IMC acquiring Shoppe Object design-oriented trade show

NEW YORK – International Market Centers said it plans to acquire Shoppe Object, a design-focused home and lifestyle tradeshow and its Shoppe Online B2B e-commerce platform. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Shoppe Object co-founder Jesse James will join IMC as vice president and show director, reporting to Executive Vice President, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer Dorothy Belshaw. Co-founders of Shoppe Object, Deirdre Maloney and Minya Quirk, will remain involved in a consulting capacity, IMC said.

“Jesse, Deirdre and Minya have built an incredibly strong and compelling market quickly and authentically, and this acquisition is an exciting new partnership for us all,” said Bob Maricich, IMC CEO. “Shoppe Object will have the ability to grow the reach of its impeccably curated and artfully presented physical and digital platform with our investment; and IMC will have a new opportunity for regional expansion in the Northeast as well as a pipeline to bring new design-driven and socially-conscious brands, makers and voices to our physical and digital markets.”

The closing is expected to follow today’s conclusion of the February 2022 edition of Shoppe Object, which is being held at Pier 36 in New York City.

IMC said it plans to maintain the autonomy of Shoppe Object with the existing team handling sales, marketing, and management under James’ direction. Working with James, IMC will expand the existing semiannual show in New York City and explore regional extensions in established IMC venues and other major cities by combining creative vision, exhibitor feedback and business needs, it said.  IMC operates more than 20 million square feet of wholesale showroom space in High Point, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

“This partnership makes strategic sense because IMC recognizes the significant value in Shoppe Object’s core origins,” James said in a release. “Shoppe Object embodies a community spirit and was born out of a need for change. IMC appreciates Shoppe Object for that and is committed to maintaining our brand integrity, disciplined curation and forward vision.”

Shoppe Object was launched in 2018 by James, founder of the creative consultancy and sales agency Aesthetic Movement, in collaboration with Maloney and Quirk, co-founders of Capsule, an international tradeshow for independent ready-to-wear labels launched in 2007 and sold in 2013. It has grown from 100 home and lifestyle brands of its inaugural event to its current annual mix of more than 500 design brands. The physical market is held in New York City each February and August.

In 2020, Shoppe Object extended into the digital realm with the launch of its Shoppe Online marketplace. The B2B platform enables buyers to preview, browse and buy from Shoppe Object exhibitors year-round and integrates with at-market buyer profiles to facilitate lead management, order writing and post-show follow up.

IMC said the acquisition and appointment of James “is another strategic step in IMC’s plan to emphasize the value of curated content, support values-based commerce and bring new perspectives to its community of brands.”

In addition to his focus on the strategic growth and expansion of Shoppe Object, James will work with IMC recent hire Vanessa Bruce, vice president of social impact, “to identify and showcase values-based resources both at IMC’s physical markets as well as on the newly launched JuniperMarket B2B ecommerce platform powered by IMC. His efforts will focus on growth through the development and promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion among buyers and sellers,” IMC said.

“Jesse has been a long-time customer and partner of IMC and we’re excited to welcome his discerning eye and cultural ethos to our team as we explore the impact opportunities of our markets,” Maricich said.

The next edition of Shoppe Object is slated from August 13-15.

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