LAS VEGAS — AUGUST 8, 2017 — Buyers took advantage of a large number of resources – including significant new product introductions and first-time exhibitors – at the recently concluded Las Vegas Market. Following the close of market last Thursday, International Market Centers 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+ 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.
Increase in Gift Attendance Good News for the Industry
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.
Retailer Jan Boydstun of Kitchen Kitchen Inc. in Indian Wells, Calif. said that she was surprised by how much the market has grown since her last visit and by the variety of products.
“Las Vegas Market does such a great job getting the perfect mix for so many different categories,” Boydstun said. “I enjoyed the Pavilions so much and found new, fun things and quality products there.”
Both permanent and temporary exhibitors in the home décor and gift categories commented that the Market’s unique access to a broad cross-section of buyers from west coast and western states helped them identify and open new accounts and reacquaint with lapsed accounts.
“Being here is as much about reaching out westward towards our existing customers, as it is about trying to find new accounts, and the Market is effective in this regard,” said first-time exhibitor Jeannett Purdy of AMEICO. “The Mexican and other Central/South American buyers have very sophisticated taste and I’m struck by their enthusiasm here.”
Returning HANDMADE exhibitor John Gupthill of Funky Rock Designs added, “We are seeing all new businesses for us at this show, with 80 percent of our orders placed coming from new customers. Of all the West Coast shows, Las Vegas is the only place to get the customer base from the West Coast and other Western states.”
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.”