Pandemic product development strategies that have remained


Zoom meetings have grown in popularity during the pandemic and aren’t going away any time soon.

Accents for the home today contacted several households decor manufacturers and asked which pandemic product development strategies have remained permanent.

“Due to the pandemic, we have resorted to video conferencing and constant communication with our suppliers. We learned that we could be just as effective in some ways. Of course, nothing beats seeing the product in person. David Lee, Business Development Manager, Crestview Collection

“Less overseas travel for product development and more product reviews on Zoom.” Cecil Adams, Creative Director, Currey & Company

“The biggest change has been the increase in virtual meetings. It’s now an integral part of the sales process, the product development process, and communication throughout our entire organization. It’s the new normal.” Bryan Williams, Executive Vice President, Crestview Collection

“We’re looking for more cost-effective ways to bring products to our consumers, so we’re analyzing every detail more than ever to see how we can keep the cost in line to make them more affordable. For example, I like to specify metallic metals on a lot of my home accessories, but that adds to the overall cost. So, our team is designing more metal-free products to make them more affordable. We still sprinkle them in our lines, but they are no longer as present in our seasonal collections as before. Shayla Copas, interior designer

Pacific Coast Lighting has always been committed to maintaining large inventory and prompt shipping, which has served our customers and us well during the pandemic, and that commitment continues. Adding to this policy was to ensure that we only introduced new products that we had in stock and ready to ship. We have received praise from our customers for this and intend to continue to stock new products as they are introduced to the market. For this to happen, the product development process needs to start earlier to address any supply chain issues as well as the annual Chinese New Year shutdowns. Rick Spicer, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Pacific Coast Lighting

“We continued to work remotely as going to China to the factories is not possible at the moment. Zooming, photography and a lot of patience to fine-tune the samples have become the norm. The process takes longer and we We have to plan further so that we can have the new introductions in the pipeline on an ongoing basis. I think everyone from here to factories overseas has continued to be as efficient and creative as possible. Mark Abrams , owner and designer, Port 68

One of the best business strategies that will be permanent for my interior design strategy is Zoom, it allows us to keep projects moving forward even if we can’t meet clients face to face all the time. We just had a very successful zoom meeting and the client was in France she made all sorts of decisions and we can keep everything on track I don’t feel like I need to get up and to go to a million site visits if there are things that can be decided via zoom. One of the unfortunate business challenges left by the pandemic is supply chain and shipping delays, I’m not sure this will improve in the next six months, but a girl can dream! Libby Langdon, interior designer

“To continue to anticipate future distinctive individual trends in accessory, lighting and enclosure introductions. To create unique depths of coloration, exciting new textures and unusual shapes.” Kip Holt, Sales Director, Villa & Home

“Designers and owners have seen huge challenges with painting during the pandemic; it wasn’t readily available and people didn’t have access to the tools they needed to complete painting projects. Wallcoverings were already on an upward trajectory in the designer’s portfolio, but the pandemic has also accelerated that adoption for homeowners, as wallcoverings ship easily (York USA manufacturers) and require minimal tools installation. Wallpaper products, from high-end specialist options to traditional high-performance wallpapers and even peel-and-stick wallpapers, are simply flying off the shelves. We don’t see that changing… at York we like to joke that wallpaper is like a tattoo – once you have one you want more and more! It lends an extra layer of attention and love to a piece that simply cannot be matched. DeAnna Hain, Executive Director of Marketing, York Wallcoverings

“We continue to focus on expanding current proven product categories. What started as necessary downsizing decisions during the pandemic helped us realize the benefits of adding more features, options and value to elevate our existing product assortment rather than continually adding new products. additional for the sake of expansion. For example, in response to consumer interest in our Style in Motion category, we focused our energy on adding new styles that only increased the value of the category, with features and benefits that differentiate American Leather from any other supplier. David Workman, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Merchandising, American Leather

“Stocks, stocks, stocks. Most companies no longer have the products we want when we want them. Hudson Valley Lighting Group only releases products that you can receive in a very short time. Ben Marshall, Creative Director, Hudson Valley Lighting group

“HRI has been developing for more than 50 years a new look, high-end hand-knotted carpet collections programmed into fashion. Although our proven product development process has not changed during the pandemic…. how we communicate and serve our customers. It is the success of our reinvented customer service and logistics that we have established over the past three years that we will continue in the future. Greg Jordt, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Harounian Rugs International

“For about two years, vacations weren’t an option. People looked to their homes to fill the retirement-like hole left in their lives. The goal became to make your home as wonderful as ever. any resort or getaway Now, with travel back on the table, people remain passionate about creating home spaces that match their respite sensibilities — interiors that not only photograph well, but are pleasant to the touch, soft underfoot and not afraid to be lived in. Lance Trachier, Creative Director of Jaipur Living

“I continue to rely on PowerPoint and WeChat for sample exams from China. We are so lucky to have long and great working relationships with our factories that I can accomplish so much through the apps and emails without traveling to China.Laurie Acree, Director of Design and Visual Merchandising, Wildwood

“We are still seeing a lot of comfort and livability infused into product development. Consumers are looking for furniture they can live with. Items with soft yet durable fabrics and multifunctional silhouettes are in high demand. Meganne Wecker, President and Creative Director, Skyline

“We have strived to develop great designs readily available and in stock before, during and after the pandemic. So we’ve really tried to perfect that over the years. We have gone to great lengths to provide inspirational images, product specifications and real-time product availability on our website to make the customer journey as smooth as possible. Carla Regina, CCO, Regina Andrew Detroit

“One of the biggest shifts in product development we’ve seen caused by the pandemic that isn’t going away is the need for people to feel comfortable in their spaces. The pandemic has forced us to stay at home for long periods of time and has increased the possibility of working from home.With this, people are looking to make their space more functional and stylish.Adding planters to bring rooms like home offices to life, have trays and boxes to help organize spaces, and lighter, softer colors for a sense of peace is a trend that won’t go away anytime soon and means our product development strategies need to embrace them.” Sagebrook House Crew

“Items from India still take significantly longer to be developed, produced and then received. Lead times have been extended by at least five months. Cameron Capel, President of Sales and Marketing, Capel Rugs

“The need for speed! We remain focused on the simplicity of our product line and the ability to use the same frame to create multiple looks. This helps us stock material and maintain our incredible delivery times. Coley Hull, Founder, Coley Home

“More efficient ordering practices to help control product costs and pass the savings on to our customers.” Giovanni Marra, Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy, Nourison

“We continued to get ahead of schedule and rely on our team in different time zones to be the eyes and ears on the pitch. We continued to encourage them to grow and develop their passion for design and product leadership. Emma Lowry, Vice President of Product Development, Elk Home

“Less is more. I think creating fewer products but making sure it’s the right product is a strategy that should always stay with us. Robin Gordon, Vice President of Marketing, Elk Home

“Virtual Sample Examinations. Unable to travel around the country, our team began video calling with our factories and sourcing teams. Because we have FH teams on the ground in each country, we were able to closely examine finish and design details, construction and even seating/comfort virtually. Adam Dunn, Vice President of Design, Four Hands


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