The Weekly 5

Thomas Lester

A weekly rundown of the hottest stories in business and retail from Thomas Lester, business editor for Home Accents Today.

  • Black Friday, Austin City Limits, Storytelling 101, HQ2, Ikea's naming conventions

    1.) Black Friday is coming You might say Black Friday is only for big stores (and you'll find many who agree with that line of thinking), but as Retail Doctor Bob Phibbs points out in this column, there are things smaller, independent retailers can do to prepare. Phibbs offers four merchandising tips, plus three more basic standards to uphold, to better prepare your business for when bargain shoppers come looking for deals. 2.) Designed to rock Katie Kime has been busy lately. The Austin, Texas-based designer and showroom owner has created the Platinum Lounge space at the Austin City ... Read More
  • Wedding bells in store, Reese Witherspoon, Amazon and teens, Ikea and pets, High Point and food

    1.) Convenient for reception shopping Here's an interesting home furnishings related story thanks to Michigan Live. Trish and Nick Myers are both furniture consultants, and as such, recently got married inside an Art Van Furniture store. "When we first met and we were dating and a few months into it, we both were doing really well at work. And Nick was joking around and said 'We could be the Art Van couple and we could have Art Van colors and get married' and of course he's joking and very sarcastic," Trish Myers told MLive. 2.) When Crate & Barrel ... Read More
  • Target, Million Dollar Decorating, more Game of Thrones, comfort food, design preferences

      1.) Target goes mid-century In homage of its founding year of 1962, Target is launching a new mid-century line of furniture and accessories, dubbed Project 62. Here's the story from Curbed. Set to hit stores Sept. 19, The line puts emphasis on small spaces, with accent chairs, ottomans, and side tables that Target says can easily serve multiple functions. The 1,200-piece line also includes things like throw pillows, rugs, barware, dishes, serveware, bedding and more. 2.) Listen up Over the course of hundreds of interviews, James Swan has gained the insight of a who's who list in ... Read More
  • Game of Thrones, Pantone & Prince, Amazon instant pickup, Target & TJX, Home Depot

    1.) Is there shopping at The Wall? It's a hard life in Game of Thrones' Castle Black. It's desolate and cold and there are constant attacks from its north while its denizens protect The Wall - which protects the realms of Westeros from White Walkers and other threats. But as it turns out, those who take the black get shag rugs from Ikea, but they're not using them to decorate their spartan quarters. In this story from Esquire (thanks for former HAT colleague Alexa Boschini for bringing it to our attention), we find out the fur cloaks worn ... Read More
  • Amazon Prime Day; new trends, please; coming to HGTV; Target's modern style; the monobloc chair

    1.) A 'prime' day to set a record? July 11 is Amazon Prime Day (although technically it begins at 9 p.m. ET on July 10) and if past history is any indication, Amazon is probably in store for another record-setting performance. This article from takes a look at the soon-to-be three-year-old phenomenon and why it is significant in the online sales space.   "... last year’s Prime Day sales rose more than 60% and exceeded Amazon’s Cyber Monday sales," notes Tom Ryan, who authored the article.    2.)Trending down? Culture Cheat Sheet takes a look at 15 ... Read More
  • Amazon now anti-showrooming, Target aims small, brand soul, the elephant in the store, local SEO

    1.) The pot and the kettle Name an online retailer that has benefited more from the practice of showrooming (shopping an item in store only to buy it online) than Amazon. That's why this story from TechCrunch might elicit an exasperated chuckle or two. According to the report, Amazon was recently granted a patent that "could be used to prevent brick-and-mortar retailers from leveraging technology in their stores that could stop shoppers from comparing prices of in-store products to those online." Basically, Amazon doesn't want consumers to be able to showroom its products inside of its physical stores ... Read More
  • Scent of Ikea; passport to success; 11 retail tips; reexamining renovations; retail sales dip in May

    1.) Smells like meatballs? Here's an out-of-the-box story relating to home furnishings from Australian style site D'Marge. Ikea is teaming up with fragrance and bodycare maker Byredo for a line of Ikea-themed scents set to launch in 2019 with “a democratic approach to smell.”  “I feel people just don’t reflect enough when it comes to scent, but smell is a very relevant part of our life and also the home,” Byredo founder Ben Gorham said in a statement. “To collaborate on this idea of ‘invisible design’ with   Ikea, getting people to think about smell is very exciting ... Read More
  • Scott Bros. on Discovery Family, design on a larger scale, 7 deadly sins, Ikea's new CEO, fun with old commercials

    1.) Scott Brothers take on Discovery Family Jonathan and Drew Scott, better known as the Property Brothers, are bringing the home renovation programming craze to Discovery Family. While they might not star on the show, the Scott Brothers are lending their names to Reno, Set, Go! as executive producers. According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Reno, Set, Go! will feature homeowners "who've been thrown a curveball or two from life" getting surprised by friends and family as they pull off a covert room makeover in less than 36 hours. A family and a team of expert crafters ... Read More
  • Predicting Pantone's pattern, building brand intimacy, Crate & Barrel & UGallery, Havenly, summer markets

    1.) Bellacor's colorful Pantone analysis Online home furnishings shopping site Bellacor typically has interesting items on its blog, and one of its latest is no exception. Recently, the Minneapolis based e-commerce retailer's Marlon Heimerl analyzed Pantone's selections for Color of the Year and in doing so, unearthed a pattern. "While no single pattern goes unbroken, some intriguing five year Pantone patterns do emerge. As you examine the trends for yourself in our handy infographic, what are your predictions for the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year?" Bellacor asks. "Remember: wild cards and outliers almost always break the ... Read More
  • Forrest Lamp, mobile devices in-store, Walmart & Wayfair? Ikea & AI, hesitation in e-commerce

    1.) What's in a name? Here's an interesting article from sister publication HFN. At the just concluded NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers selected Forrest Lamp, an offensive lineman from Western Kentucky. Lamp's new home in Los Angeles will be furnished by retailer Lamps Plus. “Lamps Plus brings a sense of comfort and security to homes with a large selection of lighting, home décor and furniture. Similarly, Forrest Lamp will be providing comfort and security for quarterbacks and running backs throughout his promising NFL career,” said Dennis Swanson, CEO of Lamps Plus. ”While his name is ... Read More
  • Retail trends, data usage, HGTV Dream Home, One Kings Lane, High Point Market

    1.) Top trends in retail These trends are measured by John Howard, senior vice president of Applied Predictive Technologies in a report by One key point that Howard makes is in today's marketplace, experiences are what make the brand. " Experimentation with in-store experiences is key to ensuring new programs don't just drive traffic, but also incremental sales and sustained brand preference," he writes. "While experiential programs can be costly, deploying these initiatives in select locations allows retailers to determine which initiatives work, and which stores in their network will generate the highest return from such investments ... Read More
  • Forbes rankings, Ikea relationship stations, tips for reps, home anchors retail, AVA

    1.) Forbes ranks home influencers Forbes has compiled a list of its top 10 influencers in the online home world with a scattering of familiar names to the industry. It notes that in its rankings, some are interior designers who have developed a knack for Pinterest while others are do-it-yourself mavens whose blogs reach millions. All of the selected influencers now have developed their online presence into viable businesses and recognizable personalities and brands. 2.) In-store relationship stations? One of the more common quips about Ikea is that some of its ready-to-assemble furniture has been the cause of more than ... Read More