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CHRISTMAS TRENDS 2006

 

Color

The greens : Lime, acid, sage, spruce and ivy.

The reds : Bright and bold, or wine toned. Bold reds pair with lime and acid green in contemporary decor.

Bronze and amber : Elegant when combined with rich metallic tones.

Purples

White : Vintage ivory important across all categories except contemporary, where white rules as the neutral of choice.

Black : Black and white for Christmas is looking fresh and modern - black also combines with brights. Pair with silver, beads, and crystals.

Metallics : This season metallics range from light and elegant, to bright, fun and funky, to deep and luxurious. Look for pale elegance in golds, bronze and sage. Silver teams with ivories and whites. Brights pop in lime green, purple, pumpkin, and red.

The range of blues, browns, greens, reds, pinks, and golds seen in fashion are also strong in home decor accessories. The orange of last year has evolved into a burnt orange or bronze, paired with with red and fuschia. The black and white, or black and off- white trend made the leap from runway to holiday home decor as well. During the 2005 holiday season in Europe, one of the most dramatic color stories to emerge was black, look for the trend to continue this season.


Christmasworld Trends 2006/07

Three trend statements illustrate what next season's top trends will look like in design, color and material and what they have to offer in terms of product presentation and marketing opportunities.

The looks give a seamless transition between a Christmas theme and other seasons. The trends demonstrate that products are no longer just seasonal but that there is potential for creative decoration throughout the year. Whether it's candles, vases or decorative bowls, the trend is moving from a seasonal to year-round.

Blue Magic

Blue is the link between classic Christmas and springtime festivals, such as christening, confirmation and marriage. The mood is dominated by tradition and classicism interpreted with cool materials, such as glitter, ice crystals, silver, chrome, mirror glass and steel.

Green Spirit

The trend color green in all its different nuances links summer and modern Christmas. White fir trees and artificial snow are bold eye catchers at Christmas. Unembellished, modern shapes characterise decorations for both the cold and hot seasons, as do materials, such as glass and plastic, reed, rattan, silk and voluminous wool.

Golden Glow

It is the link between a golden autumn and a magical Christmas. And the choice of materials underscores this: leather, velvet, crocodile and tortoise are combined with brass, gold lame and brocade.


The Reason for the Season

Religious-themed, spiritual merchandise. Sentiments layered behind central motifs, featured as borders and design elements.


Patterns, Shapes, and Textures

Texture and shape are strong elements in holiday design. Glitter, sparkle, shine, pearls, feathers, fringe. Look for stars, dots, geometrics, and swirls.

Animal prints, stripes, ethnic designs and florals show up in textiles, decor, and gift wrap.

Newest looks borrowing from the fashion world, look for influence from the lace, eyelet, and crochet trends of Spring/Summer 2006.


Mystical Magic

The "mystical magic" theme which emerged for holiday 2005 continues for 2006. Fairies, elves, jesters and whimsical creatures are featured across every gift category.


Pets

Pampered pets will be feeling the love this holiday season. Products available in every price range, from affordable fun to high-end luxury.


Luxury

Luxury items, or the perceived value of luxury, will spur sales. Even ordinary items can be perceived as "luxurious." The "affordable luxury" trend continues.


Folk Art / Primitive / Country

Folk art designs - Hot.


Nautical

Shells, sand, beach balls, lighthouses, flip-flops, sea creatures, Hawaiian shirts, swim-suits, sunglasses, palm trees, umbrellas, beach buckets and shovels, sand castles, coral, adirondack chairs, fish nets, buoys, oars, boats, and surfboards.

The nautical trend has sailed into all categories of gift and home decor.

Coastal Christmas colors are sunbleached shades of green, blue, and sand. Accents include faded purple, pink, yellows, oranges, soft brown, and glitter.


Memory

From scrapbooking to memory quilts, memory candles and pillows, frames, plates, ornaments, jewelry and holiday cards - look for the "memory" theme to be a strong holiday component.


Personalized

Personalization and customization continue to be hot. (see also Personalized / Christmas )


Signs

From wearables to tabletop, the message is clear - and the signs are everywhere.

Cute sayings, touching sentiments, funny comments. Handmade, or made to look that way. Embroidered on pillows and towels, painted on wood, glass, and planters, etched, routed, needlepointed, you name it, it's out there.


Vintage

The aged look of vintage postcards influenced Halloween 2005, and now continues into Holiday 2006. Look for turn-of-the-century inspiration in Santa Claus, snowmen, angels and more.


