The Las Vegas market in April showed signs of recovery. The number of visitors increased by 346 percent compared to the summer 2020 market. Participation in the Las Vegas Market was predominantly regional – with 69 percent from the western United States – as well as strong representation outside the region with 12 percent from the Midwest and 9 percent from the Southwest. 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).
Confident retailers and designers reported an excitement they were able to source again at the Las Vegas Market. 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, MN. “There were more participants and suppliers 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, CA. “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 options here,” said Kshama Shah, WelcomeHome Interiors, in Newark, CA. “With thousands of exhibitors spending hours exploring and discovering the great collections of furniture, home decor and accessories, art and everything in between, it has been a rewarding experience so far.”
Thomas McCabe of Imminent Design in Palm Springs, CA said of being in person in the marketplace: “Our company benefits most from being in person in the marketplace because we get to see all new product lines and visit our suppliers. And we found so many good things! I think it’s great that everything on a campus is compact and the escalators are accessible via exhibition rooms. It’s easy, convenient, and beautiful. “
Las Vegas Market welcomed more than 20 shopping groups and large shoppers to campus in April, including American Furniture Warehouse. Bob Mills Furniture; Caesars Entertainment Retail; Street furniture; Draegers Market; Furniture market USA; Gallery furniture; Learning express; Leon & Lulu; Habitat; Marshall Retail Group; MGM Resorts; Nebraska Furniture Mart; Patina; Peppercorn; Peppermill Casino Inc .; Phoenix Stores Ltd .; PLATINUM; RC Wiley; Regency furniture; Star furniture; Steinhafels; Tabula rasa; Walker furniture; and Weir’s furniture.
Gift and home temp are returning
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. (period). “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, said, “We got struck! 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-walk 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 buyers.
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 that.”
“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 keen to form new partnerships and add new products to their stores. We look forward to helping our retail partners build on their product offerings and deliver an exceptional experience to 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 @ LasVegasMarket Instagram page, which featured market tips and dozen of favorite product finds from six influential industry professionals: designer Kelly Finley of Joy Street Design (@joystreetdesign), Nayoka Simone of NyRai Interior Designs (@nayokasimone) and Rheana Coon of Design MODE (@designmodestyle); Designer / retailer Leah St. Clair of ArtAndHomeLV (@artandhomelv) and Lamps Plus; and retailers Shannon Gilley of R Cubed Lifestyle (@rcubedlifestyle) and Donna Steakley of the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (@zagfift).
Simone said: “It is a wonderful gift to create added value and to change a person’s space in which they spend their time day after day. That’s why I’m grateful to be able to participate in the @lasvegasmarket #LVMkt [Market Pros]… to show you some of my favorite things. “In her post on the market, she highlighted the decor brands Alder & Tweed Furniture, Casa Bonita, Horizon Home and Mikel Welch Collection and celebrated her love for detail and unique items.
“The April market was a big step in the right direction for our industry,” continued 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.”