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Today the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing single-family homes actually rose in November—by 0.4 percent. Okay, so this doesn’t really change the bigger picture of the housing industry’s current dark period. The subprime crisis, of course, is affecting so many sectors on so many levels, and other grim stats exist such as the fact that existing home sales have plunged 20 percent over the past year.
So what does this all mean for industrial designers who see a lot of business in the houseware market? Are there any indications that the demand for home accessories and kitchen gadgets might suffer as a result? One indicator, naturally, might be the quarterly sales results from companies such as Bed Bath & Beyond, which will make an announcement of third-quarter earnings on Thursday of this week.
Will it be a Happy New Year for the retailer — as well as for industrial designers currently working on products for homes?
What comes next? The Bloomberg Businessweek Innovation and Design blog chronicles new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.