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Third Annual National Home Furnishings Month Launches 2011

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International Market Centers, the owners and operatiors of 11.5 million square feet of showroom space at the Las Vegas and High Point home furnishings markets, announced that for the third consecutive year, National Home Furnishings Month will unite retailers and brand leaders from across the country, bringing consumers sage advice on home décor and driving sales at furnishing retail locations throughout the United States. Retailer participation opens today for this International Market Centers-sponsored Is It Home Yet?™ campaign, a complimentary service to retailers that provides the opportunity to utilize sweepstakes and promotions to drive in-store traffic.

This year’s campaign will feature a Home Mortgage or Rent Sweepstakes. In addition to last year’s highly successful Home Mortgage Sweepstakes, in which homeowners have the chance to win mortgage payments for one year, renters will now be given the chance to win one year’s rent. This promotional element will be supported by International Market Centers’ marketing efforts, as well. The sweepstakes kicks off Labor Day Weekend and runs through Sept. 30.

"We created National Home Furnishings Month three years ago with the goal of uniting retailers, and providing our partners with the necessary tools to inspire a new-found customer enthusiasm,” said Robert Maricich, chief executive officer of International Market Centers. “Last year’s resounding 30 percent increase in participation proves that this concept works, and has been widely received by our retail partners. Our hope is that this year’s sweepstakes inclusion of renters as well as homeowners will open the doors for retailers to reach a new consumer.”

Last year’s NHFM set a new nationwide participation standard for both retailers and consumers. More than 9,000 retailers nationwide participated in the consumer-facing marketing initiative, which included taking advantage of a listing on the store locator section of the campaign’s official website, www.HomeYet.com, as well as the complimentary toolkit and in-store promotion. This year, the promotion will run throughout the entire month of September allowing time for retailers to garner additional sales and take advantage of the month-long sweepstakes.

Aside from retailer’s own media commitments, the campaign will be promoted through a significant social advertising campaign on Facebook that will be hyper-targeted to reach millions of engaged users, those with the highest affinity toward decorating and purchasing for their home, building a community of influencers on social media. Consumers can become fans of the Is It Home Yet?™ Facebook fan page where they can get trend updates and interact through activities including a “What’s Your Style Design Quiz.”

The campaign’s website, www.HomeYet.com, enables retailers to easily promote their store’s National Home Furnishings Month specials and sales events on the Retailer Locator.  The site also features new content including home makeover tips and trend information, design quizzes to engage consumers, as well as recent woman-on-the-street interviews featuring HGTV's Monica Pedersen designed to uncover what today's consumers are seeking for their home.

“National Home Furnishings Month is a great way to encourage customers to celebrate their homes and purchase new home furnishings,” said Sharron Bradley, executive director of Western Home Furnishings Association. “Over the last few years, we have seen this campaign create a renewed sense of excitement with customers in purchasing home furnishings and it has helped drive traffic to our retailer stores during the month. Is It Home Yet? is a simple and low-cost campaign for both large and small retailers to participate in. We encourage all of our members to take part in this month-long event and drive more traffic to their stores.”

Retailers who want to participate in this year’s NHFM Is It Home Yet?™ campaign can sign up today at www.homeyet.com/retailer-login or visit the WHFA Retail Resource Center located in Building C, Suite C-496 during the Summer 2011 Las Vegas Market, taking place Aug. 1-5. Interested retailers will be prompted to answer the three questions listed on the retailer administration page. Retailers signing up to participate in the sweepstakes component before Aug. 5 will receive a uniquely branded URL which their customers will use to enter the online sweepstakes.  Retailers who sign up after this date will refer their customers directly to www.HomeYet.com to enter the online sweepstakes.

For more information, visit http://homeyet.com/retailer-login or contact retailstores@homeyet.com.

About Is It Home Yet? and National Home Furnishings Month
Launched in 2009 by World Market Center Las Vegas (a property of International Market Centers) in partnership with eight industry associations the Is It Home Yet?™ advertising campaign and its flagship event - National Home Furnishings Month - is the first-ever industry-wide initiative that unites retailers through a month long promotion. The campaign encourages consumers to celebrate the idea of “home” and refresh their living spaces through retail store visits and new home furnishings purchases. In addition to the enter-to-win Home Mortgage or Rent Sweepstakes (which pays one lucky family’s mortgage or rent for a year), 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.

Rules for 2011 Home Mortgage or Rent Sweepstakes – No purchase necessary to enter or win. Open to legal residents of the United States and D.C., who are 18 years of age or older. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. Begins on September 1, 2011 and ends on September 30, 2011. Prize will be awarded as $24,000 cash based upon an average monthly home mortgage or rent expense of $2,000 per month for twelve (12) months. For Official Rules, go to http://www.homeyet.com/sweepstakesrules.

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 International Market Centers, L.P.: International Market Centers, L.P. (IMC) is the world’s largest operator of premier showroom space for the furnishings, home décor and gift industries.  The company owns and operates 11.5 million square feet of world-class exhibition space in High Point, N.C. and Las Vegas.  In addition, IMC operates the Las Vegas Design Center, a year-round resource open to both the design trade and consumers which is comprised of more than 40 showrooms and hundreds of designer brands. IMC’s mission is to build and operate an innovative, sustainable, profitable and scalable platform for the furnishings, home décor and gift industries.  For more information on IMC, visit imcenters.com.

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