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Third Annual National Home Furnishings Month Breaks Records

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The third annual National Home Furnishings Month, sponsored by International Market Centers, L.P., broke records after expanding this year’s industry-wide retail campaign to a large American demographic: renters. More sweepstakes entries, more dealer participation and more Is It Home Yet?™ fans marked this year’s campaign results.

The month-long Is It Home Yet? ™ promotion, which ended Sept. 30, added a new twist to the consumer-targeted promotion by expanding the grand prize, which previously only offered mortgage payments for one year, to now include rent to the offer.

By increasing its participation base to renters, and executing a more targeted social and web campaign, IMC declared it the most successful National Home Furnishing Month to date, drawing nearly 118,000 entries, an 11 percent increase compared to last year’s campaign. The official site, HomeYet.com, drew 128,814 unique visitors and 316,780 page views.

The industry-wide program was designed to drive sales to participating retailers and offer consumers sage advice on home décor. Since inception, the Is It Home Yet? campaign has been offered as a complimentary service to retailers. This year’s campaign attracted 15 percent more stores than last year.

The Is It Home Yet?  Facebook fan base in 2011 increased to 51,396 at the conclusion of the campaign, a 20 percent growth in “Likes” over last year’s campaign. The campaign also received an above average click-through rate on web-based media this year. Out of all the consumers who entered the sweepstakes, 45 percent said that when shopping for furnishings they would mostly seek expert advice and information in stores and 32 percent said they would use the internet.

“For the third year in a row, the National Home Furnishings Month delivered a powerful punch of excitement and engagement for retailers and consumers,” said Robert Maricich, chief executive officer of International Market Centers. “By expanding the Sweepstakes to include renters as well as homeowners—coupled with greater retail partnerships and marketing support—participating stores reached an unprecedented number of followers and new shoppers through a united message and compelling sweepstakes offer.”

The average American adult spends between 25 and 40 percent of their income on housing – by far the greatest monthly expense one bears. Maricich said the Sweepstakes aims to “lighten the load for a family, and at the same time, stimulate interest in other facets of the home, namely purchases of furnishings during the ever-important fourth quarter.”

In addition to a highly motivated consumer audience, participating stores have found National Home Furnishings Month to be addititive to their fall sales numbers, said Maricich.

“The dealers said this was a great tool that they used as an ice breaker over the Labor Day Weekend,” said Kerry Lebensburger, president of Ashley Furniture. “Consumers loved the opportunity to join in the sweepstakes, and it was a great promotion to have over this historically important weekend.”

Isidro Ramos at Ramos Furniture used the promotion as a new marketing tool for his store. “I was very excited to be part of the event to gain more traffic, thus allowing the consumer to learn about our great deals on quality furniture," he said.

Reed Crawford of Mckeesport, Pa., received the grand prize, and will collect $24,000 cash in one lump sum or $2,000 paid out every month for 12 months. Crawford, a 54-year-old heavy equipment operator, entered to win on the campaign’s official homepage, HomeYet.com.

“My wife and I currently have a mortgage, but due to recent financial woes, we’re about to move to a rental,” said Crawford. “This prize money means so much to us. We’ll be able to get a head start on renting, with our security deposit and first month’s rent, and we’ll use it to help pay for the move. We plan to also buy new furnishings for our new home, too.”

For more information, visit www.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?TM 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 the 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.

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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