12/6/2007 5:09:16 PM
Las Vegas Market - Post Market News Report

Summer 2007 Las Vegas Market Exceeds Organizers’ and Exhibitors' Expectations

 

Las Vegas Market - Post Market News Report

World Market Center Reports Brisk Traffic,

Strong Order Writing and Key Retailer Attendance;

Summer 2007 Las Vegas Market Exceeds Organizers’ and Exhibitors' Expectations

  • Buyer mix continues to excel with greater number of Top 100 retailers, huge influx of first time attendees and more international buyers in attendance.
  • Tenants and exhibitors confirm brisk traffic and strong order writing, exceeding expectations for Summer show.
  • Excitement escalates at World Market Center with successful leasing underway for Building C; Construction on schedule for July 2008 opening.

(LAS VEGAS) – August 8, 2007 – The Summer Las Vegas Market held July 30 through August 3, opened to big crowds and featured thousands of new product introductions and emerging trends from more than 1,300 manufacturers across all categories of home furnishings.

The Summer Las Vegas Market was the largest Las Vegas Market to date, occupying more than 3.8 million square feet of both permanent showrooms and temporary exhibit space including furniture, bedding, accessories, lighting, rugs, wall décor, gift products and more.

Surpassing the historical average of 50,000 registered attendees, Las Vegas Market welcomed its most impressive mix of quality buyers to Summer Market including an increase in Top 100 retailers, a huge influx of first time buyers and more international buyers in attendance.

Dave Palmer, General Manager of World Market Center, said, “This Summer Market outpaced the expectations among exhibitors, not to mention delivered so many new facets for buyers and designers looking for the latest in products, trends and education. We had very strong Market with terrific traffic and very positive feedback for the overall experience our Market delivers for attendees.”

Gaining momentum with leading retailers, 75 percent of the Top 100 U.S. Retailers were registrants of the Summer Las Vegas Market , including such notable top retailers as Rooms To Go, Pier 1 Imports, Nebraska Furniture Mart, R.C. Willey, Haverty’s, Pottery Barn, Levitz Furniture, City Furniture, Robb & Stucky, Room & Board, Z Gallerie and many more.

According to Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based City Furniture, President Keith Koenig said "Las Vegas continues to rise,” pointing to the construction work on Building C. “With this new building, it’s going to attract more and more.”

Howard Freed, owner of Freed’s Home Furnishings in metro Dallas, said he found “tons of new (product)" in Las Vegas noting that one of the keys to this market is the manageable size of the showrooms and how vendors tend to show only their introductions and best sellers. Freed also applauded the market for its work to make the shopping experience better, particularly an improved shuttle service from his hotel to the main buildings.

Las Vegas Market continues to see an influx of new buyers as well, with more than 10,000 retailers and designers attending Las Vegas Market for the first time. Market officials say this growth translates into expanded, incremental business opportunities and new customers for World Market Center tenants and exhibitors.

International attendance was also impressive. The Summer Market also featured a strong global flair, with an influx of international buyers attending their first event. In comparison to July’s 2006 Market, international attendance increased by 27 percent, representing 90 countries that participated at the Market.

The worldwide roster of exhibitors included 205 companies from 25 different countries, which translated to 15 percent of the total exhibitor base. The broad cross section of geographic regions represented 33 percent from Canada; 32 percent from Latin America; 25 percent from Asia; and 10 percent were European brands. The Sands Expo featured the greatest number of global exhibits where buyers benefited from a number of trend-setting international companies from Italy, Japan, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, United Kingdom and Australia and much more.

Rodolfo Leiton of Brazil Pine Furniture was exceptionally ecstatic with the Las Vegas Summer Market. “This is our first show outside Brazil…. We’ve seen five times the number of people we’d hoped for and we’re reserving space for January and July 2008 already.”

Las Vegas Market also expanded participation of new companies by enlisting a compelling 250 companies from the U.S. and around the world who joined the Market for the first time last week.

"This is our first show and it has been incredible,” said Jeff Schmidt of Millenio, El Mundo de Carlos de Anda. “We came in not really knowing what to expect, but this has been better than anything we imagined possible."

With expansions continuing at World Market Center, buyers like Eldon Sullivan of Brooks Furniture & Design in Silverthorne, Colorado find the Las Vegas Market extremely easy to get around. "I don't need to go to other Markets because everything I need is here," said Sullivan.

Tenants and exhibitors confirm brisk traffic and strong order writing, exceeding expectations for Summer show.

“We wrote big orders and lots of them,” said Bill Benton, President of Powell Co. “We stayed busy all week.”

Ed Grund, C.E.O. of case goods importer A.R.T. Furniture was extremely satisfied stating, “The best news is the major players are here and that is great. I am seeing more new customers at this show than in previous ones.”

Ashley Furniture’s Chairman Ron Wanek said his team saw “lots of interest in new product and lots of orders placed.” He added the July Market was much stronger than last July for the company, since it only opened its second and larger showroom in Building B at World Market Center in January. “We know that it’s going to be a powerful market,” said Wanek. “It’s a high-quality place to come.”

Jeff Cook, President of Broyhill Furniture, said, “Any previous numbers we had were blown away with this market. People are coming here not just to visit, they’re here to do business.”

