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Major U.S. Retailers, International Buyers and New Exhibitors Highlight Summer Las Vegas Market

Furniture Industry News Update - Furniture World Magazine
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Article Summary: The best results of market were reported by those exhibitors who presented compelling new product and value.


World Market Center Las Vegas reported that the recent Summer 2012 Las Vegas Market  attracted thousands of upbeat home furnishings buyers—many of whom were there for the first time—from around the United States and abroad. Las Vegas’ Summer Market, July 30-Aug. 3, was highlighted by buying power among retailers who were ready to do business, as well as  new exhibitors including a vibrant temporaries section, the debut of a high-end home décor showcase in Building B, and the signing of 43 new showroom leases since the start of the year totaling approximately 265,000 square feet of space—adding to the diversified merchandise mix that buyers can find at Las Vegas Market.

Buyers and suppliers alike applauded news of the bold re-merchandising plans announced by International Market Centers (IMC), the parent company of Las Vegas Market, designed to firmly position Las Vegas Market as the most comprehensive buying platform in the western United States. Beginning with the Winter 2013 Las Vegas Market, IMC will concentrate complementary resources throughout the 5 million square-foot campus and begin a strategic evolution for the marketplace that will afford buyers and sellers new opportunities in the furnishings, gift and home décor channels.

“At the start of the year, Las Vegas opened the doors to its strongest market in three years and set the tone for a positive 2012. While total traffic at August show was lighter, as at other summer markets, individual store attendance was up from prior summer shows. Furthermore, the retailers who came were serious about buying,” said Robert Maricich, chief executive officer of IMC. “It’s very encouraging to see the number of individual buying units continue to grow especially given the summer slow down at retail. The trajectory at Las Vegas Market continues to trend upward.”

Las Vegas Market officials reported a modest increase in retail store attendance over last year, and an 8 percent increase over two years ago. Furthermore, leading furniture manufacturers reported growth in year-on-year sales volume despite current macro economic trends.

Las Vegas Market also experienced a significant influx of new sleep product buyers at this summer’s Market. Buyers showed up in droves, as the number of first-time mattress buyers at Las Vegas Market increased by 124 percent, reinforcing its standing as the nation’s premier bedding market.

“The best results of market were reported by those exhibitors who presented compelling new product and value. It’s also true for those manufacturers who were actively engaged with their customers, sales teams and in their overall showroom and product presentation. There were many companies playing to win at this market,” said Tom Mitchell, president of home furnishings for IMC. “We were very pleased to hear that sleep product manufacturers were especially positive, as this is an industry that leads with new– new product, innovation, new promotional opportunities and aggressive marketing.”

Las Vegas Market continues to draw from a large base of western U.S. buyers who accounted for 61 percent of total Summer market attendance, followed by Southwest attendees represented at 16 percent. There was an increase in attendance from Montana, Wyoming and Alabama buyers and designers over last summer’s Market. Significantly, 78 of the Top 100 U.S. Home Furnishings Retailers were also in attendance.

Holding strong in its international reach—especially in the Americas—Canadian and Mexican buyers represented 47 percent and 29 percent of the international buyer attendance at Summer 2012 Market, respectively. Latin American buyers represented 13 percent, with a substantial increase from the Dominican Republic, Columbia and Panama. Attendance from Russia also increased positioning it among the top 20 international regions for Las Vegas Market.

Retailers primarily interested in furniture and mattress categories accounted for 69 percent of Las Vegas Market. In addition, another 70 percent of attending gift and home buyers also express interest in cross-over buying into furniture and related categories, opening up new distribution channels for furniture suppliers in Las Vegas. Summer 2012 Market also attracted growing numbers of interior designers and hospitality buyers—approximately 16 percent of the total buyer base—adding further sales opportunities for its tenants.

