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May 16, 2023

GHTA Member Survey: Retailers Craving ‘Newness,’ Promotions

The Gift and Home Trade Association (GHTA) recently surveyed its membership about Q1 2023 business developments, retailer buying plans and the outlook for the back half of the year.

While GHTA does not share data in its entirety outside of its membership, the group provided a summary of the recent member survey to help inform the broader gift and home products industry about key marketplace dynamics, said Laurie Burns, GHTA Executive Director.

Key Q1 survey takeaways, according to GHTA:

  • Looking at sales since 2019, more than two-thirds of businesses surveyed showed growth.
  • Business is challenging this year, especially when comparing it to 2022 orders at the end of Q1, which was inflated by several factors.
  • The business has enough inventory for retailers, who are ordering more normally.
  • Retailers are buying for the current season, and if suppliers and reps are prepared, sales will be available in the second half of the year.

When asked how have retailers’ purchasing patterns changed, the top answers by GHTA members surveys were:

  • Buying has normalized after the pandemic years.
  • Retailers are cautious, calculating their buys as many have strong inventories.
  • Retailers are seeking “newness” and promotions.
  • Everyone is very busy, and for the most productive meetings, reps especially need to be well-prepared.
  • Home has slowed while other categories such as women’s accessories and men’s personal care are increasing.

The factors that will have the greatest effect on our industry in the coming 24 months, according to the GHTA Q1 survey are: challenges ranging from supply chain, sourcing stability, the economy including inflation and interest rates, sustaining prices and having product at a price point were the top answers. Positives include people shopping for gifts both for themselves and for occasions, and election cycles, such as the one building for 2024, are usually good for the gift and home industry.

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