In addition to Buildings A and B at World Market Center, buyers flocked to the Sands Expo where the Market officials further enhanced the categories, product offerings and presentation of the off site trade show event. Buyers said they appreciated the ease with which they could shop the eight distinct product areas.

The Summer Market featured the successful debut of the Design and Living Pavilion, a juried showcase of new companies whose product presentations were set against a dramatic white backdrop. The fashion-forward presentation stimulated buyers and designers in search of the hottest trends and cutting edge designs from around the world. Of the 72 companies that made up Design and Living, 68 percent were first-time exhibitors and 51 percent were from outside North America.

Betty Johanensen, who looks for unique and stylish fixtures for Park Lighting, one of Western Canada’s largest showrooms located in Alberta, has been to every Market in Las Vegas and continues to come to see what's new. While at the Sands Expo, she said she found the exhibitors and new product launches she was hoping to see.

Travis Frye of Home Deco-Direct in Newport Beach, California was equally impressed with the showcase featured at the Sands Expo. "We’re looking for contemporary, small furniture and accessories. We’ve found new vendors here…fresh, new merchandise. The Sands was great."

Sands Expo was also home to the first-ever “Living Green Pavilion” and “Greenhouse Gallery,” featuring the most talked-about movement in the home furnishings industry today: sustainable furniture. The inaugural Living Green Pavilion – complete with complementary educational events and even a Green Party, became the most comprehensive presentation of new sustainable products available to independent home furnishing retailers looking to progress in that category.

“I think World Market Center has become one of the biggest stages for showing products and sustainability is very important to me,” said John Stein, owner of Cardiff, Calif.-based Organo Natural Furnishings. “To see World Market Center taking that so seriously, it shows there’s potential for change in the furniture manufacturing world.”

Einar Elsner, executive vice president of South Cone, said that increasing demand among retailers and consumers and the draw for the new Living Green Pavilion were among the reasons South Cone decided to exhibit at Las Vegas Market. “Our target customers are retailers and interior designers who understand the difference between ‘furniture as commodity’ and furniture as the antiques of the future. We expect Las Vegas Market to increase our exposure to these prospective clients.”

Excitement escalates at World Market Center with successful leasing underway for Building C; Construction on schedule for July 2008 opening.

Those in attendance at the July Summer Market had the chance to check out World Market Center’s ever-evolving campus first-hand -- with a third showroom building reaching skyward. The $550 million architecturally iconic Building C will stand at 16 floors with 130,000 square feet on each floor which is nearly 30 percent larger than those in Buildings A and B. In all, more than 400 showrooms are anticipated for Building C. In conjunction with the opening of Building C, a $60-million, seven-story parking garage with 175,000 square feet on each level will also open. The parking garage will accommodate 3,600 vehicles and allow for up to 15 levels.

With virtually every space in Building C spoken for through signed leases and commitments, the contemporary designed building, featuring red sandstone and metal and glass panels that reflect the changing colors of the desert, sun and sky, will be ready for the July 2008 market. Some of the major furniture exhibitors prepared to move in will include Lexington, Sligh, Huntington, Canadel and Avenue Six, all of whom will have permanent showrooms in Las Vegas for the first time.

In addition, three major exhibitors in Building A — Coaster, Standard and AICO — will move to larger spaces in the new Building C. Coaster will go from its current 13,429 square feet to 50,000 square feet, while AICO will grow from 22,000 square feet to 55,000 and Standard from 19,000 square feet to 33,000.

The top five floors of the new building will be devoted to furniture, while the 10th floor will house lighting showrooms and the ninth floor will have showrooms for holiday, floral and seasonal merchandise. Floors six, seven and eight will be devoted to home accents, decorative accessories and rugs, and the first five floors will be an expansion of the Las Vegas Design Center, where spaces are open throughout the year and cater to interior designers.

Key floor covering tenants who have signed leases include Mohawk, Hellenic Rug Imports, Kas Oriental Rugs and Jaipur Rugs.

“The addition of Building C signifies a major milestone for World Market Center’s growing campus and will feature a significant roster of leading brands,” said Babs Blair, Vice President of Leasing. “With World Market Center quickly becoming the preferred market for U.S. and international buyers, the demand among manufacturers continues to escalate. We are pleased to have commitments and interest for the entire building,” she added.

The Winter 2008 Las Vegas Market is scheduled for January 28 to February 1, 2008 at World Market Center’s Buildings A, B and Pavilions and tradeshow at the MGM Grand Hotel. Attendees can start booking discounted Las Vegas hotel rooms now at www.LasVegasMarket.com.

About World Market Center

World Market Center is an integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and convention complex in Las Vegas. When fully built, at 12 million square feet in 8 buildings, World Market Center will be the largest trade show complex in the world. The $3 billion, state-of-the-art campus will be completed by 2013 and will showcase furniture, decorative accessories, lighting, area rugs, home textile and related segments, as well as the Las Vegas Design Center (LVDC) open year-round to the trade. World Market Center produces the semi-annual Las Vegas Market, held every January and July, and is the fastest growing home furnishings trade show in the world. World Market Center is now leasing the third building to a broad cross-section of the home furnishings industry. For more information World Market Center, and to find out about leasing or exhibiting opportunities, visit the website at www.LasVegasMarket.Com or call 888-WMC-SHOW (962-7469).

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