Recent Show Generated 35 Percent Increase in Attending Gift Buyers, 27 New and Expanded Permanent Showrooms, and 75 New-To-Market Exhibitors for Gift+Home Temporaries
LAS VEGAS – (August 11, 2011) – At the recent Summer 2011 Las Vegas Market the Gift+Home show continued its trend of success, exceeding expectations with a boom in gift buyer attendance. Gift buying groups doubled and new exhibitors and events drew excitement to the show-in-show at Las Vegas Market, which took place Aug. 1 – 5.
A surge in overall buyer attendance at the recent Las Vegas Market delivered the strongest Summer Market in three consecutive years. In particular, gift and decorative accessory retailers showed up in droves with a 35 percent increase at the recent show over last year. Among these stores, the fastest growing distribution channels in attendance were department stores, chain stores, hospital gift shops, bookstores, drug stores, apparel shops, seasonal/floral and specialty retailers.
Moreover, international buyer attendance was up 23 percent over a year ago, with particular growth in Latin American countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela and Panama. Additional international outreach efforts, aimed at hosting large overseas buying delegations, further boosted attendance and translated into strong order-writing for Las Vegas Market exhibitors. In all, 95 countries were represented at Las Vegas Market and more than half of these international buyers and designers were first-time attendees.
Additionally, the number of gift buying groups at Las Vegas Market doubled, and many were first time attendees. Those in attendance included ACE Hardware, Association for Healthcare Volunteer Resource Professionals, Garden Centers for America, Monograms America, Parable Group, Purchasing Power Plus, Wild Birds Unlimited and Zoo & Aquarium Buyers Group. Each group acknowledged tremendous growth in the category and was eager to have a market center provide meeting space and amenities where sales meetings could be hosted.
“Despite continued economic challenges, we are pleased to hold our strongest, best-attended Summer Market in three years,” said Robert Maricich, chief executive officer of International Market Center, parent company of World Market Center Las Vegas. “Our growth in new gift and home resources at the recent market, coupled with compelling events, plus the number of new products and specials we’re seeing throughout the showrooms has enhanced the value proposition for gift buyers to attend. Together with our partners and exhibiting companies, we are delivering on our objective to create the most dynamic event for the gift industry west of the Mississippi.”
Nearly a Half-Million Square Feet in New Exhibitors and Renewals Drove More Buyers to Summer Market; Tenants Report Strong Traffic and Order Writing
Delivering this uptick in buyers is a result of recent success in leasing efforts and the combined outreach of the showrooms. In total, World Market Center signed 440,000 square feet of new and renewed space in the first half of the year. These new showrooms joined the 1,300-plus exhibitors at Summer 2011 Las Vegas Market comprised of leading suppliers in home furnishings and accessories, outdoor and juvenile furnishings as well as top gift and décor lines.
In particular, the Gift+Home sector of the business has seen 27 new and extended leases this year alone, totaling 100,000 square feet of space. Major new additions to the floor include OneCoast and Imagine That! Meanwhile, K&K Interiors and Evergreen Enterprises doubled their showrooms this market, plus the successful relocation of seven leading rug showrooms to Building B.
Debbie Jo Spencer, owner of Imagine That! was optimistic about this year’s market. “This is our first Las Vegas Market, and we truly didn’t know what to expect. But our expectations have been exceeded by 500 percent! Our success here, after only one day, rivals what we do at the Dallas market where we’ve been for 10 years. That’s a strong statement. The reactions we are getting are over the top. People are elated with our gift offerings.”
John Keiser, CEO for OneCoast, reported, “This is our first show in Las Vegas and we are impressed with the energy in the building. Traffic is brisk, customers are upbeat and we’re very pleased with the results.”
John Brooks of K&K Interiors noted, “Our show is going tremendously so far. It’s exceeding our expectations in both quality and quantity. In fact, in one day, we had more sales than all of last Market! We are very happy and pleased with the experience and love our new location.”
In the temporaries, Las Vegas Market featured 156 new-to-market exhibitors spread across floors B2, C4 and C5. Gift+Home welcomed more than 75 of those new temporary exhibitors, creating a strong lineup which included some of the most recognizable names in the industry such as Ty, Inc., Precious Moments through The Alliance Group, Webkinz by Ganz, Aurora World, Bearington Collection, Trollbeads, and Jelly Belly. These temporary exhibitors joined an unbelievable lineup of permanent Gift+Home tenants representing more than 60 new lines this summer. C5 was alive throughout market with exciting new events like wine tastings and gourmet cooking demos designed to drive traffic.
Attendees Glean Insights from Former U.S. President and Today’s Top Taste Makers Discover Hot Products Across Market
Las Vegas Market offered true thought leadership for today’s business-minded home furnishings professionals. Attendees had the unique opportunity to gain insight from a variety of educational programming, including President Bill Clinton, who provided the keynote address Tuesday evening, co-sponsored by the iComfort by Serta. A rapt audience of more than 10,000 Las Vegas Market attendees packed into the World Pavilions on the World Market Center Las Vegas campus to hear the words of the former world leader.
On the Gift+Home floor, keynote speaker Cinda Baxter, a self-proclaimed “retail enabler” discussed the 3/50 Project— a movement born out of a blog post before exploding internationally—and spoke with attendees in her exclusive seminar, “It Takes a Village.” Her project aims to reconnect local merchants and consumers with its positive, effective messaging by encouraging patronage of locally owned, independent retailers. Additionally Linda Cahan, of Cahan and Company, spoke to a rapt and crowded audience about visual merchandising and store design.
On the new product frontier, attendees also enjoyed “First Look,” a biannual tradition highlighting trends and new product picks for Market. Celebrity designer Monica Pedersen of HGTV and home products/trends editor Julie Smith Vincenti guided a visually stunning virtual tour of new introductions at market. Together, they showcased a number of must-have items to be found in Market showrooms, highlighting up-and-coming trends such as a recent departure from opulence and excess, use of Mid-Century-Modern accessories, and a movement for uniquely designed seating.
The robust activity of Market’s opening day was culminated with an incredibly supportive turnout at the Gift for Life “Up on the Roof” charity cocktail reception. The inaugural event sold more than 500 tickets and all the proceeds benefited the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA). VIP guests who mingled throughout the crowd included design icon Roger Thomas and HGTV’s Monica Pedersen.
For more information on Las Vegas Market, visit www.lasvegasmarket.com.
About World Market Center Las Vegas
World Market Center Las Vegas is an integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and trade complex. The campus showcases furniture, decorative accessories, gift, lighting, area rugs, home textiles and related segments, as well as the Las Vegas Design Center open daily to consumers and designers. For more information on World Market Center Las Vegas and its trade shows including the bi-annual Las Vegas Market and Gift+Home, visit www.wmclv.com. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.
World Market Center Las Vegas is a property of International Market Centers, L.P. (IMC), the world’s largest operator of premier showroom space for the furnishings, home décor and gift industries. International Market Centers owns and operates 11.5 million square feet of world-class exhibition space in High Point, N.C. and Las Vegas. IMC’s mission is to build and operate an innovative, sustainable, profitable and scalable platform for the furnishings, home décor and gift industries. For more information on IMC, visit imcenters.com.