LAS VEGAS–World Market Center said that its Winter Market far exceeded expectations with strong traffic and sales created by an uptick in consumer confidence, scores of new showrooms and the market’s distinction as the first major event for product introductions and buying in the western United States.
Market officials reported significant attendance increases amongst retailers across all categories, interior designers as well as international buyers—especially those from Canada, Latin America and the Middle East.
Robert Maricich, CEO of International Market Centers, parent company of World Market Center Las Vegas, said the market was the strongest in three years. “Given the depth of the recent recession, our success speaks volumes about improving consumer confidence and a resurging economy,” he said. “According to our statistics, the recession is officially over in the eyes of the furnishings industry. The energy at Winter Market was palpable. Buyers were buying, and ultimately, that’s what counts.”
The market reported a 14-percent increase in attending companies as compared to Winter Market 2011. It enjoyed a 23-percent increase in buyers as compared to Summer Market 2011. More than 4,000 U.S. buyers attended the show for the first time.
Debuting at Winter Market was the “Made in USA” pavilion, which featured an array of products made in America. According to Maricich, buying local is a growing trend throughout the entire manufacturing and retail industries, and the home furnishings and gift sectors are no exception.
“American-made products speak to the growing sentiment of patriotism and are seen as a way to bolster the economy,” he said. “The Pavilion proved to be incredibly popular with market attendees and was equally popular with overseas buyers.”