Las Vegas Market experiences healthy order writing
Demand for fresh, new product drove retailers and designers from the western U.S. and beyond to the Aug. 22-26 Las Vegas Market with exhibitors reporting healthy order writing for immediate needs and future planning. Overall attendance at the summer market — held one month later than usual — exceeded attendance over the market’s April edition and represented about 60% of summer pre-pandemic attendance.
“Las Vegas Market has continued its positive recovery trajectory despite recent setbacks in the nation’s response to the pandemic,” Bob Maricich, CEO for International Market Center (IMC), said. “This week again proved that Las Vegas Market is the preferred Western location for discerning buyers and brands to come together to get business done.”
In addition to its core West Coast audience, Las Vegas Market attracted a nation-wide audience with buyers from all 50 states with notable increases from the northeast (32%), southeast (19%), southwest (10%) and the Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas (11%) regions. International traffic is rebounding well with a 60% growth over April 2021 and buyers from 42 countries. Gift category attendance was especially strong, with an 11% growth over April attendance.
Back to Market
Product discovery and the in-person market experience were key motivators for buyers at the summer 2021 Las Vegas Market, many of whom were returning to the market for the first time since Winter 2020.
Buyers also were excited for the full Las Vegas experience. “I love Vegas, I think it’s fun,” said Trish Mitchell, executive director of 4RKids in Enid, Oklahoma. “We found a really good product that I don’t think anyone in our area has. I just can’t imagine it not going over huge.”
Healthy Order Writing
Across gift, home décor and furniture, exhibitors reported serious order-writing from buyers not only completing their sourcing for the fourth quarter but also getting a head start on their 2022 ordering.
“We didn’t see the ‘catalog collectors’ this market. Everyone that came in had the intention of buying and orders have been really big with retailers buying deeper,” said Sande Womack, principal of New Era Sales Team, which represents 55 lifestyle brands including a new expansion into gourmet foods. “Our whole marketing campaign for this market was planning and pre booking for 2022, but we had a lot of people come in seeing if they could still get Christmas 2021.”
Crossover with the concurrent HD Expo and ASD also drove traffic to Las Vegas Market.
Las Vegas Market’s temporary exhibits hit their stride in the new EXPO at World Market Center, with exhibitors reporting strong shows and many new accounts.
“We had the strongest first day in the history of our company at this market with 60% new accounts. I’ve never had that kind of response in any market before,” said Carlos Arias, founder and CEO of Inspired Peru, which imports handmade gift and home décor from Peru. “The quality of the customers and the buyers at Las Vegas Market has been really good. That’s exactly what a brand like mine is looking to find at market: customers who are not just knowledgeable in what they’re looking for, but also open to the new products.”
Buyers echoed the brands’ enthusiasm. “There were such cool new vendors in the temporary exhibits. We found some new vendors and returned to the people who know and support ZAG,” said Judy Rancour, director of retail operations for the Saint Louis Zoo and Zoo, Aquarium & Garden Buyers Group (ZAG) Board President. “The EXPO is so much more impressive than I’d anticipated. The new space is fabulous, there’s such a good vibe.”
Return of At-Market Events
The Summer Las Vegas Market marked the return of in-person events — with masking and proper social distancing protocols in place — with strong attendance at six trend-focused at-market activities. Live seminars included IMC’s proprietary FIRSTLOOK and Ahead of the Curve programs and sessions with design and retail thought leaders. The ANDYZ, hosted 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.
On-campus experiences showcased the trends and celebrated the at-market experience. The First Look Display welcomed buyers from the EXPO into Building C with engaging representations of the themes: EARLY TO RISE, SPECIAL EFFECTS, HOME & AWAY and ’80s BEATS. Three Market Snapshot vignettes showcased the 54 finalists including 6 winners.
Onsite activity surrounding Juniper was brisk with buyers clamoring to pre-register for JuniperMarket — IMC’s new digital e-commerce marketplace launching later this year. JuniperMarket photo-booths also heightened the energy by encouraging buyers to share their market experiences via social media. Juniper’s showroom and activations were busy with suppliers interested in both the marketplace as well as the JuniperCommerce suite of SaaS tools.
Additionally, some 20+ buying groups and trade associations held meetings, gatherings and buying visits at the Summer 2021 Market.
The next Las Vegas Market runs Jan. 23-27, 2022, at World Market Center Las Vegas. For more information, visit www.lasvegasmarket.com.