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6 Spring Trends Retailers Should Jump on in 2021

a woman stands in a store looking at a notebook near shelves with many items on thems

After a long, dark winter, the weather is finally starting to turn, and there’s no denying that spring is on the way to bless 2021 with sunshine, flowers, and long days. For retailers, the months leading up to a new season are the perfect time to restock for the coming months.

But if you’re stuck wondering what kinds of products are going to be flying off shelves this spring, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve looked around and analyzed both recurrent and emerging trends across many categories to bring you a bunch of ideas and tips. No matter what your store’s niche is in, you’ll find something to inspire your 2021 spring restock below.

1. Bold Colors

many brightly colored tshirts are hanging on a clothing rack

Spring’s finally arriving, and there’s a lot of optimism in the air – especially this year. With the feeling that good things are on their way, people want to see that hope reflected in retailers.

For retailers stocking clothing and accessories, you’ll want to keep an eye on colors like pale yellow, pink, green, and tangerine. Whether they’re bright or more of a pastel tone, these colors have been touted as the shades of the season and are sure to be popular. Particularly of note are items with pastel tie dye patterns, which has exploded in popularity recently; after all, fashion is cyclical.

It’s also worth remembering that Ultimate Gray and Illuminating – a bright yellow shade – were both named color of the year by Pantone, so if you’re looking for home decor products that will inspire customers and fly off the shelves, don’t shy away from these bright tones.

2. Cottagecore

Given the last year, it’s almost no surprise that a trend called Cottagecore has broken through into the mainstream. Cottagecore is essentially an aesthetic that recalls a simple, traditional way of living, perfect for these hectic times. Think of anything that evokes the feeling of living in the countryside – flower patterns, cozy decor, floaty dresses, picnics, and rustic kitchens – and you’ll have captured the feel of cottagecore.

As a retailer, incorporating products into your spring stock that either match the cottagecore aesthetic or enable a more cottagecore-esque lifestyle will be a smart move. This is particularly easy for retailers carrying anything in the apparel, jewelry, homewares, art, stationery, and books categories. Those in the gardening and outdoor niche can also take full advantage of this trend, which is also helped by a growing interest in gardening, especially during lockdown.

3. Spring Cleaning

The spring clean idea is far from new, but in 2021 it feels more necessary than ever – especially considering last year we were all a little too distracted to consider a spring clean. In 2021, consumers will be looking to physically clean and organize their homes and spiritually cleanse themselves as we hopefully move onto a more positive outlook.

With that in mind, retailers can do many things to position themselves to take advantage of spring cleaning in all its forms.

If you carry cleaning products for the home or garden, these are a no-brainer for promotion and taking center stage in your store. Anything that can tidy up a mess and makeover a room will be an easy sell, from sprays and wipes to brooms and shovels and all that’s in between.

People will be looking for ways to organize the chaos that comes with a household spending so much of their time inside the home. So now is the time for shelving, containers, and any other organizational materials to shine.

Retailers – especially those selling self-care products, apparel, or home decor – should consider stocking products such as candles, crystals, sage sticks, artwork, and fragrances for spiritual cleansing. These items have picked up popularity over the last year and offer something practical customers can do to make themselves feel better as we emerge from winter.

4. Outdoor Activities

A man, shot from behind, walks on a track through green bush wearing a backpack and hat

The longer days and warmer weather are bound to inspire people to get outdoors in the coming months – in fact, in 2020, interest in searching for local hikes was higher than ever. And for many, exercising and enjoying the outdoors may be a new experience, brought on due to indoor activities being primarily restricted.

This means spring 2021 is the perfect opportunity for retailers to showcase products that will enable a fun, outdoor experience to a broad audience. Although selling products for outdoor activities may seem restricted to a small number of retailers, there are a lot of ways people can enjoy being outside, and getting creative could allow your store to get in on this trend.

Naturally, retailers selling sports and camping equipment fit into this niche perfectly. But for those not in that niche, consider things like products for picnics – blankets, flasks, drink bottles – outdoor furniture, games, decorations, and, as we already mentioned, gardening tools and utensils.

Food retailers should also seize the opportunity for drinks and snacks that people can take on day trips. DIY food kits have proved popular over the last year, especially if they can be prepared picnic-style or on a barbeque or camp stove, so this is even a trend restaurants get in on.

5. Running, Yoga, and Meditation

A woman stretches on a green yoga mat in a living room in front of couches and chairs

With gyms closed and people’s mental health suffering worldwide, there’s been a lot of conversation about how people can keep themselves physically and mentally well during long lockdowns. Of the many ways people are coping with the situation, running, yoga, and meditation have emerged as three of the most popular and widely adopted activities.

Now, as the weather improves and lockdowns stretch on, people will be investing in these hobbies for the coming warmer months.
Although they may require very few things to get started, spending in the physical activity economy will rise to $1.1 trillion by 2023, telling us that people are more than happy to buy products to support hobbies and activities. So, with that said, products like specialized meditation cushions, yoga mats, or running clothes could all be worth stocking and displaying prominently in your store this spring.

6. Indoor Plants

many large, green plants sit on the ground in pots in front of a window. off the right are more plants on shelves

Yes, we already covered gardening a couple of times in this article. Still, the boom in plant purchases over the last year is such that plants – specifically indoor plants – deserve a shout-out.

Put simply, if you’re not leaning into the popularity of indoor or window gardening, you really should be.

For retailers, plants and plant accessories can fit into a variety of stores, no matter the niche. Pet store? Pet-friendly plants are always at the front of plant-loving pet owners’ minds. Operating in the food or drink niche? Edible plants and herbs are perfect for you. Meanwhile, apparel retailers could take advantage of small plants such as succulents and cacti, being the ideal impulse purchases. Add in plant accessories such as pots, planters, soil, climbing frames, and hangers, and you’re positively spoiled for choice for products to stock.

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