Outdoor Focus

Image of Jennifer Bringle

Jennifer Bringle, features editor at Casual Living, is our guru of product introductions and retail and style trends. While helping Casual Living to stay tuned in to the various markets and latest retail issues, Jennifer keeps her focus on what’s new, what’s hot and what’s not.

  • The Return of Luxury

    I recently read a piece in The New York Times touting the resurgence of the luxury market. The article referenced a new report from the consulting firm Bain & Co. that forecasts a 5% growth this year in the global luxury market fueled by Millennials and Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2010). That growth accounts for $1.4 trillion dollars in spending on luxury goods and experiences. The Millennials provided 30% of all spending, and together with Gen Z, they generated 85% of luxury market growth in the last 12 months, according to the Bain study. There’s no question ... Read More
  • Is Amazon the New Sears?

    I was surfing LinkedIn the other day and stumbled upon a fascinating article from The Atlantic shared by Summer Classics CEO Bew White (thanks for the tip, Bew!). The piece drew a thought-provoking comparison between Amazon and Sears. Not the Sears of today, mind you, but Sears of a century ago. Back then, the retailer introduced a new concept to turn-of-the-century consumers: mail-order catalogs. Through the Sears catalog, Americans could order just about anything, from clothing to firearms to baby carriages and even kit homes (yes, you read that right)—and have them delivered right to their door. Sound familiar ... Read More
  • How Trends Affect the Bottom Line

    In the home furnishings business, we talk a lot about trends. We’re constantly looking for the hot new thing, or monitoring patterns that will affect business. At Casual Living, we have the benefit of an in-house research department with its finger on the trend pulse to keep us in the know on what’s next. They talk to consumers, retailers, designers and manufacturers, offering a big-picture look at the casual industry and where it’s headed in the coming years. I’m excited to share some of that insight during Casual Market Chicago. I will present a seminar—Trends ... Read More
  • In the Numbers

    Whenever I talk to folks in the casual industry at markets and events, invariably I’ll hear how much they love the research in Casual Living. It’s no surprise—our research team does an incredible job crunching the numbers and gleaning the most important insights from the data. That’s why I’m so excited to present some of our latest research at the Las Vegas Market this summer. On Sunday, July 30, at 11 a.m., in the South Sea Outdoor Living showroom, I’ll talk trends—recapping the best of the year so far, and offering predictions ... Read More
  • How to Avoid a Social Media Blunder

    This week, a terror attack rocked Manchester, England, and the collective conscious of the world. As usual when big news breaks, Twitter was abuzz with reports from the scene, speculation about the culprits and no shortage of commentary. While most of that commentary was serious and on-topic, one Twitter user—writer David Leavitt—took the opportunity to make a snarky joke about singer Ariana Grande, whose concert was the scene of the attack. The response from Twitter was swift and merciless. Leavitt was inundated with thousands of replies and re-tweets, ranging from shock to raging vitriol. Leavitt added a couple ... Read More
  • What is the Future of Retail?

    Recently, I read an article in The New York Times on the future of retail and how technology is shaping the evolution of how we shop. What struck me most was a point made by José Neves, the founder of Farfetch, a global online marketplace for independent luxury boutiques. In the article, Neves says: “Customers don’t wake up and think, I will be online this morning or offline later; we are rarely purely one or the other anymore and tend to jump constantly between two worlds without noticing.” See Related Post: Will Amazon Go Change Retail?    Wow—so true ... Read More
  • Rolling Out the Red Carpet

    I recently attended a media event at a local outlet mall that brought together a select number of editors, reporters and bloggers for a private shopping experience. The center literally rolled out the red carpet for us, treating my fellow shoppers and me to champagne and hors d’oeuvres, free gifts, discounts and other goodies. By the end of the night, my arms were laden with overflowing bags, and I was already planning my next visit. The next day, I shared a photo of my loot on social media, and as I perused the other mentions using the event’s ... Read More
  • Selling to Digital Natives

    In today’s world, there are two types of people: digital natives and digital immigrants. This status has zero to do with where one lives physically, but rather, how they live online. A digital native is a person born after the integration of computer technology into our society (young Millennials, we’re looking at you). They’re 30 and younger, and they either don’t or barely remember a time when computers weren’t an integral part of life. Digital immigrants are the rest of us—the folks who’ve learned to adopt and adapt to these technologies as they ... Read More
  • Will Amazon Go Change Retail?

    While everyone has seen Amazon as a harbinger of an online-only retail world, the company has recently moved in the opposite direction, opening brick-and-mortar bookstores and now its Amazon Go store in Seattle. The 1,800-square-foot shop—which opened this month—sells grocery staples, prepared foods and meal kits. Sounds conventional enough, right? Not so fast. This is Amazon, after all, so of course there has to be a high-tech twist—in this case, an app that requires shoppers to scan their smartphones as they enter the store. While they shop, the company’s “just walk out” technology tracks what ... Read More
  • How Will Retail Change in 2017?

    This past year has been an eventful one for the retail industry. From the chaotic election cycle to weather woes, retailers have gotten their fair share of curveballs. And new technologies—everything from mobile shopping apps to chip card readers—have presented both challenges and opportunities. As we move into 2017, a host of changes await on the horizon. In fact, the National Retail Federation recently compiled a list of predictions for how the industry will evolve over the coming year. So what did they forecast for 2017? Here are three of their biggest predictions: Channel Blending Next year promises ... Read More
  • Why m-commerce is the new e-commerce

    If you think e-commerce is the next big thing, I have bad news for you: You’re already behind. The biggest new trend in retail is small, and likely in your pocket or purse—m-commerce, or shopping via mobile phone. According to a report from Internet Retailer, 30% of e-commerce in the U.S. is conducted via mobile devices, and mobile commerce generates around $100 billion in revenue per year. That’s a sizeable chunk of the retail market. So, how do you get a piece of that pie? The first step is making certain your e-commerce site is optimized ... Read More
  • Why I Bought Furniture Online

    I have a confession to make: I’m a big online shopper. Don’t get me wrong, I’m also a pretty big brick-and-mortar shopper, too. (Actually, I’m a big shopper in general - I may have a bit of a problem!) But it’s hard for me to resist the allure of the digital marketplace. Much of my web shopping is for items such as electronics, clothing, diapers, etc., but I’ve also made a few furniture purchases online. While I’m usually a “need to see/touch” kind of furniture shopper, there have been instances when I’ve ... Read More