Summer market schedule offers interest, opportunity, excitement

Casual Market to debut in Atlanta along with new Andmore brand campaign

ATLANTA — Often, summer markets don’t have the same appeal as winter markets for some obvious reasons. For one, they take place at the same time that families are in vacation mode. Secondly — and this isn’t a criticism, it’s just a fact — the Las Vegas summer heat is something many people want to avoid. And summer markets — for furniture in particular — often don’t have the same level of newness in product, a least from what we’ve seen over the years.

But this summer there’s reason for buyers to be excited or at least interested in what’s happening at summer markets, namely Atlanta and Las Vegas.

In Atlanta, the casual show is making its Atlanta debut, giving buyers — both outdoor furniture specialists and other furniture retailers selling outdoor furniture — another chance to explore the offerings in the category.

Altogether the outdoor furnishings segment features 150 exhibitors spread over nearly six floors in Building 1, including 50 occupying permanent space and 100 occupying temporary space.

The market is particularly timely given that many of the products will hit retail floors either later in the year or early next year in time for the outdoor selling season. Thus, the market will present another level of cross-shopping opportunity that the market already has seen with various categories at the Atlanta show.

“We have just seen it (cross shopping) explode with gift and apparel,” said Bob Maricich, CEO of the newly named Andmore market platform, formerly International Market Centers, noting that the market has data illustrating this trend. “A gift buyer can be an apparel buyer and vice versa. The same thing is true with an independent furniture store now buying more outdoor furniture.”

He added that the markets also have seen a new generation of buyers that is presenting a whole new dynamic at the markets.

“Just seeing the number of new people and younger people in the industry is just incredibly energizing,” he added, noting that while they may not be new to the business, many are new to markets. “There is this generational shift.”

Adds Karen Olson, chief marketing officer, “At our markets, we are seeing that 20% to 30%, 35% of buyers attending markets now are new to market,” she said, noting that this represents a mix of both business startups and new people coming into the industry, as well as “people that are cross shopping and attending markets they may not have attended previously.”

Thus the Casual Market in Atlanta will offer many of these buyers the same cross-shopping opportunities whether it be between indoor and outdoor furniture or decorative accessories that will complement the outdoor mix.

This generational shift helps explain the new Andmore brand campaign announced earlier this month. For those that missed the initial story, click here for more details. In brief, this moniker replaces the International Market Centers name — which officials said had no real recognition to the buying community — as well as the Juniper online wholesale market. It also seeks to combine the best of the markets’ physical (showroom space) and digital assets (online buying platforms) for buyers seeking an omnichannel market experience.

“From a buyers’ perspective, they had no idea who the hell International Market Centers was,” Maricich said. “Now, the tenants do because they pay us rent, but there was no brand equity in International Market Centers and in fact, it wasn’t an imaginative name that captures all the things that we do and all the things we want to do.”

The Andmore name — which is a curious development to many in the industry — hints at what each of the markets has or will have to offer in the future. And as the markets themselves have huge brand recognition among buyers compared to IMC or even Juniper, it will be part of their respective names moving forward a la Atlanta Market Andmore, Las Vegas Market Andmore and High Point Market Andmore, for example.

This branding will be visible starting both in Atlanta and Las Vegas this summer. While the buildings themselves will keep their respective names, the Andmore name will be seen anywhere from signage in and outside the buildings to various online tools including a new @Market app that officials said will include a QR code for quick badge pickup, directions that will help buyers navigate the markets and a “comprehensive, post-market recap for easy followup and ordering.”

Regardless of these changes, Maricich believes markets in general — including the upcoming hot and often energy-draining summer markets — continue to give sellers another chance to get in front of their customers and buyers another chance to view product — even if it’s product they may have seen at a previous market.

“If someone came in and saw you at a previous market — whether it was in High Point or six months before in Las Vegas — and they didn’t buy something, yet all of a sudden in the last six months it’s proven to be a winner at retail, if I was a buyer, I would want to know that. I would want to see it again and say, ‘Maybe I am going to bet on a winning horse.’” 

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter for breaking news, special features and early access to all the industry stories that matter!

Sponsored By: