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Casual Market Creates Psychological Influences

September 20, 2008

The first day of market is always full of anticipation, excitement and activity. The hallways are buzzing with people, the showrooms are ready, looking fresh and new, filled with hopeful manufacturers and reps. The weather in Chicago matches the mood of the market with blue skies and sunshine replacing the gray clouds and rainfall.

Traffic in the showrooms and on the temporary floors is light, it felt more like pre-market than the usual September show. The economic environment has created an atmosphere of cautious optimism. However, there were a few very positive and upbeat stories in which some areas of the country had a very healthy season and some manufacturers had record growth.

Most dealers set appointments and were actively shopping for new product for the 2009 season. The predominant feeling among the buyers was the need to stay conservative in choices for the new season. No one wants to take a risk and bring in styles and colors that have not been proven best sellers. As you walked the halls and perused the showrooms, the one observation that stood out was the cautious color palettes and conservative designs.

In the past, I recall a particular showroom on the 17th floor proudly displaying colorful cushions and throw pillows, this year the showroom was a sea of beige and brown. Three years ago, another showroom won an award for one of the best-merchandised showrooms with splashes of color and accessories, yet this year I did not see any application of color. Perhaps the mood is being represented in the presentation of color.

Over the past year, I have written blog articles explaining how color can influence the mood of our customers, so I wonder why in this time of economic woe we don’t want to encourage a sense of optimism by utilizing the powerful communication tool that can be used to signal action, influence mood, and cause physiological reactions. Who wouldn’t want to create a sense of sunshine and communicate happiness, a happy color is energizing and uplifting, isn’t that what we need in this dreary economic atmosphere?

These are my outside views… write a comment and tell me what your perception of the color of this market was? Marcia Blake