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Las Vegas Market Post July Show Report

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The World Market Center reported in their post-show report that six months after the debut of the highly successful inaugural Las Vegas Market, which was the largest show launch in U.S. trade show history, all eyes in the international home furnishings industry were focused on the second Las Vegas Market, held January 30 – February 3. Cooler temperatures welcomed the Winter Las Vegas Market, but that didn’t stop World Market Center and its 1,200 exhibiting companies from having another red-hot showing. With more than 50,000 buyers, designers and exhibitors in attendance from 83 countries and record-setting order writing, exhibitors and buyers universally say Las Vegas Market lived up the promise and proved to be even brighter the second time around. Attendees widely praised Las Vegas Market commenting that the January show proved to be a better Market at every turn. Buyers and exhibitors alike hailed improvements stating their experience at all three Market venues was greatly enhanced over July. Attendees cited a number of enhancements at this show, including enhanced organization and product presentation at the temporary venues, expanded shuttle service, more food options at World Market Center, bolstered signage and marketing programs, and improvements to the Market logistics program overall. Developers and Co-managing Partners Jack Kashani and Shawn Samson comment on the success of the January Market: “The January show surpassed our expectations and has once again captivated the industry to new heights of excitement, fulfillment and productivity. Evidenced by the quality of the Market experience, unprecedented sales activity and the rapid expansion of the entire campus, World Market Center has reached a critical mass of attendance and commerce that has definitively proven to be sustainable in the long term. We are deeply gratified with the level of support we have received, and will continue to serve the needs of the industry for many successful Markets to come.” Kashani and Samson, along with their partners Marty Burger and Ron Wackrow of The Related Companies, say these results are backed by an avalanche of positive news reports and supporting endorsements by buyers and exhibitors alike as well as the significant demand for additional space by existing and new tenants. Dave Palmer, World Market Center’s General Manager also commented: “Our team spent a great deal of time evaluating the results of the many surveys we conducted and soliciting feedback from buyers, exhibitors, vendors and our Advisory Board based on their experiences from the July Market in an effort to raise the bar for January. We put this feedback into action, making improvements and enhancements across the board, and came out a better show for it. Responding to the needs and wants of our exhibitors and attendees is what Las Vegas Market is all about, and we believe the industry is equally responsive to marketplace that truly listens. Listening to the industry will continue to be a hallmark to our operating philosophy as we evolve.” Market officials say improvements are already in the works for July 2006 show. For starters, attendees can expect to see a revamped plan and process for on-site registration. World Market Center’s Chief Operating Officer Gerry Sawyer says: “We have a first class operations team and among the most experienced registration companies in the trade show industry. Recognizing that Las Vegas is all about service and efficiency, we are already exploring new avenues in order to make the registration process easier and more convenient for buyers. This is in addition of course to other facets of the Market that we will continue to re-evaluate to ensure that we exceed the needs and expectations of our attendees and exhibitors.” JANUARY PROVED TO BE AN ORDER WRITING MARKET A “fun Market for serious buyers” was the tone that echoed at the January Las Vegas Market. While July was a record-setting show for a number of exhibiting companies, virtually all exhibitors reported that order writing was significantly up this January, as much as 50 percent or more according to many. “Business was up 50 percent from the last market," said Bill Sibbick, senior vice-president of Pulaski Furniture. “In July, people were just looking, but at this market, people planned to buy.” “I'm positively amazed with the written orders from this market,” said Jeff Cook, president of Magnussen. “We surpassed what we did in July.” Andrew Cohen of Interactive Health, a temporary exhibitor at the Pavilions said: “We are blown away with the attendance. It’s better than we expected in terms of new business, Top 100’s, and the amount of order writing.” A better marketed and more organized temporary show held at Mandalay Bay Convention Center also produced winning results off-site. Mandalay Bay and Interior Lifestyle USA, its “show within show,” opened to brisk traffic on Tuesday, which continued steady all week long as more than 500 exhibiting companies there reported strong order writing this market than July. “We’ve had an unbelievable Market at Mandalay Bay and are very pleased with the quality of the traffic we saw there. Our sales were up,” said Keith Feuerhaken of Alan White. “We’re particularly impressed with the number of international buyers attending. The Canadian presence is dramatic.” NEW BUYERS AND BIGGER BUYERS TURN OUT FOR JANUARY MARKET Nothing has a better ring to it than when businesses expand their dealer base and woo new customers. That is exactly what many manufacturers reported at the January Las Vegas Market. Exhibitors were particularly pleased with the Market’s ability to attract international customers who haven’t attended long-standing other markets. “We’ve hosted some major accounts that we've not seen at other markets. In casino parlance, we’ve seen some whales," said George Noonan, sales operations director for Kathy Ireland Home by Standard. “We’ve waited years to meet with some of these buyers we saw in Las Vegas.” Indeed, retail decision makers showed up to January’s Las Vegas Market with an increase in both the Top 100 and Top 200 buyers over the July show. 65 percent of the Top 200 U.S. Retailers attended, in addition to a surge