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Posted Date: 01/4/2016

Beyond the Ball: Ornament Styles Blast Off

Ornaments are always a strong component of retailers’ holiday sales. According to the SCD 2015 Readership Survey, 86% of retailers named ornaments a “recession-proof” category. This seems to extend beyond the confines of the holiday season, with year-round retailers enjoying opportunities for bountiful sales of ornaments. “Buyers are purchasing ornaments for other reasons than just holiday,” Ann Dingwall, sales & marketing manager for Glass Eye Studio, states.  “We introduced a birthday stone ornament program that has boosted sales outside of holiday.”

With that confidence, retailers can embrace a wide variety of styles to complement any of the themes du jour.  Suppliers indicate that key trends emerging for ornaments in 2016 are going to coincide with the overall schemes that are shaping larger décor patterns. “The woodland look will be prevalent: birch bark, cork, wood grain, and forest and woodsy elements,” says Dietrich Bronner, product development manager for Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland. “Ornaments will often feature LED lighting inside, and dome or jar ornaments with figures or scenes inside of them will be popular.”

Robyn G. Smalletz, President & CEO of Gloria Duchin, notes that “value is still the buzz word in the marketplace, but when it comes to ornaments, it doesn’t necessarily mean quantity or lowest price.” Smalletz says her customers are looking for keepsakes, something they can hang on their tree year after year that means something. “We continually see growth in our birthstone collections and our ornaments with messaging, both inspirational and whimsy,” she admits.

The state of the economy has had an impact on how consumers are shopping for and buying ornaments, but suppliers have seen that manifest in different ways.  Bronner says the stabilizing of the economy and lower gas prices give consumers more confidence to enjoy spending some discretionary income. “Customers feel better able to rediscover the joy of shopping for Christmas décor in anticipation of and with excitement for the big event,” he says. “Still, shoppers appreciate impactful ornaments and decorative items that deliver a big wow factor or make a special, unique impression for their value.”
Ana Lopes, sales manager from ChemArt, agrees that shoppers are looking for quality in their ornament buys. “The biggest impact we see is that our products are made in the USA and have a higher quality than what you see being imported from China,” she explains.  “People appreciate the high-end feel of solid brass ornaments that are finished in 24 karat gold and assembled by hand.  They demand a higher retail sell price and evoke a much higher standard than what’s currently flooding the marketplace.”

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