News

Tiny House Kit Goes Viral, Sells Out

We have been major proponents of the small homes trend, and probably the only research firm to make a market in this emerging sector. Earlier this month, a tiny house kit, sold on Amazon of course, was discovered on social media and instantly went viral. The Allwood Solvalla 172-square-foot studio cabin, or garden house, kit retails for $7,250, building materials included. Common items, such as electricity or a bathroom, are extra. These tiny home kits are shipped in a big crate and delivery takes three to five weeks. Expect this trend to accelerate in the near future. Meanwhile, the median square footage of a new, single-family home reached 2,355 in 2018. To see a gallery of both kit homes and a few outstanding upgrade examples, click this post’s title.

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Innovation

Augmented Reality Retail Innovation

One of the standout innovations at SXSW was shown by Lush Retail, a U.K. cosmetics firm that sells, of all things, bath bombs. Lush runs an innovation division called Lush Labs that designed a mobile app that lets you to scan any of their bath bombs and immediately see its name, elements, cost and fragrance description.

More than 26,700 stores have closed since 2007, when the current retail downslope began. One mitigating factor is the fact that the U.S. has more retail square footage per capita than any other country, as much as six times more than the U.K.

Then there is Amazon.com, which has siphoned off America’s best retail buyers, corralling them into the ultimate email list of 100 million Prime members. One researcher believes that more than half of U.S. households will be Prime members by yearend 2019.

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