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9,000 Retailers Participate in Second Annual National Home Furnishings Month Campaign

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World Market Center, Las Vegas announced that the second annual National Home Furnishings Month (NHFM), which culminated with a week-long sales event Sept. 18-26, set a new nationwide participation standard for both retailers and consumers. More than 9,000 retailers nationwide participated in the consumer-facing marketing initiative—an increase of 30% from the inaugural year—which included taking advantage of a listing on the homeyet.com store locator section as well as the complimentary toolkit and in-store promotion.

Sponsored by World Market Center Las Vegas, the 2010 campaign featured a month-long home mortgage sweepstakes that retailers promoted in their stores and on-line during the month of September. Nancy Tassin of Lafayette, LA, was randomly selected out of 106,192 entries and took the top prize of $24,000 – a year’s worth of mortgage payments.

The broad-based initiative not only focused on creating extensive partnerships with retailers nationwide, but also leveraged prominent online platforms such as Facebook and MarthaStewart.com as well as an expansive broadcast campaign featuring HGTV’s Monica Pedersen who participated in a satellite radio tour that aired nearly 1,600 times during September.

In total, the Is it Home Yet? TM campaign generated more than 200 million impressions in paid and earned media, much of which came from a highly successful Facebook promotion which hyper-targeted users based on their likes, interests and connections. In the span of one month, Is it Home Yet’s page attracted an unprecedented 23,373 fans, who continue to stay active through new content and conversation.

“We are thrilled to have built on the success of the inaugural campaign by increasing retail partnerships as well as offering a compelling sweepstakes promotion that had extraordinary reach and engaged more than 100,000 families,” said Dana Andrew, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for World Market Center. “Impressions aside, this year’s campaign also focused on establishing a community for the first time—connecting people with similar interests, cultivating design enthusiasts, and hopefully, stimulating retail purchases. We plan to work with our partners to reach this captive fan base throughout the year and activate them for future national sales events.”

The average age of consumers who engaged with the campaign was 55 years old. Of all consumer respondents, 61% were female and 30% were male. Consumers indicated that in-store visits and websites are the dominant sources of information that influence them to buy, and more than half of the consumers responded that the living room will be their next home furnishings purchase.

Geographically, the campaign saw broad support from retailers across the country: 42.7 percent of retailers from the west; 15.1 percent from the Midwest; 18.1 percent from the Southeast; 14.3 percent from the Southeast; and 9.8 percent from the Northeast.  Nearly 1,172 retailers downloaded the National Home Furnishings Month Retailer Toolkit, which equipped them with marketing tools to support the initiative in their advertising programs. Another 717 retailers took advantage of the customized URL to run the sweepstakes. Collectively, World Market Center Las Vegas and its retail partners drove more than 123,276 visits to HomeYet.com, resulting in nearly 300,000 page views.

Ashley Home Stores were active participants in 2010 NHFM campaign with more than 60 dealers (representing 178 Ashley Home Stores) nationally. In addition, Ashley Marketing Specialists recruited key accounts to get other retailers involved and initiated direct mail, store signage, on-line and television marketing to support the national sale. “We were excited about the Home Mortgage Sweepstakes and were happy to be able to pull our retailers into a national campaign like Is it Home Yet?™ that is doing something to help brand our industry,” said William Herrmann, Vice President of Sales, West Coast, for Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.

Randy Shindle, co-owner of Furniture Country based in Gainesville, Fla. said, “The NHFM sale event gave us a bigger store image by creating a huge hook in our market area. The event had great timing considering what is happening in the housing market. The point of sale material for advertising and in-store signage was huge as well. All of it combined created a ‘wow’ effect for our staff and our customer.”

As an active participant in the Home Mortgage Sweepstakes, Roomful Express Furniture topped the list of retailers who sent their customers to enter the sweepstakes through their customized URL.  According to Chris Seneca, Vice President of Marketing and Merchandising, “The National Home Furnishings Month Is it Home Yet?™ campaign helped drive customer traffic. It gave another reason for customers to notice our local advertising.”
Through a targeted approach, the National Home Furnishings Month Is it Home Yet?TM  campaign was able to expand its reach while at the same time focusing its efforts on key audiences that have a significant interest in home furnishings.

About Is it Home Yet? and National Home Furnishings Month: Created by WMCLV, the home furnishings industry’s leading international marketplace, and launched in partnership with eight industry associations, the Is it Home Yet? advertising campaign and NHFM was the first-ever industry-wide initiative that encouraged consumers to celebrate the idea of “home” and refresh their living spaces through new home furnishings purchases. In addition to the Home Mortgage Sweepstakes, the campaign’s website, www.homeyet.com, features advice from top designers with home makeover tips and trend information. Exclusive information about sales and promotions at participating retailers across the country is also available online.

This all-industry marketing initiative is endorsed by National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA), Western Home Furnishings Association (WHFA), Home Furnishings Independents Associations (HFIA), Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC), American Society of Furniture Designers (ASFD), Specialty Sleep Association (SSA), Women in the Home Industries Today (WithIt) and International Sleep Products Association (ISPA).

About World Market Center Las Vegas: World Market Center Las Vegas is an integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and trade complex. The state-of-the-art campus showcases furniture, decorative accessories, gift, lighting, area rugs, home textiles and related segments, as well as the Las Vegas Design Center open daily to consumers and designers. World Market Center currently hosts the biannual Las Vegas MarketTM, the preeminent total home market along with Gift + HomeTM and Vegas KidsTM. For more information on World Market Center Las Vegas and its shows, visit www.wmclv.com. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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