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Inside Out

Vicky Jarrett

Vicky Jarrett is Editorial Director of Casual Living and, along with managing our editorial team and content in Casual Living, enjoys every opportunity to explore and dig deeper into the casual category.

  • Tools, techniques of retailers

    Casual manufacturers have told me. Retailers insist that it is so. And our own proprietary research affirms it time and again. But the idea of how much people love and are intrigued by living in their outdoor spaces really came home to me in a new way with a telephone call I received recently from a young university student working on a research project of her own. She peppered me with questions about the casual furniture industry, each of my answers leading her to more questions – boy, she’d be a great reporter someday! – and when there was finally a ... Read More
  • Calling all stores!

    Tie a string around your finger … leave a reminder in your Smart Phone … stick a Post-It to your computer screen. Whatever it takes, don't forget to enter this year's Casual Living Merchandising Awards. For 16 years, Casual Living has recognized casual retailers for excellence in merchandising – store fronts, displays and accessories – and it's that time of year to do it again. Last year, eight retailers – both single-store and multi-store – earned the honors, including Martin Viette Nursery in East Norwich, N.Y., and Village Green Home and Garden in Rockford, Ill., for Best Overall Merchandising. By submitting this ... Read More
  • Authenticity rings true

    The Millennials already have changed the consumer landscape and not just for themselves. We’ve all felt their influence on what we do and how we think. And one way they have had an impact on consumers as a whole is in the desire for authenticity. Authenticity isn’t a new concept from this up-and-coming generation, but they’ve taken the idea and elevated it to new level of expectation, one that consumers of all ages and demographics have come to share. With so many products available of every conceivable style, color, function and price, this idea of genuineness and ... Read More
  • Enticing enhancements

    February is that month of the year when winter has us tightly in its grip but we’re already looking forward to spring. When Punxutawney Phil makes his appearance, is there anyone who doesn’t hope that this time he won’t see his shadow and we’ll get that early spring? Groundhog Day isn’t the only heads up to the warmer season. February 10 is National Umbrella Day, and while I’m sure the founders of this celebration were thinking primarily of ye old bumpershoot, I say we should adopt the day as another way to focus attention ... Read More
  • Colorful remarks

    Anytime I get a chance to talk with designers – be they fabric designers, furniture designers, interior designers or landscape designers – I can’t help but try to draw out where they find their inspiration. Perhaps I want to dig into that idea simply because it’s a question with such a nebulous answer, for design ideas, they will tell you, come from anywhere and everywhere. So, at the recent Showtime event, one of my favorite questions to ask fabric folks was along those same lines: Where do color ideas come from? True to past experience, the answers indicated inspiration can ... Read More
  • Cross Over

    At virtually every trade event, someone usually makes comment to me on the crossover of styles from indoor to outdoor home furnishings and vice versa. So I found it interesting to note the parallels between trends designers are telling us to watch for both interior and exterior rooms, trends the experts promise are continuing full strength into 2016. Whether indoors or out, consumers are looking for ways to incorporate nature into their home furnishings. At the fall High Point Market, designer Nancy Fire said that consumers want to be “one with nature,” using botanicals, organic materials and a mix of ... Read More
  • Wish List

    At this time of the year, I am ever so grateful for the invention of wish lists. Each member of my family started keeping an electronic one of these going a couple years ago, and it has made gift buying so much easier ever since, especially for those hard-to-shop-for people. You know who you are. Once upon a time, these gift lists were the purview of department stores and specialty boutiques for bridal registries. In fact, Marshall Field introduced the first bridal registry in 1924, a good 70 years or so before Target introduced the first electronic version at dedicated ... Read More
  • Back to the Future

    Remember that great movie franchise with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd? Believe it or not, Back to the Future II – the one that transported Marty McFly and company forward to 2015 and back again – came out in theaters in 1989 (more than 25 years ago), and turned moviegoers’ attention from the past to a year that once seemed forever away and is now nearly complete. Movie makers can take our imaginations in myriad directions when they bounce us back into the past or thrust us far into the future. Of course, only time can tell if any of what ... Read More
  • Slice of the Pie

    Pie is uppermost on my mind at the moment, even as I make the shift from Thanksgiving celebrations to work-a-day routine where the pie in question is the world of outdoor home furnishings. Just like serving up Mom’s pumpkin pie, everyone wants a piece of the casual industry pie – the bigger the better. Casual Living’s most recent Universe Study highlights several distribution channels tucking in for their fair share, from the direct-to-consumer contingent at one end to the home improvement centers at the other. Staying one step ahead of the direct-to-consumer group are full-line furniture stores, which will ... Read More
  • Just press “1”

    We’ve all had to do it. You call a business office and get a recording with the instructions to listen carefully, for the options have changed. Then it’s “1” for this and “2” for that; press * here and # there. Before you wonder what kind of rant you’re about to get into here, let me just say that I recognize the valuable time saver a phone tree can be both for the business receiving the calls and for the person making one. What could be more efficient than listening to a couple options, pressing a number and being ... Read More
  • Our slice of the pie

    The October High Point event comes on the heels of two of the casual industry’s biggest trade shows – the July ICFA Preview Show and Casual Market Chicago in September – and with the recent push the Las Vegas Market has made into the casual arena, one could argue that casual retailers have had a chance now at three back-to-back markets before they even think about High Point. If you were to tally the numbers from these four events, they are impressive. With more than 2,450 exhibitors and 12 million square feet of show space (which includes all of High ... Read More
  • Hot off the press

    Being of the editorial persuasion, it always gladdens my heart when we get the advance copies of each month’s issue and I get to see the final result of weeks of labor and months of planning. As much as I like using the computer and Internet, there is nothing better than holding an ink-and-paper rendition of our features and departments. So yesterday, when the November issue appeared, I was quick to thumb through its pages, looking at it with fresh eyes and trying to see it as you will when you pick it up from your desk. I hope ... Read More