2012 Shopping Trends: What’s Hot and What’s Not!

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With the ever-present threat of recession and many people fearful for their livelihoods it makes you wonder what will succeed in the retail market and what will fare worse off in the coming 12 months? Many recent news reports show that holiday sales appear to be on the up and this wasn’t predicted by many.

So is it worth trying to speculate what we will spend on in 2012? Yes, of course it is, for if you can predict and sell what everyone wants then you’re in the black whilst others remain in the red.

It can be seen that many young people are in the situation whereby they cannot afford to leave home, so they stay with their parents, and like many young people have disposable income because of this. Yes, they should save money when and where they can, but many don’t, hopeful that things will be alright in the end. This generation is quite happy to be seen to be doing the right thing, as long as they can still treat themselves to luxuries along the way. Many of the older generations will tighten their belts, but as previously un-affordable luxuries become affordable many people are spending to get the brand new car, or luxury holiday, as they may never get the chance again.

Many large retail shops feel the effect as people move their shopping trends to unbranded goods, or seek cheaper products from online retailers with less overheads and smaller margins. Truthfully it seems that people are not going without, just seeking better deals. An average consumer appears seek environmentally friendly products and efficient products. It is easy to justify spending more now, if it will last longer, or save you money in the long run. Shoppers are no longer seeking a cheap disposable; by again product, but a cheap, long-lasting, eco-friendly product.

This may sound impossible, but due to the global economy it is becoming somewhat of a reality, and if someone is being successful in these hard economic times they flaunt it by being able to buy disposable products if they desire.

At the end of the day the consumers of today cut back on essentials, like previous generations have had to, but they see many tertiary items as essentials, to which previous generations may argue are not necessities. These items will sell as well, if not better than before, so rather than looking to sell the next big thing as a retailer, I would look to stock the latest versions of proven ‘essential’ goods.

Holidays are a prime example; it is a modern-day necessity that we have a holiday, usually abroad, at least once a year. The more frugal will stay in this country, but will actually have to camp to save money as holidays in the UK cost about the same as going abroad. Sales on summer clothing, camping equipment, gas canisters etc will do well in 2012.

As ubiquitous computing becomes ever more present the UK will look to keep improving their mobile phones, tablets and games consoles. The fact that fridges will soon be available with integrated computers to allow food stuffs to be ordered online as they are needed from the fridge itself is something we may well see available in 2012. The consumer will spend on technology, not only for status, but in the belief that they are helping the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.

Non technological goods will still sell well if they encourage group participation and have the promise of longevity. The future for 2012 looks good, especially for the online retailer, however profit margins will be lower, if your company can weather the storm, then you will reap what you sow once these leaner times have passed.

I also think that 2012 will also bring a massive resurgence in home owners investing in upgrading their homes, as families are having to live together for longer, and different ages in the family will accumulate in different rooms e.g. kitchen, living room, garden etc. All of which will have to be ‘modernised’ to suit today’s standards of living. After all, if you can’t afford to go out, you’ll have people around, and you won’t have people around if your home looks a little shabby!

As good quality fixtures and fittings come down in price the Great British public will invest in making their house, or castle, a home. (Subsequent sales in plasters as DIY jobs escalate will follow).

This bodes well for us here at the athomeblog, and will endeavour to bring you the most up to date, unique and popular product releases as they become available throughout 2012.

We all wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Christmas Decoration and Fun Ideas #3

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This for me is the last and most important posting on this topic, simply set the mood. This is inexpensive and encourages the magic of Christmas. I find one of the first things to set the mood is having appropriate programs on the TV, and Christmas music playing too.
Now I know we all get tired of the music they play in shops and rightly so, Christmas in shops starts in January now doesn’t it? But seriously, buy a decent Christmas album or two, cheep ones in discount stores won’t do. Buy the dearer quality ones, as each year possibly for decades you’ll put them on and are great value for money.
When preparing for meal times have the music playing, buy a TV guide and watch a classic film with family and, or friends.
Light candles at the dinner table, or place tea lights on around the house and turn the lights off. These tips of creating the mood for Christmas really do help in warming the feel of the home and creating atmosphere for the good times ahead to be had.
If you are religious then remember what the true meaning of Christmas is, if not it is good to know the history of Christmas, it hasn’t always been about Santa and the coke lorry advert!

Wish people a ‘Merry Christmas’ they will reply, and it makes you feel good to acknowledge your fellow mankind.

