Americans need some sorting out. It would be difficult to get any other message from recent announcements made by both Walmart WMT and Target TGT about new product line launches that their respective customers can use to organize their personal and professional lives.
Walmart introduced a line of home storage products as part of a collaboration with Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, co-founders and stars of the Emmy-nominated Netflix NFLX series “Get Organized with The Home Edit.” Target debuted its first owned line of storage and home organization products under the Brightroom line.
“Home organization is hot and there is a gap between the Home Depot HD and Lowe’s DIY offer and the more upscale Container Store TCS solutions,” wrote Jeff Weidauer, principal at SSR Retail, in an online discussion about the development on RetailWire last week. “Target and Walmart will grab share and create an even greater market for these products.”
“Editing and organizing are top-of-mind to confined consumers,” wrote Patricia Vekich Waldron, CEO of Vision First. “Both retailers are right on to offer solutions that help improve homes and lifestyles on a daily basis.”
“This is a very strong category, and both retailers have really great credibility in the space already,” wrote Gary Sankary, retail industry strategy at Esri. “This is simply building on their strengths. And, they’re doing it at the right time, January is a big month for exercise equipment and home storage. Home storage actually gets used I bet.”
MORE FOR YOU
Walmart’s Home Edit Collection includes four organizing starter packs known as “Edits,” which have specific uses in the bathroom, laundry and pantry. A multi-purpose pack can be used in various locations in people’s homes. Other items in the line include an ornament organizer, stackable bins and risers.
Anthony Soohoo, executive vice president, Home, Walmart U.S., said the retailer’s customers have seen their homes get more cluttered over the past year-and-a-half, creating an increased demand for products to bring some order to the chaos. Despite this, he said, “seventy percent of Walmart customers say they don’t know where to start when it comes to organizing their homes. And with the New Year being a popular time for people to refresh and de-clutter their spaces, this is the perfect time to bring our customers an exclusive collection from The Home Edit.”
Samara Tuchband, senior vice president of merchandising, home, Target, said, “Brightroom is all about helping guests easily organize their homes with hundreds of well-designed and functional pieces — all at an incredible value.”
The Brightroom line comprises 450 products at its launch, including baskets, drawer dividers, hampers, pegboards and shelving units. Prices for most goods range from $1 to $25. Products across the portfolio are made to work together to make it “easy” for Target’s customers “to build on storage solutions over time and stay organized.”
The new private label appears aligned with Target’s tradition of combining both form and function in its designs. The Brightroom line uses a variety of materials to achieve this including “breathable mesh for vegetable pantry storage, wood for warmth and durability, natural wovens to add texture and soften spaces, plastics that can be scrubbed clean and fabrics that can be folded and tucked away when not in use.”
That focus on function, one BrainTrust member pointed out, would be key for the success of both of these initiatives.
“I never got past the Home Edit recommending books be displayed in ‘rainbow order,’” wrote Georganne Bender, principal at Kizer & Bender. “Where’s the Stephen King? I don’t know, check under indigo. Let’s hope the recommendations from Walmart and Target help people do more than just make their stuff look pretty. Some of us actually want to use the things we organize again.”
Others pointed to different strategic points that would be necessary for both companies to succeed with the lines.
“Walmart and Target have sold home organization product for a long time now, but it’s never been presented a cohesive idea,” wrote Richard Hernandez, director of Main Street Markets. “I think they will do OK as long as they present differentiation and simplicity in their presentation.”
Despite many seeing promise, some on the RetailWire BrainTrust were not so convinced that this category lines up with the zeitgeist.
“The growth of this category is counterintuitive to the ‘experience over things’ message we’ve seen about Millennials and below in recent years,” wrote Katie Thomas, lead at Kearney Consumer Institute. “Seems that both of these product lines are at least partially targeted at Gen Y and Gen Z — despite the preaching that they want fewer things. This category has always amused me because it really isn’t about ‘de’-cluttering, but organizing my clutter slightly more aesthetically. Certainly, we’ve all accumulated stuff during the pandemic since we couldn’t engage in as many experiences, but I think this category will reach its saturation point soon.”