International Market Centers (IMC), which operates twice yearly mega-markets in Atlanta, High Point, and Las Vegas will acquire the more boutique-like New York City-based Shoppe Object twice-yearly, design-focused home and lifestyle trade show along with its Shoppe Online B2B e-commerce platform.
Shoppe Object co-founder Jesse James will join IMC as Vice President & Show Director, reporting to Executive VP, Chief Customer & Marketing Officer Dorothy Belshaw. Shoppe Object co-founders Deirdre Maloney and Minya Quirk will remain involved in a consulting capacity.
“Jesse, Deirdre, and Minya have built an incredibly strong and compelling market quickly and authentically, and this acquisition is an exciting new partnership for us all,” said Bob Maricich, IMC’s CEO. “Shoppe Object will have the ability to grow the reach of its impeccably curated and artfully presented physical and digital platform with our investment; and IMC will have a new opportunity for regional expansion in the Northeast as well as a pipeline to bring new design-driven and socially conscious brands, makers, and voices to our physical and digital markets.”
The closing will take place after the conclusion of the February 2022 edition of Shoppe Object.
Fans of Shoppe Object don’t have to worry about the show changing its DNA. IMC plans to maintain the autonomy of Shoppe Object with the existing team handling sales, marketing, and management under James’ direction. Working closely with James, IMC will expand the existing show in New York City and explore regional extensions in established IMC venues and other major cities by combining creative vision, exhibitor feedback, and business needs.
“This partnership makes strategic sense because IMC recognizes the significant value in Shoppe Object’s core origins,” said James. “Shoppe Object embodies a community spirit and was born out of a need for change. IMC appreciates Shoppe Object for that and is committed to maintaining our brand integrity, disciplined curation, and forward vision.”
Shoppe Object was launched in 2018 by James, founder of the creative consultancy and sales agency Aesthetic Movement, in collaboration with Maloney and Quirk, co-founders of Capsule, an international trade show for independent ready-to-wear labels launched in 2007 and sold in 2013. Following an enthusiastic response from buyers and brands alike, Shoppe Object grew exponentially from the 100 home and lifestyle brands of its inaugural event to its current annual mix of 500+ seminal design brands and emerging makers. The physical market is held in New York City each February and August.
In 2020, Shoppe Object extended into the digital realm with the launch of online marketplace Shoppe Online. The B2B platform enables buyers to preview, browse, and buy from Shoppe Object exhibitors year-round and integrates with at-market buyer profiles to facilitate lead management, order writing, and post-show follow up.
The acquisition of Shoppe Object and the appointment of James is another strategic step in IMC’s plan to emphasize the value of curated content, support values-based commerce, and bring new perspectives to its community of brands. In addition to his focus on the strategic growth and expansion of Shoppe Object, James will work closely with recent hire Vanessa Bruce, IMC’s VP/Social Impact, to identify and showcase values-based resources both at IMC’s physical markets as well as on the newly launched JuniperMarket B2B ecommerce platform powered by IMC. His efforts will focus on growth through the development and promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion among buyers and sellers.
Maricich added, “Jesse has been a long-time customer and partner of IMC and we’re excited to welcome his discerning eye and cultural ethos to our team as we explore the impact opportunities of our markets.”
Shoppe Object concluded on February 7 at Pier 36 (299 South Street) in New York City. The next edition will be held August 13-15, 2022. For information and registration, visit www.shoppeobject.com.