Field Notes: These Days, Shoppers are Outdoor Bound

Outdoor spaces are heating up, according to Room & Board and for many wanting to host friends and family over the winter holidays while keeping in line with social distancing, these stylish outdoor solutions are sleek and apropos.

Room & Board is a decades-old, family-owned modern furniture and home furnishings company based in Minneapolis, but its overall aesthetic wholly speaks to today’s minimalist and most discriminating customer. Offering cozy fire tables, modish all-weather seating and surfaces and sturdy umbrellas outfitted with desirable, deluxe features such as UV quartz tops, lightweight, water-repellent and fade-resistant fabrics, marine-grade construction, and antimicrobial foam and quick-dry technology, its product selection is well-suited for both residential and commercial settings.

And being outside is what’s hot right now anyway, even as the late autumn chill sets in. Trend forecasting firm WGSN calls it “The Outdoor Boom” in its latest report that details how the events of 2020 have “significantly impacted consumer behavior,” according to Sarah Owen, a senior strategist at the firm.

Owen says that the trend was accelerated due to profound consumer shifts resulting in a significant boom in outdoor sectors such as camping, hiking, biking, RVing and fishing.

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“In January 2020, the Outdoor Industry Association dubbed American an ‘indoor nation,’ as less than 20 percent of Americans spent time outdoors more than once per week. This pre-pandemic trend was rapidly transformed in March 2020 as stay-at-home orders and a new appreciation and desire for nature propelled individuals into the great outdoors,” the report noted.

Image courtesy of Room & Board. 

As work-from-home policies become more normalized, Owen says that consumers are seeking ways to “offset the influx of time spent on-screen and indoors,” adding that a recent survey by Outdoorsy found that 72 percent of Americans plan to take more road trips due to new, flexible working arrangements.

And for creatures of comfort contemplating the great American road trip or pursuing immersion in nature itself, glamping could be your panacea to fears of camping out in the wild. Denver-based Glamping Hub recently launched a Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion to encourage travelers to consider glamping as “a safe and local holiday alternative.”

As the largest online booking platform for luxurious and unique outdoor accommodations – it offers over 26,000 options globally, ranging from tree houses to luxury tiny homes, secluded cabins and yurts Glamping Hub wants to help those who may feel like traveling isn’t an option this year, the brand said.

Its promotion allows users to apply GHBLACKFRI30 on its web site for $30 off any booking made over $200 on Friday, Nov. 27, and Monday, Nov. 30, to encourage the exploration of “options [that] offer an exciting and unique experience.”

Ruben Martinez, cofounder of Glamping Hub, said that glamping “is becoming the gateway to the outdoors as it sits at a unique intersection of Mother Nature and comfort. In a world that needs remote, glamping provides an opportunity for us to disconnect and experience the outdoors with those that mean the most to us.”

For more Business news from WWD, see:

Outdoor Brands Talk Coronavirus Impacts

Brick-and-Mortar, Digital Retailers Adjust Strategies in Wake of Coronavirus

Field Notes: How Fabric Is Helping Save the Planet

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