January 19, 2023
Winter 2023 Atlanta Market posts double-digit growth

Atlanta Market attendance posted double-digit growth over the Winter 2022 staging, attracting buyers from all 50 states and 56 countries, according to International Market Centers (IMC).

Additionally, international traffic increased, nearly doubling year over year with a 350% increase in Canadian attendees. Domestically, attendance grew by over 40% and 70% in the Northeast and Southwest, respectively.

“Atlanta Market is thriving,” said Bob Maricich, CEO of IMC. “It felt like the Atlanta Market that buyers and sellers know and love. The surprise and delight of new product, connecting with new and old industry friends, engaging with programming — and even waiting for a packed elevator — were welcomed signs of a confident industry looking forward.”

Casual/Outdoor Furnishings launch

The soft launch of AmericasMart’s new Casual/Outdoor Furnishings collection was a draw at Atlanta Market this winter, IMC says. Forty-one showrooms opened for their first Atlanta Market with expansive presentations for retailers and designers.

“I enjoyed the new casual living floors,” said designer Lisa Wester of Lisa Wester Interiors in Oneota, Alabama. “I found several interesting new vendors and was happy to see a few of my old staples there as well. It was so refreshing to see tons of fresh merchandise at Atlanta Market — it finally felt like we’ve put the pandemic behind us.”

Added James Oh,  market exhibitor and assistant vice president of sales for Summer Classics and Gabby: “We were much busier than we expected for our first show in our new Floor 2 space – we had more than 600 badge scans. Business was definitely happening on Floor 2 with influential showrooms like Telescope Casual, Lloyd Flanders and us together. Our new showroom is going to have an impact on the Summer Classics brand.”

Buying groups return

Driving Atlanta Market’s attendance growth was the return of major buying groups, associations and key accounts for the first time since Winter 2020, according to IMC. Fifteen buying groups and associations hosted member meetings and presented programming at the Winter 2023 Atlanta Market.

“Atlanta Market is our most important jumpstart to the year,” said Heather Smith, president of The Good Toy Group, which returned to Atlanta Market after a hiatus during the pandemic. “As a buying group, we were able to fly or drive in from all over the country, meet and scour the market for the newest toys and fresh trends, plus connect and nurture the most important relationships we have.”

GC Buying Groups’ GCX: Start the Year Conference drew more than 80 vendors and 160 buyers for education, a vendor showcase and multiple networking events.

“What a thrill to see kitchen and housewares back in action at Atlanta Market,” said Janis Johnson, president and founder of GC Buying Group. “January’s GCX/Start the Year Member Conference was a true testament to the return of an industry, with buyer and seller energy at a pre-pandemic high. Working closely, the GC team and IMC staff delivered a well-attended event with an overwhelmingly positive vibe. From education to product previews, and a unique opportunity for social interaction among store and vendor members, the event was proclaimed a resounding success by GC and all who attended.”

Added Suzanne Lane of Gray Goose Cookery in Rhode Island: “Atlanta Market was a great show for us! We were happy to network with our fellow GC buying group retailers and vendors who we had not seen for several years due to COVID.”

Key accounts’ presence at the market experienced double-digit growth in attendance year over year. Notable among the high-volume retailers that attended are Anthropologie, Bath & Body Works/White Barn, Costco Wholesale, Dillard’s, Kohls Dept Store, Marmaxx Group/TJX, Nordstrom, Normans Hallmark, Williams Sonoma and Zulily.

“We particularly enjoy Atlanta Market because it is our opportunity to shop for accessories and finishing touches,” John Hanna, design director and buyer for JK Home Furnishings, with seven locations in in South Carolina. “Our bedding, accents, florals, artwork and lighting finds from this market really take our groupings and selections to the next level. We’ve cultivated several new accounts from this visit that will make a big splash impact with our new introductions in late winter and early spring.”

Cross-category buying

Atlanta Market showcased 2,100 permanent showroom and temporary exhibitors. According to IMC, significant order writing across the market indicated buyers were engaging the full lifestyle offerings of Atlanta Market.

“It was my first time visiting Atlanta Market,” said designer Amber Guyton of Blessed Little Bungalow in Atlanta. “Though I have easy access to many of the showrooms and vendors year-round, I was excited to attend the different panels and events, network with fellow interior designers, explore all the temporaries and spend more time with vendors. I spent most of my time exploring new lighting, sofas, and looking for unexpected pieces like end tables and accent decor that could take my 2023 client projects up a notch.”

Exhibitor Mark Reaves, executive vice president of resort/souvenir brand EMI Sportswear, said he was “blown away by the traffic. This was one of our top five shows ever, and we do 25 shows per year.” He reported a 30% close rate on drop-in appointments with orders from 23 different states.

There were more than 300 new permanent showroom and temporary exhibitors at the market.

Beyond buying, retailers and designers were fully immersed in Atlanta Market programming. More than 20 events over three days drew crowds looking for business-building education, inspiration and celebration. according to IMC.

The Summer 2023 Atlanta Market is July 11-17, 2023, at AmericasMart Atlanta. The debut of Casual Market Atlanta runs July 10-13, 2023.

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