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Third National Home Furnishings Month set for September

Will include sweepstakes to pay mortgage, rent for a year
LAS VEGAS — International Market Centers is launching the third annual National Home Furnishings Month in September, expanding a home mortgage sweepstakes to include renters too.

Previously sponsored by the World Market Center - before a mega-deal this year brought the WMC and key High Point Market properties under common ownership by International Market Centers - the "Is It Home Yet?" campaign tied to the sweepstakes and September National Home Furnishings Month opened for retailer participation Wednesday.

The campaign is a free service to retailers, who can use the sweepstakes and promotions to drive in-store traffic, official said.

This year's campaign features a Home Mortgage or Rent Sweepstakes, giving consumers the chance to win a year of payments. The sweepstakes kicks off Labor Day weekend and runs through Sept. 30. The prize will be awarded as $24,000 cash, based on an average monthly home mortgage or rent expense of $2,000.

"We created National Home Furnishings Month three years ago with the goal of uniting retailers, and providing our partners with the necessary tools to inspire a newfound customer enthusiasm," IMC CEO Bob Maricich said in a release.

He said last year's campaign saw a 30% increase in participation from the previous year.

"Our hope is that this year's sweepstakes inclusion of renters as well as homeowners will open the doors for retailers to reach a new consumer," Maricich said.

IMC said that last year more than 9,000 retailers participated in the National Home Furnishings Month consumer marketing initiative, which included a listing on the store locator section of the campaign's website, www.HomeYet.com, and a complimentary tool kit and in-store promotion.

This year, the promotion is running throughout September, giving retailers more time to tie in sales and the sweepstakes. Last year, the promotion ran for nine days.

The campaign will be promoted through social media advertising on Facebook that will be targeted to reach users "with the highest affinity toward decorating and purchasing for their home, building a community of influencers on social media," IMC said.

Consumers can become fans of the Is It Home Yet? Facebook fan page where they can get trend updates and interact through activities including a "What's Your Style Design Quiz."

Through the campaign's website, www.HomeYet.com, retailers can promote their store's National Home Furnishings Month specials and sales events on the retailer locator. The website also features new content including home makeover tips and trend information, design quizzes and woman-on-the-street interviews, and area featuring HGTVs Monica Pedersen that uncovers what today's consumers are seeking for their home.

In the release, Western Home Furnishings Assn. Executive Director Sharron Bradley called the National Home Furnishings Month "a great way to encourage customers to celebrate their homes and purchase new home furnishings."

"Over the last few years, we have seen this campaign create a renewed sense of excitement with customers in purchasing home furnishings and it has helped drive traffic to our retailer stores during the month," she said.

Retailers who want to participate can sign up at www.homeyet.com/retailer-login or can visit the WHFA Retail Resource Center in World Market Center C-496 during the Las Vegas Market, Aug. 1-5. Information also is available by emailing retailstores@homeyet.com.

Retailers signing up to participate before Aug. 5 will receive a unique URL their customers can use to enter the online sweepstakes. Those signing up later will refer their customers to www.HomeYet.com to enter.

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