The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show

March 2–4, 2025 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show
March 2—4 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

Does how you treat your employees only affect recruitment and retention? Not even close. Consumers are increasingly interested in employee working conditions—and are willing to support those companies that are taking good care of workers in their communities and around the world.

In fact, favorable working conditions for employees was the top area of responsibility chosen by respondents to the 2023 IHA Market Watch Report. The majority (82%) said how brands treat employees most impacts their purchase decisions, followed by development of sustainable products (70%), environmental stewardship (66%), diversity and inclusion (65%) and charitable initiatives (58%).

This is the second year in a row consumers have deemed employee working conditions the aspect of responsibility they most consider when buying. And it extends beyond manufacturing facilities to all employees, whether working in offices, retail stores, warehouses or from home.

Share Your Stories

Many retailers and brands might reserve messaging about what they do to support employees for prospective job candidates. But with so much consumer interest these days, moving these stories from business-to-business marketing into the realm of consumer marketing makes good sense.

What do you do to support employees, whether in offices, manufacturing facilities or retail stores? Showcase those initiatives directly to consumers through advertising, social media, in-store displays and earned media.

You might also consider shining a spotlight on valued employees, whether through recognition of excellent customer service, milestones or unique contributions. This can work for anyone from a small local company to a global brand.

Perhaps Your Most Important Asset

There’s no shortage of business leaders who say employees are a company’s greatest asset. Not only will happy employees share their own stories of favorable working conditions, but positive work environments often contribute to positive customer experiences.

Consider one of IHA’s 2023 gia Global Honoree retail award winners, Illums Bolighus. This upscale department store is well known as one of the best places to work in Scandanavia, thanks to its focus on career advancement and training, as well as many benefits and programs designed to elevate the work experience. Employees in turn are motivated to elevate the customer shopping experience and deliver a high level of quality and service.

Likewise, Ambiente Living—a network of kitchen and home stores throughout Columbia—primarily hires single moms, offering them support and flexible schedules so they can succeed in their roles as both moms and employees. Because their employees genuinely feel supported, this culture of care naturally extends itself to shoppers in their stores.

Cultivating a culture of care can go a long way. According to Miles Nadal, founder of Peerage Capital, in a recent article for Chief Executive, “The best part (of) implementing a culture of kindness (is that it) doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. It can be achieved with tools that both large and small organizations already have on hand.”


The 2023 IHA Market Watch Report offers new data and analysis of consumer values and issues affecting purchase decisions of home and housewares products. Areas of focus include wellness, time, space, experience and responsibility.

Get Ready for The Inspired Home Show 2024!

March 17-19, 2024