Hardware & Tools
Power tool batteries have seen the most improvement in 2015 and 2016. At the Show, retailers should look for power tool batteries with extended life, increased performance in below zero degrees Fahrenheit conditions, wireless charging technology, and Bluetooth-enabled batteries with apps that allow users to monitor battery data, such as the amount of charge that remains for use, or if the battery is operating at the optimum temperature. Some new battery apps also have loss prevention features, such as alerts for when a battery is taken outside of a specific range, and a remote disabling feature that renders the battery unusable until re-enabled by the application.
Paint & Accessories
The cooler paint tones of 2015 are still popular for 2016, although the Bohemia look, with its bold colors, busy patterns and mismatched items, is gaining in popularity and could be trending later this year, so keep that in mind while browsing the Paint & Accessories area of the Show. But for now, popular paint lines include modern pewters and greys contrasted with bright pops of peachy oranges or floral yellows. “Cool urban meets bright nature” is the current trend.
According to Nielsen, in 2015, Millennials preferred to purchase items that were handmade. Retailers can appeal to Millennials and boost sales by adding a few artisan-made or one-of-a-kind items into inventory mixes, especially in the housewares category. Look for decor items that are from limited runs or offer a one-of-a-kind look. Millennials’ interest in handmade and local sourcing has also driven a resurgence in food preservation. Canning, pickling and fermentation have made a comeback. If you don’t already stock canning and fermenting items, you may want to consider sourcing glass jars, rings and lids, funnels, water bath canners, tampers or muddlers, non-reactive weights (such as ceramic or glass), wide mouth jars and lids with airlocks. Home brewing and winemaking kits are also popular in this category.
Plumbing & Electrical
According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, home remodeling will continue to see growth throughout 2016. One area consumers are looking to update is the bathroom. In the plumbing category, consumers are seeking metallic finishes such as copper, brushed nickel, or gold; high-tech fixtures; and linear shower drains. In the lighting category, fixtures are more about trends than utility. The latest lighting trends include globe pendant lights, clear or colored glass fixtures and industrial, retro and wire lighting made popular by the way they highlight the much-loved Edison bulb.
Find products from all over the world! This area will include exhibitors from China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The Pakistan pavilion is brand-new this year to the Interational Sourcing area, and you can visit Israeli companies in their own sections of the Central (booth #5034) and North (booth #11070 and booth #10971) halls.