendy

by Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander

When you are putting together a retail space you always want your customers to know that you are on-trend and know what the marketplace is doing.  Some people end up appearing to be trendy as opposed to being on-trend, but how do you know the difference? Here are 5 ways to be sure you know the difference and what to do with the product once you have it.

1. Trade shows: When you are walking the trade shows looking for your product, start to look carefully at elements that you see repeated again and again.  In the past we have discovered the resurgence of bar carts, the introduction of acrylic and the rebirth of velvets as upholstery. The same is true of Industrial Chic and Mid-Century Modern.  Keep your eyes open for that which is repeated from vendor to vendor even if you don’t buy from them, you will discover trends in your own retail area.

2. Fashion: The world of fashion is always ahead of the curve as they have their spring/summer lines in stores before the world of home décor and gifts have done their shopping at market. The colour and textures, patterns and styles that you can discover in the windows of some of your favorite stores can tell a great story of what is about to come. Combine that with what you see at market to be sure that you are buying trends, not trendy.

3. Here today or here to stay: It can be hard to know what is going to stick around for several seasons and what is worth investing in for your displays and products. Typically we have found that colours and styles that the market isn’t sure of are found in more transient items like vases, toss cushions, throw blankets and small accessories. When you start to see something like “navy” be dyed in carpets and stained into furniture, you can be sure it’s here to stay for a while. Think about the typical life span of a product and the longer consumers keep that product the more entrenched the trend is in the marketplace.

4. Introduce them in the window:  You want your retail store to be a leader when it comes to trends.  Take the trends you have identified at the market and introduce them in your window. Be sure to work them into something you would normally do so that your “personality” as a store doesn’t change every time a trend does.  That lets customers know that you are an adopter but not a teenager who’s “Goth” one minute and “Preppy” the next.  Consistent but open will also help your customers understand how to incorporate the trends into gift-giving and their own lives!

5. Use trend colours to entice people: When you are buying product it’s important to be clear that strong colours bring people into the store, but customers will often leave with a safe colour. You want to be sure you have the trend colours and styles, but remember that a strong purple or green might sell less often than grey and black. Don’t put all your eggs in one colour basket.

Co-founders and principals of design firm Peloso Alexander Interiors, Glen and Jamie are frequent TV guests, having been seen on the Marilyn Denis Show, Global Morning News, Breakfast Television Toronto, HGTV and the Food Network. Both designers, along with their firm’s work, have been featured in print — Glen writes a regular design column for the Toronto Star, while Jamie contributes biweekly to the Toronto Sun.

Glen and Jamie have a combined 40 years of experience in both residential and commercial interior design projects throughout North America. They maintain a retail boutique and design firm in the King East Design District of downtown Toronto.

Glen and Jamie are the keynote presenters at the Spring 2017 Toronto Gift Fair.

Peloso Alexander Interiors