Winter 2012 Las Vegas Market 'strongest in three years'
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, February 21, 2012
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Winter Las Vegas Market of 2012 was the strongest in three years, according to Robert Maricich, CEO of International Market Centers. "According to our statistics, the recession is officially over in the eyes of the furnishings industry," Maricich said in a statement released today. "The energy at Winter Market was palpable. Buyers were buying, and ultimately, that's what counts."
At the winter Las Vegas Market, HStudio launched Priscilla Presley Home, a home decor and furniture collection. Hstudio founder Shlomi Haziza is shown above with Presley at HStudio's launch party.
Las Vegas Market officials reported significant increases in attendance by retailers, interior designers, and international buyers - especially those from Canada, Latin America and the Middle East. Compared to the winter market a year ago, 14% more companies were in attendance, and more than 4,000 buyers attended the Las Vegas Market for the first time.
Compared to the summer market of 2011, the winter market of 2012 saw a 23% increase in buyers, a 31% increase in attendance by interior designers, a 19% increase in home accessories buyers, a 9% increase in floor coverings buyers, and a 21% increase in furniture buyers.
Since August 2011, Las Vegas Market has signed an additional 275,000 square feet of showroom and exhibit space to 257 companies, 236 of which are new to the Las Vegas Market.
Maricich noted that the recent merger of the WMC Las Vegas complex and key High Point properties under the International Market Centers umbrella is a positive force for the industry. "The two Markets are now cooperating, not competing. It's a union that has been a long time in coming, but one that is mutually beneficial for everyone in the industry. We can now offer buyers, exhibitors and manufacturers the best of both Markets."
Brock Bogenschutz, director of e-commerce for Yosemite Home Décor said, "Vegas Market was exceptional for us. The dynamic was as strong as the product mix. Everyone loves coming to Vegas. We consider it our major Market, and we look forward to continuing to build on our success here."
More than 40 companies participated in the WMC's debut "Made in U.S.A. Pavilion."
Pacific Coast Lighting's Clark Linstone, Kathy Ireland and Robert Maricich in the WMC Plaza.
Global Views CEO David Gebhart said Las Vegas has a zest about it. "We got to work hand in hand with our customers to educate them on trends and color palettes. There was a noticeable uptick in traffic and business in general. We were very pleased."
Jason Phillips, vice president creative director for The Phillips Collection, said the Las Vegas Market best reaches its west coast customers but also has growing attendance from east coast and international buyers. "The city has established itself firmly as a national and international Market," he said.
Market officials reported a 22 percent increase in gift buyer attendance over Winter 2011, with notable growth among general gift stores, apparel, bookstores, hospital gift shops and resort buyers. "The growth trajectory for the gift segment at Las Vegas Market is phenomenal," Maricich said. "There's a demand to have one regional market west of the Mississippi, evidenced with the overwhelming support among buyers and sellers. We will continue to put resources into attracting more gift vendors to Las Vegas in order to create a truly diverse marketplace of home and gift products which aligns with the varied merchandising strategy of today's savvy retailer."
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