Summer 2020 Las Vegas Market: Contracted But Successful with Serious Buyers

Frances Ferrante
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LAS VEGASA successful Summer 2020 Las Vegas Market looked different from past events but nonetheless reported strong buying for the vital fourth-quarter selling period.

Taking place August 30 to September 3 (about a month later than usual) and featuring a mix of a showroom-only format and virtual events, the market had a different feeling as a result of the pandemic. Attendance was reported at 20 percent of the typical in-person numbers.

Exhibitors presented more than 1,300 resources to an audience of predominately regional buyers sourcing new products for design projects and replenishing much-needed merchandise. Las Vegas Market also created a lineup of more than 25 virtual pre-market webinars on topics ranging from diversity and inclusion to retail best practices. Some exhibitors offered ShopZio-enabled B2B ecommerce capabilities, while others created 3-D showroom tours.

“Although Las Vegas Market was unlike any we’ve ever experienced, we were able to manage and meet buyer and supplier expectations,” said Bob Maricich, International Market Centers CEO. “From arrival to exit, we delivered a safe and business-focused buying opportunity that best supported market needs during this uncertain time.”

The good news is that the sellers — which span the furniture, home décor and gift industries — reported strong sales and steady traffic. Buyers were pleased with the changes that were put in place as a result of COVID-19, among them stepped-up cleaning protocols, temporal monitoring, required use of personal protective equipment and social distancing, limits on showroom traffic, and hand sanitizing/cleansing.

Designers made up the largest percentage (28%) of buyers, and the group was predominantly regional, with 77% coming from the Western United States of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Texas. As a result of the pandemic, they were looking for products that were in stock and ready to ship. The showrooms reported that those in attendance were there to buy.

“We’re sourcing items for a project we’re doing and upping our inventory for our online store. We’ve met awesome vendors and made some great relationships. Overall, I feel like it’s safe,” said Freddy Godinez and Alexander Stabler of Fredric Alexander in Las Vegas.

The event was also the debut of The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas, a 315,000-square-foot exposition facility on the World Market Center Las Vegas campus. It had originally been slated for use as exhibit space but instead became the site for registration and health screenings. A grand opening of the Expo is planned for Winter 2021 Las Vegas Market.

Reach Bob Maricich at bmaricich@imcenters.com or (404) 220-2300.