After many consumers' year at home, Meijer is sharing top ways that they have changed their spring cleaning habits. The Midwestern retailer noticed two main shopping trends emerge: a balance between natural and disinfecting products, and kitchen organization.
During last year’s spring cleaning, there was pervasive uncertainty regarding how the COVID-19 virus could spread, leaving many families relying heavily on disinfectant products throughout the home. In 2020, Meijer saw an increase of more than 60% in bath and surface cleaners and an increase of more than 50% in bleach. Once customers faced the realities of children, parents and pets spending so much time in close quarters, however, they developed strategies for what cleaners to use where, which define their current habits.
"More time spent at home means more meals prepared in the kitchen, more people using the bathrooms more often, and more messes overall," said Angie Pagel, director of merchandising for household consumables at Meijer. "Most families found themselves cleaning more frequently and thoroughly than ever before. Through this experience, they realized they have different priorities for different spaces in the home – wanting to disinfect high-touch areas like bathrooms and doorknobs, but opting for more natural ingredients for kitchens, nurseries and children's play spaces."
With more time spent in the kitchen searching for new meals to prepare, shoppers have gravitated toward how to better organize their cooking workspace as opposed to organizing their underused wardrobe closets.
"Having already organized their closets earlier this year and having left much of their wardrobe undisturbed since they lived their lives at home, many customers weren't in a hurry to reorganize their closets," Meijer Home Organization Buyer Rachel Turner said. "Instead, this spring our customers focused on their kitchens."
Sales of kitchen baskets and counter organization items more than tripled this spring, while sales of kitchen turntables and cabinet organization items doubled. With that extra attention to tidying the kitchen, customers also replaced some daily kitchen cleaning basics – sales of scrub brushes and sponges are up more than 40% so far.
"A lot of us developed a new love of cooking over the last year and discovered ways we might want to improve our kitchen's layout that we hadn't given as much thought to before," Turner said. "Customers are also starting to think about inviting guests into their homes and entertaining again, which is driving additional interest in kitchen organization."
People are more receptive to houseguests as more Americans get vaccinated, so home cleaning and reorganizing the kitchen are habits that aren’t going away any time soon.
In April, Meijer also reported on other shopping trends related to pandemic living, including the popularity of work-from-home pillows, grab-and-go sushi and Shop & Scan usage.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates more than 255 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 18 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.