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Winter Market 2015 breaks attendance records

This past January in Las Vegas, Winter Market registered the highest attendance numbers in the Market’s nearly 10-year history, with overall growth of 11 percent over Winter 2014, and a 21 percent jump in attendance in the gift and home décor segment, specifically.

“Winter Las Vegas Market was a clear and dramatic success by virtually every measurement, including overall attendance growth; the increasing number, diversity and quality of resources; orders written, and new contacts made,” said Bob Maricich, CEO, International Market Centers. “Virtually every showroom on every floor was abuzz with activity. The incredible 21 percent gains in gift and home décor attendance reflect the intensive efforts we have put into developing this segment of the market. The well-developed furniture base also registered attendance growth of more than 3.5 percent, indicating that even in this large and established category, the breadth and depth of resources continues to attract new attention. With our three-year gift and home décor strategic growth plan nearing completion, Las Vegas Market is continuing its impressive momentum and delivering on our promise to transform Las Vegas Market into the leading furniture, home décor and gift destination in the western U.S.”

Las Vegas Market’s strategic positioning as the dominant destination in the western region resulted in a significant growth of 9 percent in attendance figures from the western states as well as increases of 16 percent from the TOLA region (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas) and gains of 15 percent in attendance from Midwest states. Overall, the Market attracted more than 7,800 first-time domestic buyers, with 30 percent of these newcomers hailing from California, which also is the top feeder state for overall attendance. Las Vegas Market also reported strong growth in international attendance, with increases of 13 percent and visitors from more than 102 countries.

Many exhibitors reported strong order-writing, coupled with meeting large numbers of first-time contacts at the Winter Market. Activity was particularly brisk in the gift and home décor category, highlights of which included the soft launch of C5, a new boutique showroom floor for better home décor and high-end home textiles, as well as more than 225 new-to-market exhibitors – since the summer 2014 market – in both permanent showrooms and temporary exhibitions.

Tommy Mitchell, co-owner and founder of Tommy Mitchell, one of the C5 charter tenants, said, “The traffic is good, and we are seeing a large percentage of qualified people.  We are very excited about the next show and the full launch of C5.  There are lots of customers here that don’t know who we are because we are primarily on the East coast.  The concept of C5 is a great one and as the floor develops even more buyers will come. We believe in IMC’s vision for the Las Vegas Market and want to be part of building this floor and the Market.”

Furniture vendors reported strong interest from both new and existing customers, with more than 82 of the top 100 retailers attending Winter Market, and responded enthusiastically to the increased furniture buyer attendance.

According to Luis Ruesga, CEO of Zuo, “This has been our best Last Vegas Market since 2006, and we couldn’t be happier! We’ve scanned 3,500 buyers in the first three days alone. We see Las Vegas Market as a worldwide show not as a regional show. We picked up top 100 retailers Art Van and Furniture Row this Market and I can’t count how many new smaller accounts we’ve opened this Market.”

Winter Market also garnered strong interest from the interior design community, with designers taking advantage of the opportunities for cross-category shopping between furniture, gifts and home décor. Attendance by interior designers was up 34.5 percent, spurred in part by the fact that the Winter Market was timed to coincide with the annual Design & Construction Week (DCW), bringing together five of the leading design and construction industry trade shows in Las Vegas.

According to New York-based designer Kathy Kuo, Las Vegas Market is easy to shop because “everything is here, in three buildings.”

For her high-end clients, she’s able to find what she needs: “In terms of better home décor, all of our really higher end brands such as Global Views, Mr. Brown, Noir Furniture…they’re all in Las Vegas with great showroom presence…they have large showroom space…I think they have a HUGE assortment of furniture and home décor.”

Retailers attending Winter Market were thrilled about the vast array of new and existing resources, noting the enormous growth of lifestyle merchandise and the synergies between complementary furniture, home décor and gift lines.

Retailer Greg Greeson, IDSA, Creative Director/CEO/Co-founder of Collectic Home (Austin, TX), said, “In a nutshell, we LOVE the Las Vegas Market.  We will attend a minimum of 3 days or more next time.  We shop furniture, lighting and accessories, and I also enjoy the seminars and the Resource Center.”

Fresh off the largest Winter Market in its history, Las Vegas Market is looking to the future, with the upcoming Summer Market—running Aug. 2 to Aug. 6 —representing the culmination of its three-year strategic growth plan as well as the Market’s 10-year anniversary celebration.

Highlights planned for the Summer Market include the debut of two floors dedicated to the outdoor furniture industry, with 250,000 square feet on the 12th and 13th floors in Building C featuring a combination of permanent showrooms and temporary exhibit space. More than 13 leading casual manufacturers have already signed long-term leases with Las Vegas Market; many more exhibitors are expected to announce their participation in the coming months.

Summer Market also will mark the debut of two additional new showroom floors in Building C: C5 for boutique home décor, high-end home textiles and accessories, which previewed at Winter Market and received rave reviews; and C11, a showroom floor focusing on gourmet housewares, tabletop and gifts.  To facilitate growth and create room for these new showroom floors, Las Vegas Market is launching The Pavilions @ Las Vegas Market in existing permanent enclosed structures on the Las Vegas Market campus. The Pavilions will showcase temporaries previously housed on C5 and C11 along with an entirely new temporary offering featuring a cohesive collection of home décor, decorative accessories, personal/fashion accessories and trend forward gift exhibits.

Las Vegas Market is the leading furniture, home decor and gift marketplace in the western U.S., presenting 2,200-plus gift, home décor and furniture resources in an unrivaled market destination. Las Vegas Market features thousands of gift, furniture and home décor lines, allowing for cross-category commerce among these industries.

The Summer 2015 Las Vegas Market runs Aug. 2-6 at World Market Center Las Vegas. For more information, visit www.lasvegasmarket.com.

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