Industry Views January 2018

Crystal Balling With Jill Sands

Here’s a glimpse into trends that will affect buying behaviors in the year ahead from Jill Sands, publisher, “The Trend Forecaster” (802-384-3884,

• What mindsets will impact retail sales in coming years?
“With a strong desire for personal stability, too many feel 2017 had been a lost year. Politics is churning the country and individuals to a level of disarray the majority of us have never experienced. I believe people are shopping as an escape from the constant flow of adverse news.
“Technology is still spiraling ahead at a faster rate than that at which the vast majority can keep pace; though recently, I’ve read that Moore’s law, established in 1965, is showing signs of slowing…maybe information will only double every two-and-a-half years vs. every two as he believed.
“In the next few years, we will see a great number of tech-
tailored products from a collaboration of tech and home textile companies. Google’s Project Jacquard has created a digital platform that’s woven into fibers. Using touch gestures, you’ll be able to access information, talk to Siri, play your favorite song, set your alarm, etc., just by moving your wrist or touching your pillow.”

• What design trends will affect home fashions this year?
“Consumers no longer want to be just consumers. They want to be creators! And as creators they want the license to design their Perfectly-Imperfect home. After all, there’s no such thing as ‘perfect’…it doesn’t exist. We all have our flaws and we work with them…and that’s what makes each of us special individuals and our homes individual. Personal Fashion is driving Personal Homes.
“And we all need balance in our lives. So to balance this Perfectly-Imperfect look inspired by our individuality is a classic look with subtle elements inspired by ancient Greek and Roman design. There have been many neoclassic revivals of architecture and designs, each true to Greek and Roman order, symmetry and simplicity. Designs with which we are all familiar and that have their roots in ancient Greece and Rome are Greek key, acanthus, waves, palmette, ivy scroll, Solomon’s knot and lotus band.
“We savor elements of the past and take the best of them, altering scale and color. Living with a sense of history is warming and grounding, especially today with eveything happening so quickly.”

• Is a shift in retail coming or are we in for more of the same?
“It’s been ten years since the beginning of the 2007 recession. In that time, the middle class has shrunk, and both the upper and lower have grown, leading toward a two-class society. Millennials see this and don’t trust tax cuts to improve the economy. They are more worried than hopeful about the direction of the country, fearing they have limited economic opportunities and that society has become more unequal.
“Gen Y must be watched and listened to, for they will be the trendsetters. But as more Millennials move into retail positions they are aware of the shift that technology has created and they are working with it.
“They are drawn to brands that tell a lifestyle focused story; something to which they can relate. And a hands-on experience, which one can only get in a store. When retailers say customers are too busy online to come into their stores, Millennials say, ‘Well do something about it’. Relate to them! But you need a Millennial to relate to a Millennial.”