Solid State of Home Industry Fuels Vibrant Vegas Market

Fifty-four new permanent showrooms, several major expansions, nearly 150 new-to-market exhibitors and numerous show-only specials attracted enthusiastic U.S. and international buyers to Las Vegas Market last week, supporting a strong gift and home industry with product introductions, trending designs and West Coast exclusives.

“Buyers at Summer Market were here to buy,” said Robert J. Maricich, CEO for International Market Centers. “Summer is typically a bit slower than Winter, but with the industry growing at 3-4%, a strong housing market and year-over-year retail sales growth for home and gift, manufacturers took advantage of the positive state of the industry and rolled out new products to entice buyers to fill their assortments for the coming season. Those that did, had a great market.”

New Product in Home Furnishings Inspire Buyers

Many exhibitors cited a strong summer market, and numerous showrooms noted significant upticks in sales volume.

“I think we probably have a 30% increase over our last July,” said Birger K. Rasmussen, Vanguard Furniture. “Two-thirds seem to be new, and they’re just hearing about us and coming in; so that’s exactly why we are here. It’s 90% Rocky Mountain, West Coast, people we would not see in the other part of the world.”

Fairmont Designs of Cerritos, Calif. returned to Las Vegas Market for Summer 2018 after a six-year hiatus.

“We’ve had an exceptional response to the new showroom, the new product and the direction we are moving in,” said Scott R. Medal, vice president of sales for Fairmont Designs. “We introduced new sofas and also had a market promotion that did very well.”

In the bedding category, luxury and enhanced technology were the focus with Tempur-Pedic debuting its ultra-premium LuxeAdapt beds, Baltica introducing its luxury Arcusbeds line, Classic Brands rolling out an upscale bed-in-a-box collection, and Eclipse International unveiling The Hospitality collection. Other significant introductions in the category came from Therapedic, Downlite, Englander, Ergomotion, Customatic Technologies, E.S. Kluft & Co., Intellibed, King Koil, Malouf, Reverie, Sheex, Spring Air, among others.

Casual buyers also found new product to add to their retail line-up at Summer Las Vegas Market. Among the many collection debuts, Summerset Casual introduced new dining sets with 74- and 96-inch tables as well as a circular sofa seating and fire pit configuration. Modway debuted Aura, a wicker rattan group that includes dining, daybeds, conversation sets, sectionals, lounge and hanging chairs, and Telescope Casual addressed new design trends with Westler, a mid-century collection. More than 180 casual resources are available at Las Vegas Market, representing a range of styles and price points.

“Summer Market was very important for me as I try to finalize outdoor patio assortment for the 2019 season,” said Lynn Lloyd, merchandise manager of outdoor furniture at RC Willey. “I also use Summer Market to review some product that I didn’t buy from April and now have a couple of slots open to purchase for fall.”

Gift Showrooms Address Popular Consumer Picks

New Gift exhibitors aligned with key retail trends and focused on in-demand categories including gourmet, housewares, stationery, personal care and spa, seasonal, handmade and artisanal. More than 750 Housewares resources were available at Summer Market, highlighted by a debut demonstration program as well as product launches by Le Creuset, Viabella, among others.

In the C Building, a new showcase of gift and seasonal products attracted buyers and included launches from K&K Interiors, Special T Imports, Accessories Now, Burton + Burton, Honey & Me, Melrose International and Thompson Candle Company. Additional new Summer 2018 showrooms included: Kiss That Frog, Be Home, Badash Crystal and Torre Tagus, bringing C1 and C11 near 100% occupancy. TASTE– A Gourmet Food Experience launched on C11, along with Wild Rumpus Room and the Keena Indie Collective Pop Up, a consortium of ten hand-selected makers and artists, on C10.

“Our opening day was up 39% in sales,” said Kyle Camp, president of K&K Interiors. “We pre-booked 1,200+ appointments.”

“The feedback has been great from buyers interested in a one-stop-shop resource for specialty foods,” said Veronica Hawbaker with TASTE. “There is (gourmet) growth happening in this Market.”

“This is our first time at Market and it has been insanely incredible,” said Martha Bennington with Wild Rumpus Room. “We couldn’t have had a better opening than this.”

Temporaries Provide Launching Pad and West Coast Solution for Up-and-Comers

Temporary home décor and gift exhibitors in the Pavilions noted positive buyer response to product resources offered in several key categories including Handmade, Design Home, Home and Discoveries, an antique and vintage furnishings buyers’ destination.

“We came because we were lacking a West Coast audience,” said Lynne Taylor of Taylor Linens, showing in the HOME category in Pavilion 2. “We have met buyers here from Utah, Colorado, Montana, California, and even people from Iowa and Nebraska. We picked up lots of new accounts. It has been great.”

The Market has been really good for us, and we’ve been very busy with lots of new customers,” said Kim Perrin, Angel Dear. “I’m also seeing customers from other parts of the country that don’t normally come to this market, which is lovely.”

“This is our first time in Las Vegas, and we have seen a few of our regular buyers here, but all of our orders (except for one) have been from new customers,” said Mollie Green, founder and creative director at La Familia Green in Chicago. “We have seen lots of buyers from west of the Mississippi. Not just West Coast buyers but also people from Kansas, Colorado and Texas.”

Buyers Laud Cross-Category Buying and One-Stop Shopping

Retailers and designers’ ability to buy across all styles and price points of home furnishings and gift positions Las Vegas Market to cater to an evolving retail landscape that features lifestyle product selections incorporating each category. With more than 5 million square feet of permanent and temporary exhibit space dedicated to furniture, home décor, gift, housewares, gourmet, seasonal, tabletop, handmade and apparel exhibitors, Las Vegas Market provides the breadth and depth of product many buyers are seeking at Market.

“I discovered a couple of key new vendors who are going to be integral to my merchandise mix for next season,” said Julie Steiner, Barnes Foundation Shop. “Sometimes all it takes is one or two perfect-fit product lines to make a big difference to the look and feel of the store, or to the variety of   a merchandise mix, and the quality of two of the LVMKT vendors I bought from, in particular, made this market incredibly helpful to me.”

“The Las Vegas Market is the largest on the West Coast, which makes for terrific one-stop shopping,” said Sarah Haven, retail manager for Gallery One Visual Arts Center.

Randy Rodgers, president of Creative Leather Furniture, Chandler, Ariz. noted “I found all I could want — from fashion-forward edgy and stylish accents, to practical utilitarian products.”

“Summer Vegas turned out to be very productive,” said Jeff Wood, upholstery/leather/motion buyer for Bob Mills Furniture of Oklahoma City. “There were lots of great products to see. We made some great buys and committed to some killer products.”

Market Initiatives and Educational Opportunities Expand Value of Market

More than 40 industry partnerships solidified Las Vegas Market’s role as a networking destination for the home furnishings, gift and design industries. In addition to member meetings hosted by organizations including Hallmark, the International Furnishings and Design Association and the Home Furnishings Retail Association, several collaborative events took place at Summer Market and included the Up on the Roof Gift for Life Gala, the ANDYZ awards celebration and the IFDA DesignEdge Summit. Favorite celebrities including the Scott Brothers, the Real Housewives of New Jersey and even four- legged celebrities (a llama and an alpaca) made appearances, while signature trends programming provided buyers with the latest consumer and industry influences and included Ahead of the Curve, Best of the West and First Look, combining inspiration and entertainment with effective, efficient business strategies.

“Las Vegas Market continues to evolve along with the home furnishings and gift industries,” Maricich said. “We’re invested in continuing to focus on the needs of the buyers in our industry and providing a critical platform for them to do business.”

Author: Sally James

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