Remember Christmas isn’t about who spends the most money, but considering others, enjoying life and having fun!
I hope you have enjoyed this and the previous Christmas posts. MERRY CHRISTMAS from all of us at athomblog, and a happy and prosperous New Year. X

Christmas Decoration and Fun Ideas #2

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For this posting we’ll look at how easy it is to create a Christmas theme on a shoe string budget, as many people this year want have the expendable cash as years gone by, or this could be the first Christmas in your new home and need some ideas on how to decorate.
Here’s a great tip, simply add ‘bling’ to existing features! Sounds simple but how? I would suggest think Glitter, shiny objects and fake snow. It is really easy to glam up a home with some evergreen off cuts strategically placed that have been glittered or fake snowed up. You can hang baubles and decorations from existing house plants and tinsel around mirrors to make you feel like a star and create a Christmas mood.
Many interior designers find fixing bows and ribbons to anything and everything a very effective way to create Christmas cheer without crossing the ‘tacky’ line, however for me the tackier the better, especially if kids are involved, (they’ll make a mess, but go with, after all who is the decorating for?!?!) So if the colours don’t quite match, does it really matter, if it does I think you’re missing the point.
For Christmas Decoration and Fun Ideas #1 follow the link.

Shiro Walnut Furniture Collection

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Following the great responses we have received on focusing on the La Roque, Kudos and Mobel collections we are now focussing on the Shiro Real Wood Walnut furniture collection. The Shiro, similarly to the previously mentioned collections, is made from solid wood (no veneered backs or drawers), the wood is of the highest grade and in this case Walnut.
Walnut by many is seen as a most stylish wood and often considered as the hight of luxury and sophistication. The Shiro furniture collection takes this beautiful wood and adds to it with supreme design and finish, making an exquisite example of the finest furniture available in the land.
The Shiro collection features Walnut that has a dense grain that creates a superb effect that allows the wood to be used in a plethora of rooms with varied decor style, however I personally love to see walnut furniture in a plain, or minimalistic room, as I favor the wood furniture creating focal points in the room, which walnut achieves with ease.

Christmas Decoration and Fun Ideas #1

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If, like me, it comes to the time of year when you’re thinking of retrieving the Christmas decorations from the loft, and wonder how long it’ll take to detangle the lights and get the damn tree positioned to look vertical, Bah Humbug!…….stop……..and remember it is worth making the time for creating memories and bringing happiness to others.

Over the next few weeks I will post some great money-saving tips and family fun ideas that will help to make this year special for you and the ones around you. If you want to search the ideas they will be under the heading Christmas Decoration and Fun Ideas #……and whichever post it is.

For the first tip I’m going to address is mentioned in the first part of this posting, getting the dreaded decorations out…nooooo!

Well we all know this might cause some frustrations, but use it to as a time to spend with you family. Get the kids involved in sorting out the bows and baubles, ask the other half to help untangle the lighting gear and ask the friend or family member who thinks they are the ‘designer of the year’ what their ideas on how the rooms could be decorated and encourage others to input their opinions.

You could assign different rooms for people to design and have a grand unveiling, or make sure everyone is gathered around to watch the lights be turned on either on the tree or outside your home (and share a mince-pie or sherry at the same time!!), make sure you take photos.

This can be a great time to ask others what their memories of past Christmas’s are and what plans they have for this one.

This will get the countdown to Christmas off to a great start and start off some great memories that you can look back on next year.

Mobel Oak Furniture Collection

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Oak is one of the more desired lighter coloured woods, but many opt for cheaper pine to save a few quid, however opting for pine gives a similar look, but it is a soft wood and not built for longevity, unless you are extremely carefull with the item (which can be very difficult with the busy lives we lead).

The Mobel collection of real oak furniture is the light wood product we all desire, and this collection is very affordable. The pieces of furniture are designed with a contemporary feel and flow and have superb build quality and have been lacquered with a resilient satin finish that protects the oak whilst not detracting from the natural beauty.

Most items in the Mobel range come with fixed shelves and may feature brushed stainless steel handles or knobs and sturdy drawer construction featuring no veneering just pure natural real oak.
The skilled construction of the items means they will arrive to your home in ample suitable packaging and the items come already assembled in one piece, ready to take pride of place in your home.

The Mobel oak collection with great design and construction should not only last a lifetime, but may also be passed on through generations to come, possibly as they are hand crafted, to become a future antique, and therefore becoming an investment for your families future as well as a great looking and function piece of furniture.

If you like the design of the Mobel collection, and the fact it is a real wood product, but you’re not too keen on oak then have a look at the La Roque mahogany, Kudos ash or Shiro walnut real wood collections featured on the athomeblog furniture categories.