With the next Las Vegas event less than a month away, representatives at the World Market Center are busy with tenant move-in and showroom redesigns.
In the last 18 months almost 600,000 square feet of new or expanded space has been leased inside the complex at 495 S. Grand Central Parkway, in preparation for the International Market Centers’ Summer 2013 Las Vegas Market.
The expo is scheduled from July 29 to Aug. 2, and roughly 50,000 people are expected to attend. In furniture, the buildings will house around 300 permanent tenants plus about 100 temporary. In gift and home decor, 2,000 brands will be represented.
“Really as a market, we’d like to be the total marketplace,” Craig Staack, vice president of leasing for home furnishings, said.
With the addition of the phase two openings at GIFT+HOME, Las Vegas market has indeed become a one-stop shop for buyers. Tenants, too, have noticed the effect.
Sebastian Herald, CEO of Michael Aram, said he noticed last year more industry people headed to Las Vegas in the past year. That, and the hiring of Dorothy Belshaw to the team 18 months ago, helped make up Herald’s mind to open a new showroom in the city.
“We knew that it was time,” he said.
Belshaw is president of International Market Center’s gift division.
“There are those in the gift industry that feel now is the time to be here,” Belshaw said.
Buyers, she said, are cross-purchasing between furniture and home decor more often than in the past, and there’s a growing audience for the latter.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the past six months,” Belshaw said.
Even so, there’s still room for more.
Belshaw said she’d like to pull more buyers from beyond the southwest and West Coast, from areas including the Rockies, Pacific Northwest and Midwest.
“We believe we have the ability to capture some of that attendance from a demographic level,” Belshaw said.
With the summer market, Michael Aram becomes the anchor on the first floor in the new gift building, taking up about 3,000 square feet.
“We plan to make a very broad statement about what the brand offers,” Herald said.
On the home furnishings side, the World Market Center is home to showrooms from national bedding brands Serta, Sealy, Simmons and Tempurpedic.
“If there’s one real strength that we have, ... we are the national bedding market,” Staack said.
The home furnishings side also is home to Ashley, Drexel Heritage, Basset, Stanley, Standard and Lexington.
“We feel pretty good about the brands we’ve been able to attract the past few years and the amount of renewals,” Staack said.
The home furnishing division has a 90 percent renewal rate. The market attracts Western retailers, top 100 retailers and international buyers, especially hailing from Latin America, South America and Western Canada.
Among the renewals is Chromcraft Revington Inc., which re-signed for three years due to a strong showing at the Winter 2013 Las Vegas Market.
“Our decision to renew our lease in Las Vegas was based on the fact that attendance and order writing were both up during the 2013 Winter Market,” Mike Hanna, senior vice president of Chromcraft Revington, said in a statement.
The showroom features eight brands: Peters-Revington, Chromcraft, Cochrane, Design & Dine, Kids & Beyond, Montage, Chromcraft Contract and Retro. Chromcraft has been at the Las Vegas Market for eight years showing its residential and commercial furniture in a 6,200-square-foot space.
The North American Home Furnishings Association also renewed its lease with Las Vegas and relocated to a 16,500-square-foot showroom.
Formed through the merger of the Western Home Furnishings Association, National Home Furnishings Association and Home Furnishings Independents Association, the new organization will present a total of 17 seminars this market.
Contact reporter Laura Carroll at email@example.com or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.