Patio and hearth specialty retailers are not used to marking their trade show calendars for early August, but Craig Staack is hoping to change some of those habits when the Summer 2015 Las Vegas Market makes its debut next year. Scheduled for Aug 2-6, the new show is designed to focus on the casual category which Staack believes is one of the fastest growing among traditional furniture stores.
Patio & Hearth Products Report (P&HPR) chatted with Staack, who currently serves as vice president of Leasing, Home Furnishings, for International Market Centers, Las Vegas.
P&HPR: When did you first start to ponder a new show?
Staack: We have been monitoring the industry and developing a plan to add casual products to Las Vegas for the past several years.
P&HPR: Why do you think the industry needs/wants another show?
Staack: We feel that the industry is under-served in a category-only show because we are seeing significant growth outside of the dedicated patio store environment. The casual category is one of the fastest-growing categories among traditional furniture stores.
However, many buyers do not attend a stand-alone vertical market. Other major channels of distribution such as e-commerce, clubs, big box and catalogers are under-served in a vertical-only environment as well. We wanted to provide traditional furniture retailers with the opportunity to shop across all categories in one venue.
P&HPR: Do you consider yourself a “competitor” to other shows?
Staack: We consider ourselves to be a competitor in the sense that we are providing greater access to significantly more buying power on a larger scale. Dedicated vertical-only shows cannot offer the gamut of resources in one place, with contiguous floors dedicated exclusively to the outdoor category.
P&HPR: What is the thinking behind the August timeframe?
Staack: The timing is ideal for the casual buying season—giving a strong lead time for buyers to make their purchasing decisions, particularly those that import product. Most buyer commitments are made prior to September, enabling retailers to get product into their showrooms and impact store presentations early in the cycle. Las Vegas is perfectly timed to position retailers for success throughout the casual sales season.
P&HPR: Why Las Vegas?
Staack: The casual category is a natural addition to the comprehensive growth taking place across multiple category channels in Las Vegas, including furniture, home décor and gift. The timing of the Las Vegas Market and access to buyers from all distribution channels creates value and growth opportunities for both buyers and sellers in one compelling and efficient venue. Moreover, Las Vegas is a destination unto itself, with entertainment opportunities and affordable accommodations, not to mention competitive lease rates.
P&HPR: What will you offer that may be different from other shows?
Staack: Las Vegas offers two contiguous floors of space dedicated to the casual category. Further, we offer access to buyers from all distribution channels, significant sponsorship and branding opportunities, and a compelling marketing program in one of the most exciting cities in the world. Compared to tradeshow attendance in other cities, Las Vegas attracts 25% more attendees than any other city in the U.S.
P&HPR: Where should people go to register and/or find more info about the show?
Staack: They should visit the Las Vegas Market website: www.lasvegasmarket.com
P&HPR: What is your level of optimism concerning the patio and hearth industry?
Staack: We are very optimistic about the general health and growth of the industry and believe we are well-positioned to help further that growth. Consumer confidence is on the rise and retailers are looking to fulfill their growing needs. We are bringing more resources to Las Vegas Market and addressing growth categories directly, casual being the fastest-growing category among furniture stores. Our strategy is to provide retailers with additional buying opportunities an ideal time in the selling cycle to position them for success. They can then augment their existing product mix, offering consumers more buying options in their stores.