Consumers have two main choices when it comes to decorating their walls: either they display art or they use other types of wall décor, including sconces, mirrors, and tapestries. Purchase incidence of wall décor shot up in 2003, from one-fourth of American households purchasing wall décor in 2001 to 38 percent in 2003. As a new anti-clutter approach to home decorating is sweeping the country, consumers are turning their decorating attention away from the tabletops, mantles, and bookshelves toward the walls. With purchase incidence of both art and wall décor rising in 2003, the home's walls can be adorned without appearing too cluttered.
The retail sales of wall décor, including sconces, mirrors, and mirror and picture frames, reached $6.2 billion, up 13.1 percent over sales of $5.5 billion in 2000 (see Figure 8.21). This vibrant category is enjoying growth as national specialty home furnishings chains, such as Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Williams-Sonoma, Pier 1, Bombay Company, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Linens 'n Things bring a more upscale design sensibility to the category.
% CHG '00-'02
Personal Consumption in millions
Source: Unity Marketing
Wherever framed pictures are sold you'll likely find wall décor, while many places that don't sell pictures may well carry decorative items for the wall, such as sconces, mirrors, shelves, and other accents. Cornerstone Brand's Ballard Design catalog offers an eclectic mix of furniture along with decorative accessories. Wall décor gets major play in their book as an important element of the finely decorated home.
Blank walls beg to be decorated. This is the main reason why consumers purchase wall décor. In a recent Unity Marketing nationwide survey among a representative sample of women shoppers, about half of the consumers said their homes had fully decorated walls, leaving another half of the households in the country a likely target market for wall decorations.
The ready availability of more fashion-forward designs has opened new possibilities for wall decoration. Mirrors are always popular, but new designs that feature mirrors with shelves offer decorating and display possibilities for vases, statues, and figurines. Wall sconces are a popular decorative item to use with candles, offering lighting possibilities beyond the tabletop.
For those considering an entrance or expansion into what is a booming category of home decorating, there is an important caveat to keep in mind. Once consumers hang things up on their walls, those things tend to stay put and become like the architectural elements of windows and doors. Whereas consumers give themselves permission to move, trade in and out, and otherwise rearrange objects displayed on tables and other flat surfaces, they don't feel so empowered when it comes to the walls. Unless there is an open space on the wall that needs to be filled, the consumer is very unlikely to take something else down and to put something new up.
Wall décor is a female-skewing category, with only 34 percent of men, as opposed to 41 percent of women, reporting a household purchase. The market for wall décor is more youthful, with consumers under 45 years of age reporting the highest purchase incidence. Purchase incidence declines with advancing age, suggesting that this decorative category has its strongest appeal to the young who are setting up new homes. The highest-income households buy more wall décor as do larger households and those with children.
Women are more likely to purchase in this category.
Higher income households, those of $50,000 and above, buy more.
Households aged 18 to 44 buy more.
Larger households and those with children buy more.