The housewares and home furnishings retail sector was one of the hardest hit by the recession, but it—along with its trade shows—is bouncing back.
Employment has traditionally been a reliable indicator of trade show performance in the category, according to the CEIR Index Report, and with consistent job declines through 2010, followed by growth of less than 1 percent in the last two years, housewares and home furnishings events have seen modest growth.
The 2014 Las Vegas Winter Market was able to break records at its most recent show however (Jan. 26-30, World Market Center Las Vegas). The event drew an estimated 50,000 attendees and more than 2,200 exhibitors to its 5-million square feet of showfloor space spread across three buildings, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
“Las Vegas Market is growing both resources and attendance at an exponential rate, and this winter marked the largest market in our history,” Bob Maricich, CEO of International Market Centers, the producer of the show, says in a statement. “In the last 12 months, we have aggregated existing resources, added new categories and floors and increased participation of local and regional sales representatives, all of which has sparked momentum.”
Though final tallies weren’t made available, NY NOW wrapped up last week (Feb. 1-6, Jacob. K. Javits Convention Center, New York) after a year of big changes. After rebranding early in 2013—the show was formerly known as the New York International Gift Fair—and having its ownership group, GLM, bought out by Emerald Exhibitions in December, NY NOW was one of the first major trade shows hosted by the newly-renovated Javits Center. More than 35,000 attendees and 2,500 exhibitors were expected.
The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market (Jan. 7-14, Atlanta Convention Center) also boasted gains last month. Registrations were up as much as 53 percent on certain days, though exact figures weren’t disclosed, with an average attendee stay of 4.2 days—the longest since 2006.