Organizing guru Marie Kondo’s Netflix Original series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, has brought the concept of “sparking joy” into American households. While making more purchases might seem to contradict this minimalist approach, which encourages consumers to thoughtfully ponder, reduce, and reorganize their belongings, certain categories may be an exception; as consumers invest in the tidying craze, storage- and organization-related sales have been growing, according to analytics firm The NPD Group.
Products tied to organization were growth drivers for the office supplies industry in January—a month associated with getting “back to business” as consumers focus on their new year’s resolution goals and students return to school/college after winter break. File storage (+3%), packing products (+7%), and laminating (+10%) were the top growing categories within the industry, accounting for a combined $165.7 million in dollar sales in the four weeks ending Feb. 2, 2019. Among the top-growing subcategories were all other filing and storage such as storage boxes and totes; corrugated boxes; cushioning; shredders; and laminating machines. Aiding in organization, dollar sales of label printers within the tech market grew by 8% for the month.
“In a time when health, wellness, and mindfulness have become essential consumer values, retailers and brands have an opportunity to help the consumer take control of their ‘joy’ through their purchases,” says Leen Nsouli, NPD’s office supplies and home improvement industry analyst. “I anticipate sales of organization solutions will continue to see a positive effect from consumers’ latest obsession with tidying, especially as spring cleaning season approaches.”
In the kitchen, sales of food storage products increased by 3% to $1.27 billion in the 12 months ending January 2019. All segments of food storage have been growing, with specialty options leading the way.
“Consumers are spending more time at home, eating and entertaining at home more, and therefore taking more interest in their homes,” says Joe Derochowski, NPD’s home industry advisor. “Keeping our houses organized—from the bedroom to the refrigerator—is important, and food storage products play a key role in organization throughout the house.”
Kondo’s Netflix series premiered on Jan. 1, 2019, and since then Kondo already exceeded her 2018 book sales in the first seven weeks of 2019. But her books began capturing consumer attention since the first one hit shelves in 2014. According to NPD, more than three million copies of Kondo’s books have been sold to date since 2014. She has spent 108 weeks on the overall best-seller list and is currently #14 with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Kondo’s books kicked off five years of growth for the housekeeping and self-help categories, also tying into the hygge movement in the U.S.
“While the Netflix series took her brand awareness to a whole new level in the U.S., Marie Kondo has been a major catalyst in the book market since 2014, when her message first captured the imagination of design-savvy home lovers seeking a fresh approach to creating calm in a chaotic world,” says Kristen McLean, NPD’s books industry analyst. “I think of her as this generation’s anti-Martha Stewart, where less is actually less, and happiness is actually more.”