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Las Vegas Market Post July Show Report

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The World Market Center, Las Vegas, submitted the following report that describes the ongoing progress of this new home furnishings show venue. When it comes to creating a more efficient and exciting home furnishings marketplace, Las Vegas Market continues to get it right as attendees commented on the success of the third installment of Las Vegas Market, held July 24 – 28, from the growing roster of exhibiting companies and amenities to noticeable improvements in terms of registration and logistics. Las Vegas Market continues to enjoy strong attendance, and over the course of the last three markets has maintained an average of approximately 50,000 registered attendees each show. Despite reports of attendance being off slightly from January due to the soft retail economy, exhibitors reported larger orders from buyers. Retailers in attendance were more serious and came to Las Vegas to write orders, according to Market officials and the exhibitors they polled. Expectations are even higher for attendance at the January 2007 Market with the opening of World Market Center’s second building. Building B is a 16-story, $345 million, 1.6 million square foot structure and will debut in conjunction with the Winter Las Vegas Market, January 29 - February 2, 2007. Dave Palmer, General Manager at World Market Center said: “Buying was up – really up. Exhibitors continued to see new buyers, more qualified buyers and have a great order writing Market. They were particularly pleased with the international business they did.” “Once again, Las Vegas Market proved to be a record-breaking event for us,” said Michael Amini, President of AICO. “The July Market was the best market we have ever had in the entire history of our company.” Nfusion, a boutique showroom in World Market Center’s Design Center, added: “This is a very good market. Traffic is slightly off, but the real buyers are here and sales overall are up.” Neighboring rug showroom Safavieh also supported this reality saying: “The quality of buyers is different from previous markets – there are more serious buyers. Customers are taking it more seriously than in the past.” Word has spread across the globe as Las Vegas Market welcomed attendees from all over the world with an increase in international participation from both international buyers and exhibiting companies. International attendees came from 116 countries, up from 83 countries as reported last market, and accounted for eight percent of total registrations at Las Vegas Market. Exhibitors throughout Las Vegas Market have also commented on the dramatic increase of international buyers, especially from Europe, Australia, Mexico, Canada and the Middle East. THIRD TIME PROVES TO BE A CHARM July’s Las Vegas Market was the largest to date with more than 1,500 exhibiting companies and 2.6 million square feet. Referring to the success of the last Market, Palmer said “the third time was a charm” as the show management team has been able to refine all aspects of Market to deliver a first class event. He said feedback from the buyers and exhibitors is that the Market is getting better and better and virtually everyone noticed improvements to areas such as shuttle service, the overall organization of the temporaries, expanded food services and most notably improvements to on-site registration. “One of the biggest improvements I noticed this market was definitely registration,” said Jeff Cook, President of Magnussen Home. “The whole registration process operated so smoothly with no waiting in lines, it was great.” Indeed, World Market Center officials made a number of improvements to the on-site registration process including increasing the size of the registration pavilion thereby allowing for additional points of service with more than 100 counters. Also, separate badge holder pick-up and badge correction locations were added to alleviate long lines. Finally, highly experienced customer service representatives were added to assist with on-site registrations and questions. A robust and well-organized temporary show at the Las Vegas Convention Center also garnered rave reviews from the 1,000-plus exhibiting companies there. In addition, attendees were pleased with the number of new features and the international presence at the temporary venue including Italian Design on Tour (IDOT) and the Brazilian and Mexican Pavilions. “There are so many great things here we had to extend our stay,” said Rich Reams of Loft Appeal, a Los Angeles-based buyer who carries contemporary, loft style furniture. “We are finding everything we are looking for and more. We have been to all three shows so far and think each time is even better than the last.” “This Market has totally met my expectations,” said Dee Dee Duhn of Missouri-based Custom Imports. “It is well organized, comfortable and easy to get around. It is a pleasure shopping here. I do most of my shopping oversees. This is my only domestic show.” INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION INCREASES IN LAS VEGAS Emerging as a major player in the global