Buyers took advantage of a record number of resources – including significant new product introductions and first-time exhibitors – at the Las Vegas Market. International Market Center officials said that the summer show’s success was tied to key increases in gift buyer attendance, stable home furnishings attendance and burgeoning support from the interior design community.
Home furnishings buyer attendance was on par with last summer. Gift buyer attendance was robust, posting a 6 percent gain over last summer. Attendance included buyers from 50 states and 79 countries, and within the U.S., the highest number of buyers came from California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Utah. Leading international countries represented were Canada, Mexico, China, Panama and Colombia.
“Las Vegas Market’s record growth has generated industry attention and advocacy, driving increased interest and turnout from new buyers, as well as repeat attendance by retailers and designers already familiar with the Market,” said Robert Maricich, chief executive officer of International Market Centers. “As the nation’s fastest growing gift market and the leading furniture and home decor market in the western United States, Las Vegas Market is delivering on its promise to create an exceptional customer experience for buyers and suppliers alike. We seek to raise the bar for our customers every market, and this market was no exception.”
Raising the bar included adding 72 new and expanded permanent showrooms, more than 150 first-time exhibitors within Pavilions for a total of 500-plus temporary exhibitors, and a record number of nearly 40 buying groups and associations drawing groups of their members to shop the expansive whole home and gift product offering.
Continued West Coast Dominance in the Home Furnishings Category Evidenced by Resource Growth and Strong Buying Power
Summer Las Vegas Market showcased more than 160,000 square feet of new showroom space in the furniture and home décor categories, including new presentations for Zuo Décor, Home Insights, Turnkey, LH Imports, Vertu, and Vanguard Furniture. Several manufacturers said they established new business connections during summer market that could translate into increased business going forward.
The outdoor category continued to gain strength, supported by a 12 percent increase in the number of buyers indicating they were shopping casual/outdoor while at Las Vegas Market.
“Market this summer has been absolutely impressive and we’re starting to see the Casual/Outdoor market grow,” said Tony Rodriguez, president/CEO of Summerset Casual. “Sunday we wrote a couple of major orders and saw a lot of new faces we haven’t seen before. We’re writing a special proposal for a top 100 retailer for 2019, and this was a very large buyer.”
Buyers said they appreciated the convenience and depth and breadth of product offered at Las Vegas Market, including Karen Phillips, representing Top 100 furniture retailer Weekends Only in St. Louis, Mo.
Increase in Gift Attendance Signified Continued Growth Trajectory for the Category
The gift category continued its growth trajectory for the sixth consecutive summer market, increasing gift buyer attendance by 6 percent from Las Vegas Market summer 2016. The Market continues to gain resources across the full spectrum of gift categories, with the most marked growth in gourmet, toy/children’s products and lifestyle categories.
Allan Share, executive director of the Spa Industry Association from Waconia, Minn., which includes 43,000 members nationally, commented, “If you’re in our spa channel and have not attended, you absolutely need to fix that. Las Vegas Market has an amazing selection of ‘front of the house’ retail items, many of which will return two, three or even four times mark-up from cost.”
The Western Interior Design Community Embraces Las Vegas Market
The majority of the interior designers who attend Las Vegas Market come from California, Arizona and Nevada, but there were notable increases in designer attendees from the Midwest, Northeast and TOLA (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas) regions for summer market.
In addition to the record number of product resources, summer Las Vegas Market included a comprehensive slate of special events, awards programs, seminars, and guided tours of the market with top designers, magazine editors and industry professionals, adding to the core value for the design community.
Continued Growth Ahead
Maricich reiterated that Las Vegas Market will continue to serve its customers with a variety of home furnishings and gift product offerings, as well as educational presentations and seminars.