Retail small appliances and housewares continue to exceed 2019 pre-pandemic levels by about one-third, according to The NPD Group.
Sales of many home products began to ease this spring, NPD reported, as vaccinations rates increased the flow of stimulus money slowed. Between April 25 and July 31, 2021, sales revenue from small appliances grew by 2% compared to the same time last year, and housewares sales declined by 5% year over year, according to NPD.
Products that have sustained last year’s strong performance during this slowing period, however, illustrate the staying power of some new consumer behaviors during the pandemic, according to Joe Derochowski, home industry advisor at NPD.
“Even before the Delta variant was a factor, it became clear that our at-home lifestyle had undergone some structural changes, as a result of the pandemic,” Derochowski said. “The pandemic-based behaviors that were adopted out of necessity are now fully embraced by consumers, which provides some longer-term opportunities for the home industry.”
Derochowski cited rising sales of espresso makers and single-serve coffee appliances; toaster ovens and specialty cooking appliances; specialty food prep tools; barware; hand-held massagers and heating pads among comfort and wellness electrics; and handheld and pet-related specialty cleaning appliances; casual tableware for outdoor entertaining.
“Consumers may have been stuck at home through the peak of the pandemic, but that time elevated the importance placed on the comforts of home,” Derochowski said. “The future of home product sales still remains uncertain on many levels. However, these behavioral changes are showing staying power that the home industry shouldn’t ignore.”