home furnishings trade, Las Vegas Market experienced an increase in both international buyers and exhibiting companies this July. Las Vegas Market officials reported that 308 non-U.S. manufacturers, or 20 percent of the Market, were among the 1,500 companies showing – making July’s Market the largest contingent for international exhibiting companies. Of the 308 international tenants, nearly half, or 143, were from Europe, followed by Canada with 59 tenants or 19 percent; Latin America, 50 companies for 17 percent; and Asia with 55 companies accounting for 18 percent of the total international presence. Tim Branscome, Director of International Business Development for World Market Center, was pleased by the growing international contingency. “World Market Center is an international market and our mission is to be the global stage in the U.S. for manufacturers world-wide. We want to ensure that our buyers have as wide of a selection of product to choose from when shopping at our Market.” To accomplish this, World Market Center officials focused their resources on creating strategic alliances with trade fair organizers and associations around the globe to bring “shows within a show” and significant brands to the U.S. market, often for the first time. July’s Market included the summer edition of Interior Lifestyle USA, which showcased a wide spectrum of high-end companies from 14 countries. It featured the best ideas, product lines and exhibitors from Europe’s hugely successful Heimtextil and Ambiente shows. Also from Germany was the Interior Trends exhibition by Koeln Messe, which was developed by a group of international experts and spotlighted four themes focusing on different consumer trends. The international crowd traveling to Las Vegas was not solely Europeans, however. Other areas of the globe are also impacting trends and inspiration at Las Vegas Market. For example, new to Market was a 6,900-square-foot Brazilian Pavilion, where 16 companies highlighted the country’s trend-setting styles. Furthermore, a group of more than 12 Mexican manufacturers displayed original pieces of decorative art, gifts and handcrafts at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Another section of the show at Las Vegas Convention Center where attendees were able to experience design trends and European influences shaping our future was IDOT –“Italian Design on Tour,” – which showcased 10,000 square feet of the best in Italian furniture design. Branscome noted that international exhibitors have helped to drive the Market’s overall growth. “The international home furnishings community has recognized Las Vegas Market as the leading trade fair in the U.S. with international appeal, and prefers the July show due to a number of conflicting European events in January,” he said. BUILDING B BUZZ GROWS WITH GRAND OPENING SET FOR JANUARY 2007 One of the impossible-to-miss images of the third installment of Las Vegas Market was the powerful presence of Building B looming over the first 10-story building at World Market Center’s growing complex. Buzz surrounding the new building reached an all time high when officials offered the news media a sneak preview of the towering Building B, scheduled to open for the January 2007 Market. At the press conference, officials delivered a progress report atop the nearly completed building, whose top floor affords panoramic views of the iconic Las Vegas Strip and the surrounding area. Officials announced that as a result of expanded amenities and design features, as well as enhancements that are being made throughout the project, such as a 15-story parking garage and accelerating the development of future phases, that the overall investment of World Market Center will exceed $3 billion dollars. Building B will more than double the number of permanent showrooms at World Market Center and is fully leased to nearly 300 leading manufacturers in the home furnishings industry with the first tenant move-ins scheduled for October. With the opening of the second building, 13 of the Top 25 U.S. furniture manufacturers and importers will be exhibiting at Las Vegas Market. Babs Blair, Director of Leasing for World Market Center, said, “The energy and excitement surrounding the progress of our second building was definitely apparent during July’s Market. The grand opening of Building B in January is going to be another monumental event for our industry and we would like to thank everyone for their support of Las Vegas Market, especially our existing and new tenants who fully support our vision and have made a sizeable commitment to Las Vegas with beautiful showrooms, new products and great marketing.” 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 2013 and will showcase furniture, decorative accessories, lighting, area rugs, home textile and related segments, as well as a Design Center (LVDC) open year-round to the trade. The second building 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 January 29 – February 2, 2007 at World Market Center and Pavilions, and will also run January 30 – February 2 at Cashman Center. 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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