The increased adoption of vaccinations, the improvement in the mood to travel, and the return of the Las Vegas Market’s gift and home makeshifts – taking place at the brand new Expo at the World Market Center Las Vegas – all contributed to and paved the way for a buoyant and productive market in April 2021 Way for recreation on the west coast in the furniture, home decor and gift categories.
“Everyone was ready to do business again in Las Vegas Market,” said Bob Maricich, CEO of International Market Centers (IMC). “The increased confidence of buyers and sellers, coupled with an unprecedented desire to source in person, generated optimism and excitement, resulting in a robust buy and sell event.”
Robust visitor numbers on the west coast are making for a resurgence
The market recovered in April 2021. The number of visitors increased by 346 percent compared to the market in summer 2020. Participation in the Las Vegas Market was predominantly regional – with 69 percent from the western United States. In total, the participants came from 30 countries and from all 50 US states, with California, Nevada and Arizona being the three most important countries of origin. In addition, the April market reflected a significant increase in buyers in the main categories – gifts (+354 percent), home decor (+337 percent) and furniture (+327 percent) – as well as designers (+332 percent).
Retailers and designers were confident and excited to be shopping at the Las Vegas Market again. Many retailers have placed larger orders to meet increased consumer demand and to forestall persistent supply chain disruptions. Overall, the mood was clear that seeing the product in person is critical to the business and buyers are happy to be back in the market.
“We had a really strong market and were impressed with how buttoned up, safe, and vibrant it felt,” said Rick Haase, co-owner of Patina stores in Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minn. “There were more attendees and salespeople than we expected, and we were particularly impressed with the temporary exhibits. In addition to the quality time with existing providers, we have found 20 new lines, which is a lot for us in a market. As buyers, we really crave personal experience and interaction with the product and this market has exceeded our expectations. “
“Back to business at Las Vegas Market – the largest collection of furniture and home decor in the western United States,” said Patricia Lockwood, director of the Design Vision Studio in Palm Desert, California. “We call this fair ‘Disneyland for Designers’ because it is overwhelming, exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.”
“Las Vegas Market is truly an interior designer’s paradise and I am impressed with the variety of offers here,” said Kshama Shah, WelcomeHome Interiors in Newark, California. Explore the great collections of furniture, home decor and accessories, art and everything in between, but it has been a rewarding experience so far. “
Gift and home temp are returning dynamically
In April, both temporary exhibits returned after a pandemic-related hiatus, as well as the grand opening of the expo at the World Market Center Las Vegas, its new location on the Las Vegas Market.
With more than 200 new and established gift and home decor resources in six updated destinations – Gift, Design, Craft, Home, Instant Delivery, and Luxury – the WMCLV Expo caused a buzz with buyers and suppliers alike on campus.
“We absolutely loved being at the brand new Expo,” said Caden Landry, Account Manager for longtime exhibitor Albert L. (dot). “Honestly, during the pandemic, we weren’t sure what to expect from the show, but our expectations were blown. The Las Vegas Market has always been a great source of new buyers for us, so we’re very excited to see the market working again. “
Derrick Ricketts, National Sales Director for returning exhibitor Ann Gish added, “We got hit! Our market was fantastic. As the doors opened, we didn’t even have time to sit down. The Las Vegas Market exceeded our expectations. “
The 315,000 square meter expo at WMCLV has an easy-to-enter and efficiently navigated layout that adjoins Building C. The new facility acts as a gateway to the campus and enables a continuous flow of traffic between the store’s temporary exhibitions and permanent showrooms change the arrival experience for shoppers.
Showrooms report robust market
Participation in the showroom returned to pre-pandemic levels with 85 percent of tenants of furniture, home decor and gifts open to the market. Tenants across all categories reported serious purchases, robust sales, and solid traffic, and were optimistic about the recovery and business in 2021.
“Our eyes are on price and we are very optimistic about the balance sheet for the year, as are our retailers,” said Garry Sherman, senior vice president of sales for Creative Co-Op. “We are confident that it will only get better over the next few months and we are excited about it.”
“The 2021 business is now growing,” said Matthew Katzenson, founder and CEO of Fine Lines, which represents 30 gift, lifestyle and apparel brands. “The last 25 days have changed the game fundamentally since the vaccines were really introduced and the stimulus package was funded. We just see the west coast light up like we haven’t seen in 14 months. It’s all very exciting. “
“Overall, the market has been phenomenal,” said Eric Holmstead, director of North American Sales for bedding brand Malouf Home. “Customer demand remains high and retailers are building on the momentum. They are eager to forge new partnerships and add new products to their businesses. We look forward to helping our retail partners build on their product offerings and deliver an exceptional experience to their customers. “
“Designers are here shopping – they don’t kick tires,” said John Pigg, vice president of sales at Vanguard Furniture. “They have projects that they are working on with specific needs that address them. The Las Vegas Market was refreshingly positive and has significantly more visitors than expected. “
The increased demand for home accessories over the past year has accelerated growth in all industries, particularly in the fixed-line lighting offerings in Las Vegas. “We’re showing at the Las Vegas Market to expand our brand into the western US,” said David Rauschuber, senior vice president of first-time exhibitor Craftmade. “The market was really good and we have had a lot of traffic so far. We had a lot of buyers and even more than we expected. “
Many renters said their experience was as safe as it was productive, and mentioned IMC’s Together Safely protocols, which include required use of PPE, time checks, capacity limits, and social distancing measures.
At-market experiences are returning
The April Market signaled the return of market experience with the debut of three on-site Market Snapshot vignettes featuring products from finalists, Juniper’s Preview Pods and Las Vegas-inspired Instagrammable Moments encouraging buyers to share their market experiences.
The new JuniperMarket “Preview Pods” from IMC offered a dynamic visual overview of the B2B e-commerce marketplace, which was launched in 2021. On-site activation enabled potential users to preview the new shopping platform, understand connectivity to IMC’s physical markets, and register for daily iPad freebies. Previously identified winners are Darlene Daughtery, Purple Leopard Boutique in Lake Havasu City, Arizona; Sandra Tuner, Room and Porch in Mesa, Arizona; and Michelle Workman, Cedar Mountain Candle in Las Vegas. To date, more than 11,000 buyers have pre-registered for JuniperMarket, anticipating launch later this year.
Attendees could discover market trends through new “Market Pros” postings on the Las Vegas Market Instagram page, which featured market tips and dozens of favorite products from influential industry professionals.
“The April market was a big step in the right direction for our industry,” concluded Maricich. “The entire ecosystem has changed and as the recovery continues, IMC will keep its finger on the pulse to further adapt to the needs of the industry.”