Supermarkets cash in on our love of interiors. Sharon Dale reports on what’s in store.
It takes my partner a mere half an hour to do a supermarket shop, whereas I take almost twice as long and always spend more.
I blame the homeware department. I can’t resist browsing and, quite often, buying something.
It’s a treat before the boring slog of hunter gathering the food and I’m not the only one who indulges.
Homeware is now a nice little earner for supermarkets and, as I have proved, it keeps us in the stores for longer.
Those who were quick to spot the opportunity and capitalise on it have become market leaders. Asda with its cheap and cheerful George Home range comes out top in a survey of the most popular supermarkets for interiors products with Tesco a close second and Sainsbury’s third.
It’s easy to see why. George Home is design led and less expensive than its rivals.
Its spring summer range, which is out now, includes the Ramona sofa, pictured above, which is just £149. It looks good, though it’s hard to be sure how comfortable it is without trying it.
The skull cushion, £6, and pom pom cushion, £7, show just how low prices are for home accessories. Plain cushions are £4 each or three for £10.
Bedding is from £8 for a single duvet cover and £12 for a double, though there some in the sale in the online shop at www.direct.asda.com from £5. The reviews online can give you a good idea of the quality. For bed linen the consensus seems to be “good quality and washes well”.
Tesco has upped its game recently and it’s new season interiors range, which launches at the beginning of March, is especially good. I like the on-trend Fox & Ivy wire metallic table, £49, and the feather mugs, £5 each.
Sainsbury’s also has an excellent homeware section and its new Swedish-inspired Helsinki products are a highlight for spring summer, along with lighting.
Aldi has had huge success with its candles, which appear to have been inspired by Jo Malone’s luxury versions.
We’re on pretty safe ground with this assumption as the fragrances are exactly the same - “lime, basil and mandarin”, “blackberry bay” and even “pomegranate noir” - though the fragrance intensity and burning time differ, along with the price. The Aldi candle is £3.99 and a Jo Malone’s is £45.
I have been tempted by the attractive, cut-price version but have resisted. They clearly don’t break any rules but the remarkable similarity they bear to the luxury brand feels very, very wrong.
I am sticking to the real McCoy, which fortunately someone bought me for Christmas.