of new U.S. dealers and designers, and almost twice as many Canadian and overseas buyers that the Market saw in July. In all, more than 10,000 new buyers registered for January’s Las Vegas Market and this translated into new accounts and incremental business for the 1,200 exhibitors that showed at Market. Dale Tiffany, a California-based lighting company, hosted buyers from several large chains, including Target.com, Linens & Things and Front Gate, a leading catalogue retailer. Executive Vice President Ken Kallett estimated 75 percent of the customers he saw at January Market were new. That follows July's Market when 85 percent were first-timers. Hershel Alpert, CEO of Massachusetts-based Alpert’s Furniture Showplace, who is a Top 200 Retailer and was named Retailer of the Year by National Home Furnishings Association, says: “World Market Center has done an exceptional job trying to make the buyer feel comfortable. You have gone a long way to make it a buyer friendly Market.” LAS VEGAS IS A NEW PRODUCT MARKET Las Vegas Market is undeniably a venue where virtually every exhibiting company has chosen to make their major introductions. A pre-show poll conducted by World Market Center indicated that more than 95 percent of Las Vegas Market exhibitors planned new product introductions at January show, which paid off with both buyers and media alike. More than 350 members of the media attended January’s Las Vegas Market, representing both trade and consumer press from around the world, and gave positive reviews on the amount of new product at Market. First time exhibitor, Sealy Inc. took advantage of World Market Center's January show to relaunch its flagship Sealy Posturepedic brand. "The January show was perfect timing to unveil Sealy's consumer-inspired products and completely redesigned consumer experience. The visibility we received with our dealers and the media helped create outstanding momentum behind our Sealy Posturepedic launch," said David Evans, Vice President, Sealy Marketing Communications & Consumer Insights. World Market Center officials say that new product introductions and attracting international media go hand in hand and supporting new product introductions among all exhibitors will be a cornerstone to the Las Vegas Market year after year. A GROWING, GLOBAL MARKETPLACE EMERGES IN LAS VEGAS Emerging as a major player in the global home furnishings trade while displaying strong political support at home, project officials were joined by Nev. Gov. Kenny Guinn and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman at an opening day news conference to reveal the exciting developments surrounding future markets and the 12 million square foot campus build-out, as well as to underscore the many benefits World Market Center brings to Nevada and the Las Vegas economy. Gov. Kenny Guinn said, “World Market Center has created thousands of new jobs, both at the Center itself and indirectly through business that will support the Market’s needs. This means continuing prosperity for our citizens and additional tax revenues to help Nevada keep up with the needs of our expanding population.” “World Market Center has been a tremendous success and news that the second phase is ahead of schedule and nearly leased is especially exciting, not just for future attendees, but for the entire city of Las Vegas,” said Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman. “Not only has World Market Center changed the face of downtown with its visual grandeur, it has brought in a completely new industry and tourist base to our great city.” Developers also proudly announced that Building Two is ahead of schedule and fully leased to more than 300 home furnishings manufacturers and will open January 29 – February 2, 2007 for Las Vegas Market. With the opening of the second building, World Market Center will be home to 10 of the Top 25 U.S. furniture manufacturers and importers. Approximately 17 showroom expansions were also announced on opening day of Market. World Market Center tenants are demonstrating their commitment to the Market by expanding and relocating their showrooms to accommodate more new products and to meet the growing buyer demand. 10 of these companies are relocating to Building B when it opens next year and are increasing their showroom size by an average of 13,899 square feet or 289%. Ron Wanek, Chairman of Ashley Furniture, the largest showroom holder at World Market Center slated for 2007, comments on his expansion plan: “The first Las Vegas Market was a tremendous success. We had more people come to this market than any other market ever. The second Las Vegas Market was even stronger. Not only are we keeping our 20,000 square foot showroom in the first building, but the new showroom in Building Two is 65,000 square feet, for a total of 85,000 at World Market Center. We believe this heightened presence at World Market Center will be an effective marketing strategy for Ashley. Our customers and their spouses love coming to Las Vegas, and we strongly support World Market Center and believe the future here is very strong.” About World Market Center Las Vegas World Market Center is an integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and convention complex in Las Vegas. When fully built, at 12 million square feet in 8 buildings, World Market Center will be the largest trade show complex in the World. The 12 million square foot campus will be complete by 2012 and will showcase furniture, decorative accessories, lighting, area rugs, home textile and related segments, as well as a Design Center open year-round to the trade. The second building is under construction and will open in January 2007; officials are now leasing the third building to a broad cross-section of the home furnishings industry. The next Las Vegas Market will be held July 24-28, 2006 at World Market Center and Pavilions, and will also run July 25-July 28 at Las Vegas Convention Center. Discounted hotels for Summer Market are now available on-line and attendees are encouraged to book early while availability and rates are at their best. July Market registration will open in March. For more information on Las Vegas Market, and to find out about leasing or exhibiting opportunities, visit the website or call 888-WMC-SHOW (962-7469).

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