LVM reports 13% attendance spike
LAS VEGAS – The organisers of the Winter 2018 edition of the twice-annual furniture, mattress, home décor and giftware trade event here claimed it ended with a record number of buyers and suppliers reporting both extensive order writing and extraordinary levels of energy and enthusiasm. It hosted more than 4,300 resources exhibiting across its various product categories as well as a 13% gain in overall buyer attendance.
“Las Vegas Market gets bigger and better with every edition, and exhibitor participation and buyer attendance reached unprecedented highs this winter 2018. Against a back-drop of overarching industry optimism, we expanded both our permanent showrooms and temporary exhibits, which generated a corresponding, increase in buyer awareness, turnout and order writing,” Robert Maricich, chief executive officer of International Market Centers (IMC) said in a statement.
“The attendance increases are incredible, but even more impactful was the quality of attendees, with buyers ranging from major chains to independent shops to high-end designers,” he continued. “These dramatic and dynamic gains are indications that Las Vegas Market is continuing to deliver an unrivaled market experience as the leading furniture, home decor and gift destination in the western United States.”
IMC owns and organises the Las Vegas Market (LVM), which is held at this city’s World Market Center.
According to IMC, its furniture segment experienced the strongest market-to-market gain, with attendance growth of 17%; while the gift category registered attendance increases of 12%; attendance by home décor buyers grew 9%; and attendance by interior designers, architect and contract/hospitality buyers increased by 9%.
Buyers from all 50 states and some 77 countries attended the winter market. From the U.S., the highest attendance was by buyers from California, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and Utah. Leading international countries represented were Canada, Mexico, China, Australia and Colombia. However, no exact attendance figures or comparatives were provided.
Tyler Smith, president of furniture, lighting and accessories resource Vertuu Design, commented, “We have had phenomenal traffic and have been slammed all show,” Tyler Smith, president of Canadian furniture, lighting and accessories resource Vertuu Design was quoted as saying. “There is a strong South American connection with the Las Vegas Market and we had many customers from South America this winter. Our company is four years old, a young business; we’ve seen our business grow rapidly due to, in large part, Las Vegas Market and IMC.”
Exhibitors in all categories reported vigorous order writing and traffic throughout the market.
“The winter market has been great; in fact, it’s been insane,” said Luis Ruesga, chief executive of furniture and home décor supplier Zuo Modern. “The traffic has been strong – by Tuesday we already had seen 2,400 buyers, about 1,000 more than we normally would see. We’ve had all tiers of customers – big stores (Macy’s, Target, Rooms to Go) as well as new independent stores and interior designers. I really like the lifestyle structure that has been adopted here: there are more mattresses, lighting, décor and seasonal. Overall there’s a lot more diversity.”
Highlights of the Winter Market included a rich assortment of new product introductions and an increase in upscale exhibitors featuring better goods. Notable launches included upholstery and case goods manufacturer Vanguard Furniture, which debuted a cross-merchandised package of furniture, decorative textiles and home accessories in conjunction with leading luxury bedding and accessories supplier Eastern Accents; major upper-end bedding manufacturer Restonic, which showcased its handcrafted mattresses in a new 14,115-square-foot showroom; and first-time housewares exhibitor Wüsthof debuted its high-end cutlery.
Additionally, leading casual furniture supplier Agio shifted their product development and introduction cycle to align with LVM’s winter event, signaling a “game changer” for casual market product sourcing and shopping.
In total, 42 new and expanding furniture showrooms opened for winter, bringing LVM’s furniture resources to 2,000; along with significant growth in the bedding category, with 220 resources featured.
Winter also featured some 2,300 gift and home décor lines complementing the 2,000 furniture lines, including some 37 new and expanded gift and home décor showrooms. Growth has been particularly strong in the expanding gourmet category, reaching an all-time high with 650 gift-oriented housewares, tabletop and specialty food resources in both permanent showrooms and temporary exhibit space.
Other highlights included a profusion of star-studded celebrity launches, including TV personality Jeff Lewis for Alder & Tweed; HGTV’s Scott Brothers for Restonic and Coaster Furniture; master furniture craftsman Tim McClellan for Green Gables Furniture; and actress/model Kathy Ireland for AICO/Michael Amini.
A notable high point of the Winter Market was the appearance of internationally-renowned architect and Pritzker Prize recipient Frank Gehry, who was awarded the 2018 Design Icon honor in front of an audience of more than 600, including a large number of architects and architectural program students. In addition, Gehry spoke at an invitation-only reception at The Ruvo Center for Brain Health, an event described by many attendees as a “once in a lifetime” experience.
“Unparalleled buying group attendance, spectacular events and education, much improved signage, traffic-driving displays and thousands of social media impressions contributed to the compelling and overwhelmingly positive vibe at Winter Market,” Maricich said.
The summer edition of the market will run from 29 July to 02 August, 2018.