In an effort to address business disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, International Market Centers (IMC) – which operates the Atlanta, High Point, and Las Vegas Markets – and its new digital innovation division IMC_di is offering free subscriptions and transactions to customers through year-end on ShopZio, its B2B digital platform that facilitates product and resource discovery as well as e-commerce.

“The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted business quickly and significantly. While ensuring the health and safety of our staff and customers is our top priority, we also have been able to start planning for recovery and we will use our virtual market tools to help our customers do the same,” says Bob Maricich, CEO of IMC. “To that end, we are offering gift, home, and apparel suppliers virtual market tools – at no charge through the end of the year – to help our customers maintain visibility, market available products, and transact business digitally as recovery begins.”

Recently acquired as part of the IMC_di initiative, ShopZio is a fully functional B2B platform that facilitates product and resource discovery as well as transactional e-commerce. In support of economic challenges caused by the current disruption, all marketplace fees will be waived for the balance of the year for both new and existing ShopZio customers.

ShopZio’s B2B platform will be linkable directly from IMC’s market websites – AmericasMart.com, IMCHightPointMarket.com and LasVegasMarket.com – enabling robust product discovery and referrals to vendors’ e-commerce platforms. IMC reports that its websites receive more than three million unique visitors annually. Combined with IMC’s attendee marketing, which reaches hundreds of thousands of qualified buyers, the sites will help vendors engage buyers and drive traffic and e-commerce sales.

“As recovery begins and the American public emerges from this difficult period, one thing is certain: People will reach for the things that provide comfort, beauty and solace — the very things that our industries design, produce and sell,” Maricich remarks. “As retailers reopen for business and begin to restock, these virtual market tools will have established a pipeline to jump-start much needed economic recovery for the gift, home and apparel industries.”

IMC_di is also accelerating development of its new digital market experience, which when launched in Fall 2020 will create opportunity and streamline digital tools for the industry. According to Eric Dean, President of IMC_di, “IMC is committed to bringing buyers and sellers together whenever and however they choose to transact. ShopZio allows us to offer an excellent interim solution to an industry looking for assistance in helping buyers and suppliers get back to business and for leadership in a time of economic hardship.”

According to IMC, ShopZio currently has 35,000 active buyers and 100+ vendors and is already conducting millions of dollars per month in online transactions. The IMC_di team says it is ready to demonstrate the platform to new customers and prepare their product and SKU-level data for upload. New customers will be on-boarded on a first-come, first-served basis. IMC tenants and exhibitors can sign-up now and connect with the IMC_di team at www.imcenters.com/imcdi/shopzio-offer.

IMC is continuing to plan for summer Markets to be held in High Point, Atlanta, and Las Vegas. “We hope to have the opportunity to produce physical Markets this summer — although we recognize they may look and feel slightly different given the impact of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with customers if postponement is deemed necessary,” Maricich comments.

The current schedule is:

High Point Market: June 12-14 in High Point

Atlanta Market: July 14-20, at AmericasMart

Las Vegas Market: July 26-30, at World Market Center Las Vegas and the EXPO at World Market Center Las Vegas