15240 Fri, 09/19/2008 - 1:18pm
By Barbara Thau
They’re young, affluent shopaholics who consider their home furnishings as much a reflection of their personal style as their clothing—precisely the crowd retailers should be courting during this recessionary economy.
That’s what can be gleaned from domino magazine’s Economic Resiliency Study: How The Economy Impacts Perceptions and Purchase Decisions for home goods. The survey, which took the pulse of 848 domino devotees, found that despite the sputtering economy and housing malaise, readers plan to purchase more—or the same amount—of several home-product categories than they did in 2007.
They’re also not about to curb spending. They will spend more or the same amount on a variety of home goods as they did in 2007, the survey said.
The profile of the domino reader skews more affluent than the average consumer. She is a 37-year-old woman with an average household income of $85,000.
She is also “more predisposed to shopping and buying, even before she comes to our pages,” Cathleen Cuneo, executive director of marketing for domino, told HFN.
Indeed, Domino incorporates elements of a shopping magazine in its pages and on its highly interactive Web site.
But perhaps more importantly, its reader is “a home enthusiast” who is more apt to spend on home goods than the average shopper.
“Because of that love [of the home], that is the number-one place [she’s] going to spend on, no matter what,” Cuneo said.
But the proof is in the numbers.
The survey revealed that two in three domino readers will spend the same or more on their home than they did last year.
Sixty-two percent of readers said that a recession would have no impact on their plans to redecorate in the next 12 months.
And 75 percent will spend the same or more on furniture; 78 percent will spend the same or more on lighting and accessories; and 72 percent will spend the same or more on window treatments.
The domino reader is “always on the hunt,” Cuneo said. She has “an active purchasing mind-set. … They don’t need to replace something because it’s broken or too old,” Cuneo said. “They will replace it because they want to have something new,” such as a new lamp that says, “‘this is the most current expression of my style.’”
The survey said 70 percent of those polled will spend more or the same on carpeting and flooring.
A new throw rug, for example, “can change the personality of a room,” Cuneo said.
Domino’s readers are also not shying away from big-ticket purchases. The survey said 56 percent of Domino readers plan to purchase furniture in the next 12 months, and two-thirds of those readers will spend more or the same on the category as they did last year.
Some home categories, such as small appliances and bedding, showed a drop-off in planned purchases.
But while readers plan to buy less bedding than they did last year, 77 percent will spend more or the same amount on the category, the survey revealed. This suggests that readers could be migrating to more luxury bedding fare, Cuneo said.
Overall, these younger, more affluent shoppers are not only outfitting new homes but trading up their homes’ wardrobes.
“These are people who are buying homes—they’re growing families,” Cuneo said.
What’s more, “in your mid-to-late thirties, you’ve outgrown your low-end furniture and buying investment pieces as opposed to something that just serves a function,” she said.
And retailers would be wise to capture the attention and imagination of that demographic now.