Wit & Whimsy

Fun and funky, girly, whimsical, retro, Red Hat Society, ... Look for innovative style and form, saturated coloration, embellishment. Noted style elements : skinny legs, over-sized shoes, glitter, and feathers.


Characters

Penguins, polar bears and swans seen as important holiday characters.


Christmas Licensing

4/25/06 - Batman, Barbie, Superman and Shrek are not traditional Christmas characters, but holiday suppliers say these pop culture icons are among a long list of licenses that in recent years have become an important part of the Christmas business.

Christmas ornaments and collectibles geared toward children. Parents share with their children the characters from their own childhoods.

Kurt S. Adler's Inc.'s 2006 collection will include Superman glass ornaments. Seasonal Specialties has a license to produce a Harry Potter blown glass ornament. Department 56 continues its Disney-themed villages and, in 2006, will introduce a "Christmas In the Hundred-Acre Wood" village based on Disney's Pooh and Friends.


Early Indications Point To Strong Gift Buying in 2006

Nearly 20 Percent of Gifters Have Already Started Christmas 2006 Shopping

Good news for retailers about prospects for gifting through 2006, some 17 percent of gifters have already started their Christmas 2006 gift shopping and have spent on average $346 on those purchases.

"The gifting market is a unique opportunity for retailers to achieve exponential marketing. Through gifting, marketers touch two target markets directly, i.e. the person who buys the gift and the person who receives it,"

"For retailers and marketers, gifting has all the promotional power of sampling and word-of-mouth, but gifting intensifies it through the unique emotional connection between the giver and the recipient. A positive gifting experience can lead the happy gift recipient back to the store where their gift came from or to buy up more of the same thing that made them so happy in order to satisfy their own gift-giving needs. Because it is 'two times two,' gifting is exponential marketing,"

--Pam Danziger is a nationally recognized expert specializing in consumer insights for luxury marketers.


Gift Buyers Spent Nearly $2,000 Last Year

The average American spent $1,934 on gifts last year, with less than half that amount spent in the fourth quarter, according to a recent study.

Consumers spent an average of $928 from October to December, but they spent $1,006 on gifts the rest of the year.

Clothing and fashion accessories represent the fourth most-popular gift throughout the year, but become the second most-important category during the last three months of the year.

Traditional gift items such as candles, flowers and stationery represent the most popular gifts throughout the year, but fall to fourth place during the winter holidays, when entertainment and recreation gifts occupy the top spot. That category - which includes books, toys and DVDs- represents the second - most popular category of gifts throughout the year.

Cash and gift cards ranked as the third most- popular gift category during both the holiday season and throughout the year.


Retailers Project Higher Sales but Lackluster Margins for 2006 Holiday Season

RETAIL SYSTEMS 2006 CONFERENCE & EXPO, CHICAGO: Oracle today announced the results of a national study of retailer projections for the 2006 holiday season, revealing that, despite rising energy prices, the retail sector predicts strong sales growth over last year.

The majority of the study's respondents project solid sales growth (between 5 percent and 9 percent) or exceptional growth (more than 10 percent) over last year's holiday season. At the same time, however, nearly 90 percent of retailers surveyed predict flat or declining margins over last year, largely due to rising energy costs.

These findings indicate that retailers plan to continue absorbing increased transportation costs instead of passing them along to consumers, ultimately impacting the bottom line. The study also finds that retail organizations are investing in technology solutions to improve operational efficiency and enhance the customer experience to ensure a successful holiday season and ongoing profitability. Rising energy costs, it appears, are forcing retailers to move strategies for success closer to the customer.

Strong Sales, Weak Margins

Fifty-one percent of retailers surveyed project solid comparable -store sales growth (between 5 percent and 9 percent) for the 2006 holiday season over last year, and 5 percent anticipate an exceptional year (more than 10 percent growth). Not all retailers are bullish, however, with 39 percent predicting flat sales, and 5 percent projecting declining sales.

Retailers targeting a robust season cite continued strength of the economy and the introduction of new merchandising strategies as key factors; those more pessimistic point the finger at rising gas prices as a consumer spending inhibitor. Despite optimism about sales, retailers project a margin squeeze for the 2006 holiday season, driven by higher transportation costs and pressure for deep and early markdowns.

Sixty-one percent of respondents predict flat margins, and 27 percent project lower margins this holiday season.

-- 45 percent of retailers indicate the ability to project product demand will be among their greatest challenges this holiday season.

-- 38 percent cite both optimizing the timing and level of markdowns and staffing issues as significant challenges

--Oracle Corporation


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