January 18, 2019
AmericasMart kicks off winter trade show season
A strong holiday season and a positive outlook for 2019 drove significant buying at The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market and The Atlanta International Area Rug Market according to International Market Centers (IMC). Held Jan. 8-15, 2019, the markets showcased more than 9,000 brands across more than 1,400 showrooms — 70 of which were new and expanded — and 3,300 temporary booths — more than 10 percent of which were new to Atlanta. Buyers from all 50 states and 66 countries visited, with upticks in attendance from the northeast and southeast regions in particular.
“All things are indicating that our industry is poised for a strong and bright start to 2019,” said Bob Maricich, IMC chief executive officer. “Excitement and steady order writing from buyers, innovation and increased investment from exhibitors and the expertise of the now combined IMC team are fueling positive momentum.”
The January 2019 Market was its first staging under IMC. Commenting on AmericasMart’s merger with IMC, Jason Kachan, CEO of Sagebrook Home said “the benefit of having IMC own Atlanta, Las Vegas and High Point is that each is different in so many ways, whether it is the customer base or the product lines. Being at each market helps us to become a big player in the industry.” Kachan saw new and returning accounts including domestic buyers from across the country and international buyers representing big chain stores and small independent boutiques.
Buyers were in Atlanta to see what is new and next across the gift and home décor spectrum.
Growth in design buyers, including interior designers, contract / hospitality specifiers and architects, points to success in IMC’s continued expansion of design-driven home décor resources in Atlanta, and sets an optimistic tone for future initiatives in the home décor and the contract/hospitality sectors. In January, the home décor and commercial design collections had 23 new and expanded showrooms including Ashley Furniture, Wildwood and Chelsea House.
Design thought leaders used the Market to showcase their collaborations with top manufacturers. Among designers presenting their lines this January were Mark D. Sikes for Made Goods, Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Company for Loloi, Denise McGaha for Design Legacy by Kelly O’Neal, Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke from Madcap Cottage for Port 68 and Genevieve Gorder for Capel.
The best of the area rug industry was celebrated at America’s Magnificent Carpets
Interactive programs such as Shop the Show, where design, lifestyle and culinary influencers explored the market, drew buyers into sponsor showrooms as the tastemakers shared their favorite finds. Buyers also explored new products in places including the Eco Lounge and the Wellness and Rejuvenation Lounge, which featured a significantly expanded product presentation this winter.
Programming highlights included celebrity chefs Paula Deen and Nancy Fuller plus local chefs and beverage experts in the Fiesta Dinnerware Demonstration Kitchen, presentations from top retailers, social media experts and PANTONE trend forecasters, as well as interactive workshops and industry celebrations.
Exhibitors upped their commitments to the market through new and expanded showroom presentations and tradeshow debuts, as well as major showroom renovations.
Positive reactions to the Market extended beyond AmericasMart’s three buildings. Conversations and engagement across digital and social media platforms resulted in more than 1 million impressions.
During the market, IMC marked its commitment to the gift, home furnishings and apparel industries with its announcement of a three-year, $280 million-dollar investment in new initiatives to enhance its markets in Atlanta, High Point and Las Vegas. In Atlanta, the first element of a multi-stage plan calls for completion by year-end of both an enhanced arrival experience and the creation of a unified CRM system that will allow for better capture, management and analyzation of audience data and an improved digital experience.
“These initiatives are just the beginning of our plans to enhance our markets for buyers and sellers alike,” said Bob Maricich, IMC chief executive officer. “They are yet another signal of IMC’s commitment to producing markets that are efficient, effective and compelling for the entire home furnishings and gift industry.”
The summer edition of The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market will run July 9-15, 2019. For more information, visit AmericasMart.com.