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HABITAT 2023

Introducing the 2023 HABITAT Pillars for NHS

An integral part of the National Hardware Show, HABITAT is an on-site and digital product discovery showcase, highlighting the ideas and evolving lifestyles that are driving the future of home and in turn, consumer spend. It is an elevated NHS experience designed to connect retailers with the trends, products and merchandising techniques that will drive impactful growth and top-line revenue within their stores.

As HABITAT continues to grow, it is moving beyond focusing on the products we know and love and shifting focus to the deepest meaning of home – a place of emotion and experience, of family and connection, of peace and purpose. The Emotion Economy has become a major driver of innovation and spend over the last two years, creating the opportunity for retailers to introduce more solutions that support their customers’ state of mind, mood, mental wellness and connection.

In 2023, HABITAT will showcase products that speak to consumers by optimizing these emotional states at home. The brands featured will be positioned across five cultural themes, the pillars of this year’s HABITAT experience. Discover the latest trends for 2023 and beyond and how you can fold them into your business strategy today.

1. Show You Care: Home is a place for refuge and respite. Show You Care focuses on how we can better care for our partners, our children, our elders, our pets and ourselves.

Products to discover include:

  • Ramps, chair lifts, accessibility
  • Universal bathroom and kitchen fittings
  • Scentscaping
  • Modern room dividers
  • Pet comfort solutions
  • Child-right items
  • Daylight therapy lighting
  • Storage for co-living
DID YOU KNOW? According to the World report on disability, one billion people around the world live with some form of disability, accounting for about 15% of the global population. It is estimated that people with disabilities and their families control $8 million in disposable income globally. People with disabilities are demanding more inclusion, opening up opportunities for retailers to provide functional design-led products.

TAKE ACTION: Ensure your product offerings address physical and psychological diversity. Integrate inclusive thinking into the heart of the buying process. Look to existing product lines to see what already caters to customers seeking sensory-friendly products and edit merchandising on e-commerce sites and social media channels. For example, showcase cocooning chairs, comforting cushions and soothing sensorial aids.

2. Happy Place: Moments of joy take new precedence in an unpredictable and tumultuous world.  How do we bring the simple pleasure and benefits of smiling to our everyday life?

Products to discover include:

  • Moodboosters: surprise and delight in unexpected places
  • Feel-good paints
  • Joy-friendly wallpaper
  • Cozy corners
  • Plant caddies for happier spaces on demand
  • Minimalism

DID YOU KNOW? According to the Chairish 2021 Home Furnishings Resale Report, Millennial and Gen Z consumers are increasingly driven to buy preloved designs as a more sustainable alternative to buying new. Most of these purchases happen online: this opens a huge opportunity to invest in owned resale platforms and strong e-commerce models to keep engaging these conscious customers.

TAKE ACTION: Whether virtually or in-store, merchandise to maximize the ‘wow’ factor. Cater to your customers’ appetite for exuberance with statement pieces that transform everyday spaces and products into moments of fantasy and joy.

3. World of Wonder: A new appreciation for the outdoors has been triggered by a pandemic and the fragility of our ecosystem. Whether it’s backyard camping or biking the Appalachian Trail, how can we make the outdoors a part of our daily home life?

Products to discover include:

  • Everyday explorer items
  • Safe outdoor fire pits
  • Portable lighting and furniture
  • Garage organization
  • Kayaks/fishing rods/camping gear
  • Hiking & biking accessories

DID YOU KNOW? As work-from-home policies become more normalized, consumers are seeking ways to offset the increase in time spent on-screen and indoors. A recent survey by Outdoorsy found that 72% of Americans plan to take more road trips due to new flexible working arrangements.

TAKE ACTION: Although outdoor trips are predominantly technology-free, less experienced travelers are looking for smart add-ons. For example, voice-activated services and wireless headphones can help users discover new hiking trails while on the go, while new tech-powered apparel aims to provide temperature regulators for hot and cold climates.

4. Mind Your Mind: If there is one thing the past two years have taught us to do, it’s to reevaluate our priorities and refocus on ourselves. How can I be the best me? Education, inspiration, introspection, career acceleration and entertainment are all key themes. Ask yourself, what products support me in becoming the best version of myself?

Areas to explore include:

  • Home office
  • Remote learning
  • Bookshelves & libraries
  • Art studios
  • Crafting corners
DID YOU KNOW? According to the 2021 Wellness Index, 78% of Americans said that mindfulness is now more important than ever. Pinterest 2020 data also shows an increase of 104% in indoor nurturing garden rooms as consumers look to create home wellness spaces.

TAKE ACTION: Help consumers design quiet spaces that suit particular preferences. Tap into different senses to help define these spaces. Stock comforting and modular product solutions to help consumers create serene areas within their homes to enhance productivity or provide remote sanctuaries for learning.

5. Save 2 Save: With fuel and energy costs skyrocketing and droughts, fires and weather-related incidents escalating, the need to safeguard our resources and financial security with accessible solutions becomes paramount.

Products to discover include:

  • Rechargeable LEDs & LED innovation
  • Water-saving showers and faucets
  • Mirrored wall panels/reflection
  • White roof paint
  • Solar panels
  • Car chargers
  • Geothermal solutions
  • Fans for ventilations vs AC
  • Radiator reflectors
DID YOU KNOW? Bamboo features in many new design projects, especially in hot countries thanks to local availability and abundance. It is also eco-friendly, antiseptic, insect-repellent and water-resistant.

TAKE ACTION: When communicating the benefits of energy efficiency to customers, consider topics that resonate, such as control. Customers value the ability to take control of their energy bills. By sharing tips and recommending solutions they can implement themselves, such as replacing traditional light bulbs with LEDs or adding energy-efficient appliances, you can help them become energy activists within their own homes.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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