The always popular temporaries on B-2 featured the largest exhibitor participation in years and offered a wide variety of new furnishing lines in sustainable, juvenile, and lodge lifestyle. More than 75 furniture lines were featured including several new-to-market temporary exhibitors including Borkholder Furniture, Ugo Furniture and Royal Wine Cabinets. ESF Trading, Modern Dutch and Ital Art Designs were among the European tenants that joined the temporary exhibit showcase. Juvenile furniture manufacturers in Vegas Kids temporary exhibits included Bolton, Storkcraft, Kidkraft and Donco Trading Company.

Beyond new exhibitors, a number of top brands expanded their showrooms, including HTL and Sealy. Other expansions included, AC Pacific, Copper Instincts, Furniture Traditions, GBS, Guardmaster, Home Accents, International Furniture Direct, Med Lift, Meva International, Office Star, Perdue Woodworks, Powell, Prepac, Pure Latex Bliss, Real Flame and Twin Star/Classic Flame. These expanded showrooms provided strong presentations of new product that helped drive retailers to Las Vegas Market.

Attendees raved about the exceptional educational programming at Summer Market that included an impressive line-up of sought-after experts. Seminars featured leaders in design, marketing, social media and leading trend forecasters, with many programs CEU-accredited.

Joy Boardman, Gordmans Associate Buyer of Home Accents, said, “I saw new vendors and ordered new product for my growing categories. Vegas market is by far my favorite market to go to and I travel about 12 weeks of the year for market. The seminars specifically the “Ahead of the Curve” and “First Look” I will continue to attend. I find them inspiring, verifying of the trends we forecast, and also enlightening to look at a trend in a new way.”

Market kicked-off with the ever-popular trend-spotting panel, “First Look,” that highlights trends and new product picks at Market. Celebrity designer Monica Pedersen of HGTV and home products/trends editor Julie Smith Vincenti showcased new product and trends at Las Vegas Market through a beautifully guided presentation.

Other popular seminars included Sherwin-Williams Colormix Forecast, Design Trends and the Role of Technology and Furniture Fashion and Food: The Perfect Marriage, which included an impressive cast of panelists. Attendees were transfixed by Cassandra LaValle, editor behind the ultra-popular coco+kelley blog; Virginia VanZanten, Associate Editor at W Magazine; Jane Matteson of Matteson Design and Consulting; and, Emily Henderson, HGTV Design Star and Host of “Secrets from a Stylist” engaged in a stimulating conversation about the blurring line between furniture and fashion and how to apply this know-how to business.

The never-to-be-missed Ahead of the Curve returned for its fifth installment and featured three formidable designers who “shopped” Summer Market. The Ahead of the Curve cast of premier designers included Betsy Burnham, principal designers and founder of Burnham Design; Philip Gorrivan, founder of Philip Gorrivan Design; and, Darren Henault. The lively unveiling of top trends by these talented designers was moderated once again by TODAY Show contributor and style guru, Susanna Salk. (Media unable to attend Las Vegas Market can hear and see the designer’s top favorite discoveries: Las Vegas Market’s YouTube channel.)

For more information on Las Vegas Market, visit www.lasvegasmarket.com.

About World Market Center Las Vegas World Market Center Las Vegas is an integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and trade complex. The campus showcases furniture, decorative accessories, gift, lighting, area rugs, home textiles and related segments, as well as the Las Vegas Design Center open daily to consumers and designers. For more information on World Market Center Las Vegas and its trade shows including the bi-annual Las Vegas Market and Gift+Home, visit www.wmclv.com. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

World Market Center Las Vegas is a property of International Market Centers, L.P. (IMC), the world’s largest operator of premier showroom space for the furnishings, home décor and gift industries. International Market Centers owns and operates 11.5 million square feet of world-class exhibition space in High Point, N.C. and Las Vegas. IMC’s mission is to build and operate an innovative, sustainable, profitable and scalable platform for the furnishings, home décor and gift industries. For more information on IMC, visit imcenters.com.

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