A strong Winter Las Vegas Market, fueled by robust traffic and order writing gains as well as excitement surrounding two IMC initiatives – the soon-to-be-completed Expo at World Market Center and the recently announced launch of a new digital platform for the industry – opened the furniture industry’s first market of the new decade and ended the gift and home industry’s busy January schedule on a high note.
“Las Vegas Market has hit its stride,” said Bob Maricich, IMC’s Chief Executive Officer. “The excitement and buoyancy felt throughout the week cemented our position as the premier market venue for the West. The gift, home décor, and furniture industries rely on Las Vegas Market for discovery of new products and innovations to build their businesses. News of IMC’s continued investment in our physical and digital markets created excitement that will carry throughout the year.”
Positive Reactions from Buyers and Suppliers
Las Vegas Market leaders across the gift, home décor, and furniture spectrum experienced successful – and in some cases record-breaking – markets, citing traffic and buying gains as well as added product interest.
“We’re Las Vegas loyalists and have been here since day one,” says Garry Schermann, Senior Vice President of Sales at gift exhibitor Creative Co-Op. “We were one of the first showrooms that opened in Building C, and have never left. We’ve never had a better show than we had this Market. The buyers have come out in force. It’s not just our loyal customers, but so many new buyers – especially international – that have come to the market.” Schermann reported orders placed by buyers from the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania at market.
Steady foot traffic was also evident in the home décor showrooms. Four Hands reported that in the first two days of Market, it scanned badges of more than 4,200 buyers who were a mix of existing customers and new prospects. “We have been at Las Vegas Market from the beginning and being a part of the Market has been great for Four Hands, not just as a brand but as a destination and designer resource,” says Nicole Petropoulos, Las Vegas Market Showroom Manager. “I think our success has a lot has to do with the popularity of Las Vegas Market but also speaks to how on-point our brand is with the current trends.”
A seven-percent increase in designer attendance made a significant impact in the home categories. In furniture, exhibitors reported increased interest from West Coast designers. “This Market gives face-to-face exposure with designers who wouldn’t typically shop our product,” said John Pigg, Vice President of Sales for the North Carolina-based furniture brand Vanguard Furniture, which saw exponential year-over-year growth in buyers.
Buyers also reported a great Market, noting an increase in product introductions and an overall positive shopping experience.
“This was the best-ever Las Vegas Market!” says Elaine Haskey, upholstery buyer for Steinhafels Furniture of Waukesha, Wis. “Sometimes, the products are a repeat of High Point Market introductions, but this time there was so much newness throughout, and we ended up committing to lots!”
“Las Vegas Market continues to amaze us,” said Greg Greeson, owner and furniture and home décor buyer for Collectic Home of Austin, Texas. “The superlatives here include the ease of getting to and from the World Market Center, the variety of accommodations available in Las Vegas, the dining and entertainment possibilities, and of course, the convenience of cross-category shopping at one Market and visiting all of our vendor showrooms in such close proximity to one another. We set a record this Market by visiting 75 showrooms in just two-and-half days. I have more than 500 photos on my iPhone as proof!”
In addition, against the background of the under-construction Expo, IMC presented its commitment to digital innovation and showcased its new standalone digital division, IMC_di, to its Western customer base. Hundreds gathered in the Grand Plaza Courtyard for the Market Kick-Off Party, which included performances by Cirque du Soleil and previewed plans for a new e-commerce platform, which will connect buyers and sellers digitally year-round as an extension of IMC’s physical markets. For more information about IMC_di, visit www.imcenters.com/IMCdi.
Market-Exclusive Programming Highlights Winter Market
Winter Market also featured a slate of Las Vegas-only events, educational seminars, industry celebrations, and networking receptions. Highlights included 15th annual Las Vegas Market Design Icon Award, which recognized award-winning interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard; Oprah’s Favorite Finds – Live!; the Business of Design™ Conference Jan. 2020; the “Learn and Earn” Buyer Breakfast Roundtables in collaboration with various professional associations; the Mid Mod Mix Up Bus Tour; and Stars in the Kitchen featuring Kelly Hansen, lead singer of Foreigner.