GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer reported two new trends are emerging in customers’ spring cleaning habits after spending 14 months at home and now considering inviting houseguests in as more people get vaccinated – a balance between natural and disinfecting products and kitchen organization.
“We saw our customers focus on home cleaning in a big way over the last year and many of those habits aren’t going away any time soon,” said Angie Pagel, director of merchandising for household consumables at Meijer. “In fact, we’re already seeing some of those cleaning habits evolve as they begin to start opening their homes up to more guests.”
Customers Utilize a Variety of Cleaning Products
The company said that last spring, as greater uncertainty remained around how the COVID-19 virus could spread, many families relied heavily on disinfectant products indiscriminately 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. But once customers faced the realities of children, parents and pets spending so much time in close quarters, they developed strategies for what cleaners to use where that 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,” Pagel said. “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.”
The Kitchen is the New Closet
For many, spring cleaning usually conjures up an image of closet refreshes, changing out seasonal clothing and re-organizing, but this spring many customers found their closets already organized, the company said. Meijer saw a major spike in closet organization over the last year with sales of closet systems up more than 50% and drawer storage up more than 40%.
“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 re-organize 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.”
Meijer recommends customers follow the CDC’s guidelines for home cleaning to prevent the spread of disease.