It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since the inaugural Las Vegas Market took place. There were plenty of naysayers who doubted it would last – and there have been a few evolutions along the way – but this market seems to have found its sweet spot.
When executives at International Market Centers (IMC), which produces the Las Vegas Market, promised the Summer 2015 edition was going to be the “biggest, best, and most exciting in the Market’s 10-year history,” that was a tall order. However, the recent Market delivered with 2,200+ resources across 40 floors, and 5 new destination launches in new and expanded product categories.
Among the highlights of the summer Market was the debut of C11, a new floor for gourmet housewares, tabletop, and specialty food; the expansion of C5 to accommodate more boutique home décor, high-end home textiles, and accessories; the premiere of the Casual Furniture/Outdoor Lifestyle category on the 12th and 13th floors of Building C; and the reimagining of the temporary exhibits as The Pavilions (i.e. the exterior tents located on the Las Vegas Market campus), which had not been used as exhibitor space since the early years in the Market’s development before Buildings B and C were completed.
“We set the bar high for our 10th anniversary this August, and we exceeded our customers’ expectations, as well as our own,” says Robert Maricich, CEO of IMC. “We launched five new destinations simultaneously, introduced new-to-market showroom resources and debuted major showroom expansions by leading vendors like Christopher Guy, Global Views, The Phillips Collection, Michael Aram, Ivystone/CMA and many more. We have made exponential progress towards our goal of becoming the only ‘whole home and gift’ market in North America, and anticipate continued and remarkable growth as we continue to build upon our strong foundation.”
Overall attendance at the recent Summer Las Vegas Market was up 5% over last summer, and the Gift category continued its double-digit, year-over-year growth with a 17% increase over last Summer. Since Las Vegas Market’s gift and home décor strategic plan was launched in Summer 2012, gift and home décor attendance has grown 180%.
Buyers indicating an interest in Housewares/Gourmet in support of the C11 launch were up 61% over last Summer and casual buyers were up 50% over last Summer supporting the new outdoor floors on C12 and 13.
The largest growth states for buyer attendance this market were again from the west and southwest, including California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and Texas.
Even more important than the attendance numbers is the feedback from tenants and exhibitors that were experiencing good traffic, exposure to new customers and strong order writing at the market.
“It has been phenomenal and the response exceeds all of our expectations and orders are totally bananas,” notes Mark Sage, owner of Bobo Intriguing Objects, which exhibited for the first time on C5. “We came into the summer show with our eyes wide open and we were overwhelmed,” he adds. “Many West Coast buyers just shop this show and we needed that visibility. We foresee Las Vegas being THE Show. The Market is gaining momentum every show and we are glad to be part of it.”
Among the highlights was the debut of designer Julia Buckingham’s collection at Global Views. Buckingham was on-hand to meet buyers at Market and introduce them to her line of casual furnishings, accessories, and lighting.
At Palecek, interior designer Jeffrey Alan Marks, known for his appearances on Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Decorator, was available to meet Las Vegas Market buyers one afternoon in the showroom. He designed several series of lighting fixtures and lamps for the manufacturer.
Award-winning designer Jamie Durie exhibited his designs at the Las Vegas Market for the first time. Among the styles getting attention were pendants inspired by the hanging nests made by weaver birds in Africa. The first collection of these were made for celebrity client Chelsea Handler and are still hanging in her home. Durie is famous for his work in making seamless transitions between the interiors and exteriors that he designs for clients. His lighting style runs the gamut from pendants to floor lamps, table lamps, and a variety of tea lights.
The Las Vegas Market presented a unique opportunity for rtist Shannon Defreitas of Miami-based Deep in Paint. Although her work typically involves painting with the human body as her canvas, she debuted her first home furnishings collaboration with PTMD by Maka. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the original works of art will go to a PTMD-funded youth home in Vietnam for homeless girls.