14110 Mon, 03/24/2008 - 3:42pm
NEW YORK–Tabletop vendors who lack permanent showroom space here in New York are getting their foot in the door through the new temporary exhibit space at 7 W New York.
The concept, a characteristic of other Merchandise Mart Properties buildings elsewhere in the country, was announced last fall. As of early February it was proceeding “on plan” to be about half-full for its inaugural run during the tabletop show next month, according to Merchandise Mart executives.
The space occupies most of the 11th floor, where Pacific Rim once had a showroom.
The market suites, as they are called, are meant to attract tabletop companies, ancillary businesses and other event-driven companies in need of temporary space in midtown Manhattan.
The tabletop show is appointment-driven, which is imperative for large retailers but can be more challenging for smaller stores, Chris Collins, vice president and general manager for 7 W New York, told HFN. Temp space can be easier for smaller stores to work and is conducive to drop-ins, he said.
Several tabletop and gift companies that exhibit during the New York Gift Show have opted to try out the new space, Abbiamo Tutto and Skyros Designs among them.
“There are several reasons why we signed up for the temps,” said Donna Marie Territo, president of Abbiamo Tutto. “It’s the first time that they are being held at 7 West, so I think that if we are going to do it, the first time might be the best,” since some of the biggest marketing efforts are taking place now.
The temps work well for companies who are not represented in the Northeast, Territo added. “The only time retailers see our line is at the New York gift show. I hope that the New York-based buying offices will take the time to visit the temps at the tabletop show.”
Kathy Pitts, president of Skyros Designs, which imports dinnerware from Portugal, said she has long considered taking space at 7 W. She became convinced when, in talking to retailers during the New York gift show, learned that most buyers also go to 7 W.
So the company has rented the equivalent of three booth spaces, where it will introduce jewel-toned dinnerware to complement its newly launched, reactive glaze bakeware.
Ideally, the temps will give some companies the New York exposure they seek without tremendous overhead. “I am hoping the temps provide an avenue for us without having a permanent showroom in New York City,” Territo said. — Allison Zisko