Inspirational trip and new insights – a part of our business intelligenceMichael Jönsson
What are we buying? What do we eat? How do we socialize? In order to meet our customers’ needs for relevant products, business intelligence plays an important role. Besides the regular visits to Asia, international fairs, lectures, and stops in our European cities offer inspiration. We find it important to catch trends and tendencies in order to keep better informed about what is going on in the spheres of manufacturing, environment and sustainability, product design, packaging design, foods, hotels, and traveling.
In September, Wackes’ assortment group went on a week-long inspirational trip to London and Paris. Below you can get a glimpse of all what we discovered; some of which are new, some that have been around for a while, and some that are just small marginal notes.
The fancy street in Paris or the hip deli in London? People gather around the food. What, up until a few years ago, housed the furnishing department the classical Galerie Lafayettes mall in Paris, is now filled with delicacies, whine, and other treats that get to share space with linens and glass. Rather than major brand flagship stores on A locations, we see shop temples for Nespresso and Lindt chocolate. Small shops pop up everywhere, offering food crafts from smaller producers of cheese, jam, licorice, and chocolate, such as the Brooklyn based beardy Mast Brothers, who create bean-to-bar chocolate. Here, focus is put on packaging as well as content, with new patterns and tastes for every season – smoke and vanilla chocolate, anyone? Alongside ecological and health food stores, today everything is available for the aware consumer. Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.
Public living rooms
Since the 80’s, the Shoreditch district in London has attracted artists with accompanying hipster vans and gentrification as a result. Here you will find Barber & Parlour which offers grooming for men and women, combined with the possibility to dine, drink, shop, and relax. Public spaces are designed to remind people of their own living rooms. At Ace Hotel, located in the same district, the lobby is a place for socializing, working, or unwinding. During the day for work or a cup of coffee, in the evening possibly because someone is playing some records. A persistent trend is to mix goods and services in the same area, in order to achieve a holistic experience which has something to offer throughout the whole day.
Doing sports is to be seen
Another sphere which has progressed greatly in recent years is sports fashion. Almost all major clothing brands create their own sports collections, and the people are not ashamed of being seen in sportswear in other situations than when they are actually exercising. This is also the case within the luxury segment, where you can be comfortably well-dressed with a back pack and sneakers (obviously of the right brand). Sweatpants do not necessarily send out signals of sloppiness any longer, but rather a distinct marker that you lead an active life and take care of yourself.
More trends and tendencies in brief:
- Old methods for creating things in real materials such as stone, leather, enamel, and wood
- Nothing can stop HAY and Tom Dixon in furnishing right now
- The fragrance trend does not seem to die out, and all brands have their own scented candles
- Grey melange, blue melange, pink melange. Simply melange
- Floral patterns, lengthwise and crosswise