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Millennial Musings

Alexa Boschini
Alexa Boschini joined the Furniture Today Group in May 2012 as assistant editor for Home Accents Today and Casual Living. A native of Greensboro, N.C., she graduated from Elon University in 2010 with a degree in journalism. She spent two years as an award-winning education and features reporter with The Sanford (N.C.) Herald, and has also covered arts and entertainment for Go Triad at the Greensboro News & Record. When she isn't delving into the latest news and trends in home décor, you can find her at the movies, with her nose stuck in a book or volunteering to help the Triad's homeless animals. You can reach her at
  • Connecting with customers via the e-tail experience

    Many of the educational seminars at the fall High Point Market focused on the future of the industry, from the evolving role of designers to the next generation of consumers. One such seminar on Oct. 20, moderated by Home Accents Today Editor in Chief Jenny Heinzen York, tackled the changing ways in which retailers are using the web to sell to and engage with today’s consumers – particularly Millennials. “Millennials and E-Retailing: Connecting to America’s Largest Shopping Audience” included insights from Chairish co-founder Anna Brockway, Guildery co-founder Shane Reilly and Joybird co-founder Josh Stellin about Millennial consumer habits, e-tail ... Read More
  • The road to affluence

    According to research from marketing consulting firm Unity Marketing, affluent consumers comprise only 20% of U.S. households, but make up more than 40% of the home furnishings industry’s sales. These affluent consumers – defined in the study as the top quintile of U.S. households, with an income starting at about $100,000 annually – are incredibly valuable to the home furnishings industry. But the luxury market is about to undergo a significant shift as Millennials reach higher income levels. While many Millennials haven’t achieved affluence yet, their values and shopping habits that differ from previous generations will likely ... Read More
  • As seen on TV (and the big screen), Vol. 3

    The fall movie and TV season is upon us, which means this self-proclaimed entertainment nerd has already made multiple trips to the multiplex and saved several hours’ worth of television on my DVR. Naturally, given the amount of time I spend scouring product at Home Accents Today, I find my eyes wandering to the sleek NASA office furniture in The Martian and Viola Davis’ fabulous chandelier on How to Get Away with Murder, wondering which designers are responsible for the set décor. It’s become something of a tradition for me to find out who some of those manufacturers ... Read More
  • Retail trends of tomorrow

    The retail landscape today looks vastly different than it did even a few years ago. An increasing number of brick-and-mortar retailers are expanding into e-commerce, and e-tailers are opening physical stores. Mobile is evolving, both as a shopping tool and a means of connection between businesses and consumers. But what changes do the next few years hold? Planet Retail, which offers strategic and consultancy services to retailers across the globe, explores these ideas and more in its research report, “The Future of Retail: 10 Trends of Tomorrow.” “Retailing has undergone seismic shifts over the past five years and we believe ... Read More
  • Seven steps for successful succession planning

    Handing over the keys to a company that you started, nurtured and grew is no easy feat, but it’s critical to your business’ future success. Who will oversee operations after your retirement? How can you ensure your business strategy is sustainable going forward? What does your own future look like beyond the business? Abby Donnelly, founder of The Leadership and Legacy Group in High Point, N.C., and Gary Pittsford, president and CEO of Castle Wealth Advisors in Indianapolis, shared with Home Accents Today some of the crucial steps that have helped their clients develop successful succession plans and ... Read More
  • Are retailers finding new customers on Facebook?

    Instagram claims about 300 million monthly active users, Twitter reports 302 million monthly active users in Q1 and Facebook boasts 1.44 billion monthly active users as of March 31. Given the sheer volume of people utilizing these platforms, it’s easy to see why more and more businesses strive to connect with current and potential customers there. But are retailers actually converting any of these social media users into new customers? The short answer — yes. According to a new report from the National Retail Federation, social media is becoming an increasingly important customer acquisition channel for retailers, and they ... Read More
  • Designing for smaller-scale living

    It’s something the industry has buzzed about anecdotally for a while now – the trend of more Americans, particularly young adults, flocking to the nation’s cities. Living in smaller dwellings at the heart of urban areas brings with it the need for smaller-scale furnishings and a fresh design approach. A 2015 study by Luke J. Juday, a research and policy analyst for the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center Demographics Research Group, quantifies this phenomenon by examining demographic shifts in U.S. metropolitan areas since 1990. At the heart of Juday’s study, “The Changing Shape of American ... Read More
  • Boomers, Millennials are more similar than you think

    One group is just entering adulthood, establishing careers and starting families. The other is seeing their children leave the nest, and some are retiring. One is fast becoming an influential consumer base; the other, according to data from Nielsen, still controls about 70% of disposable income. Millennials and Baby Boomers certainly have their differences – different life stages, different experiences, different characteristics – and they appeal to marketers for different reasons. But they have their similarities, too. And while much coverage of generational dynamics pits Boomers and Millennials against one another in an “us versus them” sort of way, the two groups ... Read More
  • Marketing and the Millennial mindset

    While Baby Boomers still have the greatest spending power, Millennials are rapidly growing into their own significant role in the marketplace as they advance in their careers, buy homes and start families. They are the most diverse generation the United States has ever seen, and they shop differently than the generations before them. Millennials are less likely to respond to traditional advertising methods, so businesses that want to attract this consumer base must rethink their marketing strategies. A recent webinar from Google and Raleigh, N.C.-based digital marketing firm Netsertive offered some helpful tips for how businesses can target ... Read More
  • Pew: Millennials are now largest generation in U.S. workforce

    “Lazy” and “jobless” are among the stereotypes sometimes associated with Millennials, and there is certainly plenty of information out there about Gen Y’s continuing struggle with unemployment and underemployment. But according to a new report from Pew Research Center, more than one in three workers in the United States today are actually Millennials. Generation Y, which Pew defines as adults between age 18 and 34, surpassed Generation X (age 35 to 50) in the first quarter of 2015 to become the largest percentage of the American labor force, with 53.5 million Millennials at work compared to 52.7 ... Read More
  • Five color trends for the year ahead

    For the past three years, I’ve undertaken the task of spearheading Home Accents Today’s annual color forecast, and it’s a project I thoroughly enjoy. I’m fascinated by color’s place in the design world, why product designers make the color selections they do and how trending colors reflect our society at a given time. For each forecast I consult several color experts about their projections for the year ahead, and my fellow editors and I consider each expert’s input as we narrow down the four key looks we think will be most prevalent. But these ... Read More
  • See what’s trending for 2016 with HAT’s latest color forecast

    We may only be a few months into 2015, but it’s not too early to start looking ahead to 2016. Home Accents Today’s 2016 color forecast, sponsored by Surya, is now available to download for free for a limited time. This year, we consulted color experts at Pantone, The Trend Curve, The Color Association, Sherwin-Williams and Cotton Inc. about their color predictions for the year ahead, and based on their feedback we narrowed down our list to the four key looks we think will be most prevalent. The overarching theme for our 2016 forecast is Chaos Theory, as ... Read More