The Las Vegas market returned to its usual January schedule with strong performances reported in furniture, bedding, home decor and gifts, as well as a full slate of thought leadership programs and events from the industry during the winter 2022 edition, from January 23 to 27, at the World Market Center Las Vegas.
“The Las Vegas market is back!” said Bob Maricich, CEO of International Market Centers (IMC). “Buying power, activity and enthusiasm were at a level we hadn’t seen in two years. Exceptional product presentations, engaging programming and the ability to reconvene created an unparalleled market experience. »
The Las Vegas market is rapidly picking up footfall, growing 50% from its winter (April) 2021 presentation. Significant gains were seen in international footfall, as well as buyers from the Midwest and Northeast . West Coast traffic continued to be strong with strong participation from California retailers and designers. Overall, all 50 states and 50 countries were represented at the winter market.
Brands reach new buyers in Las Vegas market
Nearly 40 new and expanded showrooms, in addition to thousands of return lines, offered a wealth of resources for buyers and created new opportunities for brands, especially with the design community.
“As it was our first show, we really didn’t know what to expect. And I’ll tell you, it was over the top in terms of the number of people we saw and the enthusiasm of the people who were here. “said Matt Cowan, executive vice president of sales for Hooker Furnishings, which hosted more than 1,400 accounts in its first showroom in Las Vegas. “We’ve brought some of our top retailers through, with a strong Creator Channel involvement, which is why we came to the Las Vegas market.”
“We saw many retailers – local and further afield – but the vast majority were designers from all over,” said Maria Mullen, CEO of Hubbardton Forge, a new fixed-wire lighting showroom for designers. and custom projects. “Having all these conversations in person is always better than sending out a million eblasts or social media posts.”
As a gift, new showrooms have multiplied the discovery opportunities for buyers
“Opening the showroom to the Las Vegas market has been fantastic,” said Karen Alweil, Founder and CEO of Karen Alweil Studio, representing 38 gift and lifestyle brands. “We’re seeing customers who aren’t going to other markets that we haven’t seen in a long time, and meeting new customers who aren’t currently working with commercial agencies. I feel good about the opportunities that will arise from my participation in the Las Vegas market. »
Established exhibitors in the Las Vegas market also reported good shows.
“Tag posted historic and record numbers at the Las Vegas market and we, along with our respected sales agencies, have momentum as we take our brand on the road for future bookings,” said Chuck Fraelich, President of Gift. , interior decoration and seasonal brand. “The resilience of the independent specialist clientele is remarkable, and thanks to their efforts in 2021, most are coming out of good years and they have come to the market looking for inventory as demand remains strong for 2022.”
“People who came to the Las Vegas market came to shop,” said Karen Baartmans, director of marketing at Corsicana Mattress, which expanded its space after expanding its business last year. “Buyers were happy to return to the market to prepare for the selling season.”
“We had a record number of appointments ahead of the show, and sales are above pre-pandemic numbers and more in line with 2018 and 2019,” said Mike Audley, national sales manager for the supplier. seasonal The Gerson Companies. “We are building our business through new accounts coming to us in the Las Vegas market.”
Exhibitors at the more than 400 temporary Las Vegas Market booths featured at Expo and B2 also reported record exposures and new accounts.
“The 2022 Las Vegas Winter Market was the best we’ve had in a few years. We’re glad everyone is back and buying again,” said Dustin Rowser of home decor brand Uber Chic Home, who said they work with “big buyers who want quantity.”
“About 90% of our first day orders were from new customers we had never met,” said Candice Cancade, CFO of Lynn & Liana Serveware.
Jennifer Borré, owner of Berit Brooks Handmade Leather Pieces, said the market was “incredible. We opened the show with a massive queue in front of our booth. We had a record sales volume.
“We were criticized all day on opening day,” said Stacy Reid of Tinte Cosmetics. “We had someone who wanted to place an order within the first 10 minutes. We could have used another salesperson in the booth.
Las Vegas market experience attracts buyers
With travel restrictions lifted, many key accounts have returned to the market including City Furniture, The Dufresne Group, Pottery Barn, RC Willey, Rooms To Go and more.
“It’s been two years since our team traveled to the market, and we’ve missed the people and the pulse of a furniture market,” said Shaun Dufresne, Senior Merchandising Manager for Le Groupe Dufresne serving 320 locations. across Canada. “We were very excited to return to the in-person discovery and engagement process that the market offers.”
Buying groups and associations had a strong presence at the Las Vegas market, including the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), GC (Gourmet Catalog) Buying Group, Museum Store Association (MSA), Zoo Aquarium & Garden (ZAG), the Rental Buying Group (TRIB), Real Deals, PLATIN Latin American Alliance, Fair Trade Federation and Furniture Marketing Group (FMG), which hosted over 200 buyers for pre-marketing seminars and on-site shopping the market.
“Real Deals has a long history with the Las Vegas marketplace and finally being able to meet in person in 2022 was like coming home,” said Lorie Crandall, COO of Real Deals selling home decor and furniture. women’s fashion in Twin Falls, Idaho.
“Our members came from all over Mexico. It’s amazing that they came to the United States to go to the Las Vegas market and found something great made in their country,” said Celina Villarreal, chief financial officer of PLATIN Latin American, who showcased 14 furniture and home decor member brands to buying members and the general. market visitors in a new permanent exhibition space.
For many shoppers, the overall Las Vegas market experience was the draw. Designer Saskia Vandermeulebrouche, CEO of Design Fusion in San Diego, Calif., said, “The Las Vegas market has a great vibe. For designers, it’s “Candy Land”, where you can find everything in one place. There are different characteristics, different furniture, different styles. It is a source of inspiration.
“The Las Vegas market has the best representation of sellers and categories,” said Carly Winslow, buyer for Martin Patrick 3, which offers fine apparel and home furnishings as well as interior design in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “I always leave the market feeling inspired. I always find something new and interesting to add to our store’s assortment, whether it’s gifts, furniture or home decor.”
Shoppers enjoyed nearly 30 events with lineup unique to Las Vegas, including an exclusive Juniper-hosted concert by American pop group OneRepublic, as well as signature lineup with design icon Kathryn Ireland, as well as cooking demonstrations, designer panels, trend forecasts and more. Notably, Blackstone Economist, Senior Managing Director and Chief Investment Strategist, Private Wealth Solutions, Joe Zidle, shared his views on global supply chain, jobs/wages and other topics. priorities with a select group of CEOs.
New B2B e-commerce platform JuniperMarket had a strong presence at the Las Vegas Market with a new experience center in the heart of the World Market Center courtyard, as well as an all-new JuniperCommerce showroom and pop-up experiences at three World Market Centers Las Vegas buildings.
“The excitement of the 2022 Las Vegas Winter Market doesn’t end there,” added Maricich. “This marks the start of an exciting season of trade events that IMC is hosting at Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas, beginning with our very own Las Vegas Apparel in February and followed by ToyFest West.