Vegas Reports Strongest Market In Three Years

Winter Las Vegas Market 2012 far exceeded expectations with strong traffic and sales created by an uptick in consumer confidence, scores of new showrooms and the market’s distinction as the first major event for product introductions and buying in the western United States. Market officials reported significant attendance increases amongst retailers across all categories, interior designers as well as international buyers – especially those from Canada, Latin America and the Middle East. The World Market Center is a member of the ORIA as are several of its exhibitors.

Las Vegas Market Courtyard

According to Robert Maricich, CEO of International Market Centers, parent company of World Market Center Las Vegas, Winter Las Vegas Market 2012 was the strongest ever in three years.  “Given the depth of the recent recession, our success speaks volumes about improving consumer confidence and a resurging economy,” he said.  “According to our statistics, the recession is officially over in the eyes of the furnishings industry.  The energy at Winter Market was palpable. Buyers were buying, and ultimately, that’s what counts.”

Statistics from the five-day (January 30-February 3) Winter Las Vegas Market included:

  • 14 increase in attending companies as compared to Winter Market 2011
  • 27 increase in Latin American buyers and a 33 percent increase in Middle Eastern buyers compared to Winter Market 2011; almost twice as many Canadians attended than at the Summer Market 2011
  • 23 percent increase in buyers as compared to Summer Market 2011
  • 83 of the industry’s top 100 retailers attended
  • 31 percent increase in interior designers as compared to Summer Market 2011
  • 4,000-plus new U.S. buyers attended for the first time; 1,000-plus new International buyers
  • 71 percent of first-time buyers were from the Western United States
  • 58 percent increase in mattress buyers as compared to Summer Market 2011
  • 21 percent increase in furniture buyers as compared to Summer Market 2011
  • 19 percent increase in decorative accessory buyers as compared to Summer Market 2011
  • 9 percent increase in floor coverings buyers as compared to Summer Market 2011

Since August 2011, Las Vegas Market signed an additional 275,000 square feet of showroom and exhibit space to 257 companies. This included 236 new companies to the Las Vegas Market and 21 existing tenants that have expanded. More than 50 ribbon-cutting ceremonies took place during Market week, adding significant energy and buzz. In total, Las Vegas Market encompasses more than 5 million square feet of exhibition space across three state-of-the-art, interconnected buildings which feature more than 1,000 exhibiting brands and lines.

The recent merger of the World Market Center Las Vegas complex and the most premier High Point properties, now forming the International Market Centers umbrella, is a positive force for the industry, Maricich said.  “The two Markets are now cooperating, not competing,” he said.  “It’s a union that has been a long time in coming, but one that is mutually beneficial for everyone in the industry.  We can now offer buyers, exhibitors and manufacturers the best of both Markets.”

New to Winter Las Vegas Market were notable power-houses like Bassett, which was not only showing at Las Vegas Market, but has permanent space IMC’s International Home Furnishings Center in High Point, N.C. “Bassett is one of the giants, a true bellwether in the home furnishings industry,” said Maricich.  “The company understands the value of having a strong presence at markets on both sides of the country, demonstrating the new synergy created by IMC’s merger of platforms in Las Vegas and High Point.”

Also debuting at Winter Market was the “Made in USA” pavilion, which featured an array of products made in America.  According to Maricich, buying local is a growing trend throughout the entire manufacturing and retail industries, and the home furnishings and gift sectors are no exception.  “American-made products speak to the growing sentiment of patriotism and are seen as a way to bolster the economy,” he said.  “The Pavilion proved to be incredibly popular with market attendees and was equally popular with overseas buyers.”

Author: editor

Share This Post On