Demand for new, fresh produce pushed retailers and designers across the western United States and beyond through August 22-26. Las Vegas Market exhibitors reporting good order writing for immediate needs and future planning. Overall summer market attendance – which was held a month later than usual – exceeded attendance in the April edition of the market and was about 60% of summer attendance before the pandemic.
âThe Las Vegas market has continued its positive recovery trajectory despite recent setbacks in the country’s response to the pandemic,â said Bob Maricich, CEO of the International Market Center (IMC). “This week has proven once again that the Las Vegas market is the preferred Western place for discerning buyers and brands to come together to do business.”
In addition to its base audience on the West Coast, the Las Vegas market has attracted a nationwide audience with shoppers from all 50 states with notable increases from the Northeast (32 percent), South -est (19 percent), Southwest (10 percent) and TOLA (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas) (11 percent). International traffic is rebounding well with growth of 60% compared to April 2021 and buyers from 42 countries. Attendance in the Gifts category was particularly strong, with growth of 11% compared to attendance in April.
Buyers are happy to be back
Product discovery and in-person market experience were key motivators for buyers at the Las Vegas summer 2021 market, many of whom were returning to the market for the first time since winter 2020.
âThere is no substitute for the live shopping marketplace,â said Dirk Lorenz, owner of Fremont Flowers in Fremont, Calif. âUsing all of my senses when shopping provides a much better experience after a year and more of activity through zooming and using websites. to source products.
âThe Las Vegas market is important because it is imperative to touch, smell and see products in person,â added Mike Norris, buyer for Gallery Furniture in Houston, TX.
Buyers were also excited about the full Las Vegas experience. âI love Vegas, I think it’s fun,â said Trish Mitchell, executive director of 4RKids in Enid, Okla. âWe found a great product that I think no one in our area has. I just can’t imagine it going over huge.
Lisa Ryan Whyte of Whyte House Design in Chandler, Arizona, posted about her first visit to the market on Instagram: âIt was an eye-opening experience in the world of design, furniture and accessories. I loved looking at all the vendors and finding great options for my clients.
Immediate and future needs bring buyers
When it comes to gifts, home decor and furniture, exhibitors reported serious orders from buyers, not only finishing their supply for Q4, but also having a head start. on their 2022 order.
âThe Las Vegas market was consistent with high quality, well-trained buyers and designers who arrived ready to place confirmed orders rather than writing notes or suspending orders,â added David Gebhart, CEO of Global Views. âWe have seen clients from across the United States with the usual high concentration from the West Coast as well as many from Texas, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Florida. We even welcomed several clients from Canada and Mexico.
âWe haven’t seen ‘catalog collectors’ in this market. Everyone who came was intent on buying and orders were very large, with retailers buying deeper, âsaid Sande Womack, director of the New Era Sales Team (NEST), which represents 55 brands of lifestyle, including further expansion into gourmet foods. “Our entire marketing campaign for this market was planning and pre-booking for 2022, but we had a lot of people coming out to see if they could still have Christmas 2021.”
Crossing with simultaneous HD Expo and ASD also drove traffic to the Las Vegas market. âWe were able to woo some of the HD Expo attendees who came to the World Market Center and once we got them into our showroom we wowed them,â said the vice president of Vanguard Furniture sales, John Pigg, who said he gave look at the books of more than 2,000 designers in the market. âWe’re thrilled to be here as it’s a chance to see a lot of customers who wouldn’t be making it to High Point. “
Temporary exhibitions create business at EXPO
The temporary Las Vegas market exhibits have taken off in the new EXPO at the World Market Center, with exhibitors reporting strong exhibits and many new accounts.
âWe had the strongest first day in our company’s history in this market with 60% new accounts. I’ve never had this kind of response in any market before, âsaid Carlos Arias, founder and CEO of Inspired Peru, which imports handmade gifts and home dÃ©cor from Peru. âThe quality of customers and buyers at the Las Vegas market has been really good. This is exactly what a brand like mine is looking to find in the market: customers who are not only knowledgeable about what they are looking for, but also open to new products.
âOur goal when we got to the Las Vegas market was to set up accounts in the west, people that we can’t see in the south,â said Lori Newell, founder of Birmingham-based Crave Candles in Alabama. “We achieved this goal because we opened accounts in Utah, Montana, California and one here in Las Vegas.”
âWe signed up at the last minute so we weren’t sure what to expect because obviously we didn’t have any training for the show anymore. It definitely blew up any expectations we had ahead, âsaid Danne Semeraro, founder of Sempli Glassware who has worked with independent retailers, multi-location retailers, corporate gift buyers and restaurants and hotel specifiers in the market. “I think moving into the amazing EXPO building is the best thing that can happen to the temporary workers in the Las Vegas market.”
âThere was great enthusiasm among buyers to finally be able to see, touch and smell the products and see people again. We were really happy to be at the Las Vegas market and very grateful that the World Market Center was open, âsaid Carina Santoyo, founder and owner of artisan lifestyle brand Ceremonia. âWe are very excited about the future of our wholesale business and our partnership with Las Vegas Market. We hope to keep coming back for many years to come.
Buyers echoed the enthusiasm of the brands. âThere were some cool new vendors at the temporary exhibitions. We have found new suppliers and have come back to the people who know and support ZAG, âsaid Judy Rancour, Director of Retail Operations at Saint Louis Zoo and Zoo, Chairman of the Aquarium Board of Directors & Garden Buyers Group (ZAG). âThe EXPO is so much more impressive than I had imagined. The new space is fabulous, there is such a great atmosphere.
Return of events to the market
The Las Vegas Summer Market marked the return of in-person events – with masking and social distancing protocols in place – with heavy participation in six trend-driven market activities. Live seminars included IMC’s exclusive FIRSTLOOK and Ahead of the Curve programs and sessions with thought leaders in design and retail. ANDYZ, organized by the Las Vegas Design Center (LVDC) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) California Central / Nevada Chapter, also brought the design community together again to celebrate resilience and recognize excellence, with 11 winners in 10 categories.
The campus experiences showcased trends and celebrated the experience in the marketplace. The First Look Display greeted EXPO buyers in Building C with engaging depictions of the themes: EARLY TO RISE, SPECIAL EFFECTS, HOME & AWAY and ’80s BEATS. Three Market Snapshot thumbnails presented the 54 finalists, including 6 winners.
On-premise activity around Juniper has been intense, with buyers loudly clamoring to pre-register with JuniperMarket, IMC’s new digital e-commerce marketplace launched later this year. JuniperMarket photo booths also stepped up the energy by encouraging buyers to share their market experiences via social media, with designer Olivia Stevens of Allentown, NJ and Ariel Richardson of ASR Design Studio in Escondido, Calif. Juniper iPad gifts. Juniper’s showroom and activations were occupied by vendors interested in both the marketplace and JuniperCommerce’s SaaS tool suite.
In addition, more than 20 buying groups and trade associations organized meetings, rallies and buying tours at the 2021 Summer Market.