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Casual Market opens

 24 September 2018     HGO Staff 

CHICAGO – Casual Market Chicago, the largest trade event in North America dedicated to the casual and outdoor furnishings industry, will begin its four-day run at the Merchandise Mart (theMART) here today (Tuesday 25 September).

Endorsed by the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) and featuring the latest products and trends, the market occupies more than 350,000 square feet of exhibit space. It hosts over 50 permanent showrooms and nearly 200 temporary exhibitors.

According to the organisers, 11 Canadian companies will exhibit at this year’s Casual Market. One, Cabana Coast – a manufacturer based in Mississauga specialising in cast aluminum and wicker patio furniture – has a permanent showroom in theMART’s Design Center.

The Bay Breeze swivel chair from Canadian outdoor furniture manufacturer C.R. Plastics will be introduced this week at Casual Market Chicago.Another ten Canadian firms have temporary show spaces on the exhibit floor, including: Beka Casting; C.R. Plastic Products; Harman; Lounge Factory; Mountain House Furniture; My Custom Sports Chair; RAM Outdoor Décor; Toja Grid; Urban Bonfire; and, Vivere Ltd.

“Continuing the momentum from July’s well-attended ICFA Preview Show – where showrooms and exhibitors reported strong results – this year’s expanded offerings at Casual Market Chicago further demonstrate the tremendous continued growth of the outdoor furniture market,” said Beth Hicks, managing director of marketing for both theMART’s Design Center and Casual Market Chicago. "We're looking forward to celebrating with the entire casual industry in September as we showcase the latest outdoor living designs and trends.”

She added that for more than 40 years, Casual Market Chicago has gathered the very best manufacturers all under one roof. This year, the trade show welcomes 29 new exhibitors – including Ashley Furniture, the world’s largest furniture manufacturer, which entered the category not too long ago – all of which will join more than 250 manufacturers expected at the show.

Casual Market Chicago is target primarily at retailers – particularly those who specialise in outdoor and casual furniture. But the category has been gaining ground with mainstream furniture retailers in recent years.

In an e-mail, organisers told Home Goods Online that over 125 Canadian stores have buyers that regularly attend the show. Among them are: Best Buy Canada; Costco Wholesale Canada; TJX Canada; Walmart Canada; Canadian Tire; Pioneer Family Pools; Palason; Sheridan NurserieS; and, Hauser Co. Stores.

Casual Market Chicago will also host a dynamic mix of showroom events, open houses and product debuts on all participating floors of theMART. New event highlights for 2018 include:

Craft Beer Cruise – Wednesday, September 26
This interactive event encourages networking while experiencing some of Chicago's popular breweries. Hop between several beer tasting stations to mingle and taste selected craft beers unique to the area.

Designer Day – Thursday, September 27
Designer Day will give temporary exhibitors and permanent showrooms the opportunity to connect and network with interior designers.

ICFA Awards Gala – Thursday, September 27
This year, there will be a change in scenery for the ICFA Awards Gala, which in past years took place at the Field Museum. The new location at Swissotel Chicago will set the stage to celebrate and recognise the 2018 honorees.

Casual Market Chicago will be held on floors 7, 14, 15 and 16 of theMART, located at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza. Show hours will be 8:30am to 6pm on 25, 26 and 27 September and 8:30am to 2pm on 28 September.

The event maintains a web site at www.casualmarket.com.

The International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) web site is at www.icfanet.org.


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