Published on : Saturday, September 29, 2018
Las Vegas Market has announced that an emerging shift in casual and outdoor product introduction resulted in a larger than usual number of new product introductions at the just-concluded Winter 2018 Market, from January 28 to February 2. Business was brisk, with both a 13% increase in overall retailer and designer attendance this winter and a 23% increase in buyers reporting interest in sourcing and shopping casual/outdoor products.
Scott Eckman, President of Furniture & Home Décor Leasing, International Market Centers, said, “Las Vegas Market is starting to see a paradigm shift in the way producers introduce and sell casual and outdoor furnishings, with a corresponding change in the way buyers shop the category. Casual/outdoor is one of the fastest-growing segments in the home furnishings category, and Las Vegas Market is now a known and proven destination for buyers. Both vendors and buyers said they experienced an increase in business and order-writing during the Summer 2017 Market and this is now being followed up with conversations about the industry’s business model, including a proposed production schedule shift that would make winter the industry’s main period for new introductions.”
Leading casual/outdoor furniture maker Agio USA debuted its 2019 collection at Winter Market, and vice president of sales Mike Gaylord, noted, “January Market makes a lot of sense for us and for the industry, retailers and manufacturers alike.” Gaylord spoke with other leading industry executives at a Las Vegas Market-hosted “Thought Leader” roundtable exploring the proposed new product introduction cycle. “We are looking to change the dynamic of the patio buying season, starting the process seven to eight months earlier than typically the industry has been doing,” he said, adding that there are big benefits to shifting to Winter Market introductions, including promoting more and better collaboration between retailers and manufacturers. “Our buyers can get a preview of things that they wouldn’t otherwise see until July or August and can give us immediate feedback; this gives us the time to go back and fine-tune and make sure we have everything right for them to be ultimately successful at retail.”
Roundtable participants also pointed to a problem with the current cycle, explaining that debuting collections in the summer and taking orders through mid-October creates a very small shipping window, which is challenging for some companies. As the outdoor industry grows and becomes more customized, manufacturers need more lead time to fulfill orders and get products to retailers in a timely fashion to ensure successful sales.
Las Vegas Market is uniquely positioned to become the premier showcase for casual/outdoor furnishings, with some 180+ casual and outdoor resources featured in permanent showrooms and temporary exhibition space on floors C12 and C13 at Winter Market.
Winter Market featured a varied and fashion-forward assortment of new product introductions in casual and outdoor products. Agio, for instance, unveiled a large assortment of mid-century modern interpretations, new wicker looks and a broad assortment of new fire pit and conversational groupings. Other exciting and innovative product introductions included the sleek and sophisticated Onyx furniture collection from Panama Jack by Pelican Reef; solid wood Adellaide pergola from European Garden Living; grandly-scaled Nexus daybed from Skyline Design; three- and four-piece conversation sets by Vivere; mid-century modern Russel Fire Pits and mixed material Emmett seating and dining furniture from Plank & Hide; and the Milano Acrylic Rope Chair from Sunset West.
The success of casual/outdoor furnishings at Winter Market bodes well for continued category expansion at the Summer 2018 Market and beyond. Eckman said, “As the leading furniture, home decor and gift destination in the western United States, Las Vegas Market is committed to working with industry leaders on scheduling and programs that make the most sense for their specific businesses. Looking ahead to Summer 2018, Las Vegas Market expects to continue substantial momentum in the casual/outdoor category, as well as throughout the furniture, gift and home décor segments, dramatically increasing the number, diversity and quality of resources, which in turn will spark gains in buyer interest and attendance.”