Exhibitors reported strong order writing at the close of the summer 2019 Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market®. The market drew buyers from all 50 states and nearly 60 countries sourcing from 8,000 brands across all categories of home décor and gift showcased in 1,400 permanent showrooms and 3,000 temporary exhibits according to International Market Centers (IMC).
“Serious business was in evidence in Atlanta this week,” said Bob Maricich, IMC CEO. “Buyers from across the retail and design spectrum came to AmericasMart with a purpose: to find new products and resources to differentiate their stores and successfully carry them through the holiday season.”
Brisk order-writing came from small and large retailers alike. “We crushed it,” said Leslie Wilson and Victoria Flores, co-founders of Lux Beauty Club which made its trade show debut in Atlanta’s Body & Soul LUXE category. “We wrote orders with big mass chains, regional and large pharmacies and distributors plus boutiques and independent stores. We got Insta-storied on Oprah’s Favorites by Adam Glassman and Tory Johnson from Good Morning America also came to see the relief roller.”
“Serious buyers were here,” noted Jim Gonzalez, sales team leader of accessories brand Katie Loxton who operated both a permanent showroom and a temporary booth where they saw key, new and returning accounts from across the United States as well as international buyers from the Caribbean and Canada. Neil Bonner of The Ivy Guild showed in an expanded booth in the Home Accents & Home Furnishings collection and reported steady sales including larger orders from established accounts. Ned Voelker, principal of home décor showroom Abigails, reported an increase in average order amounts, with 25 percent of orders coming from new customers and international buyers from retail stores in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
The Market’s Home Décor category featured 22 new, expanded and relocated showrooms and 350 complementary temporary exhibits among its more than 650 total resources. “We more than doubled our business before the end of the day on the first day,” said exhibitor Cathy Cloutier of The Curated Home. “We were capturing luxury linen stores from everywhere and interior designers who are understanding what our brand represents.”
Exhibitors also reported a strong market in the Gift category, which presented 83 new, expanded, relocated and renovated showrooms. The robust and diverse temporary presentation featured 2,500 brands across 28 product categories.
“We’ve been very pleased with the turn out from new customers which is great for us because we are a seasoned brand in the industry. So that’s a great indicator of overall success,” said Garry Shermann, senior vice president of sales of Creative Co-Op. “Our average order is up. Our customers are happy. It means our retailers are getting what they want and we are delivering what they need.”
“We had a wonderful show with lots of new business and double-digit increases over last year. This has easily been our strongest show yet,” said Christopher Sherer of gourmet brand Sugarfina.
IMC’s at-market announcement of Atlanta NEXT— a staged initiative that includes significant strategic and physical improvements to the AmericasMart campus — was met with excitement by exhibitors and attendees. “I am super excited about Atlanta NEXT,” said Doug Self, principal of home décor showroom j douglas. “It’s all hugely encouraging. Business as usual is not an option. It’s great that IMC is investing to make the market center better than it already is with the planned physical changes, the new ADAC synergy and the call center outreach.”
“We were really excited to hear about all of the plans,” said Steve Montgomery of children’s toy distributor Calisson Inc. “We’re excited to see a facelift of the building, more restaurants and additional promotion to buyers.”
“I am excited about Atlanta NEXT. I think it is awesome,” said Katrena Griggs, principal of home décor representative group Curated Home Brands. “I have been anticipating big things happening since the merger. It’s time for a change. The renovation is major and exciting!”
Market programming entertained and educated attendees. Shop the Show returned for its third season with a new group of design and lifestyle influencers: Monika Hibbs, Landyn Hutchinson of Living with Landyn; Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth; and Anissa and Brian Zajac of House Seven Design + Build who shared their style, inspiration and know-how at educational events, cooking demos, meet-and-greets and parties throughout the market. Other highlights include editors from Flower Magazine, Gift Shop, Home Accents Today, Luxe Interiors + Design and Stationery Trends in conversation with thought leaders and tastemakers including Michel Boyd, Nora Fleming, Annie Selke, Justin Shaulis, Mark D. Sikes, Bunny Williams and Michelle Workman. The Fiesta Dinnerware Demonstration Kitchen presented interior designer and tastemaker Shayla Copas sharing entertaining tips, cocktails and recipes; an interactive presentation about branding as a family-friendly venue with a series of kid-friendly recipes; and the Cocktails and Conversation series where local mixologist shared signature cocktails. Other programming included sessions about embarking on new business ventures, creating in-store experiences and developing a successful email marketing plan.
Published verbatim courtesy of AmericasMart.