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Outdoor Furniture & Accessories Market Will Stay In Chicago

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Despite attractive offers from Atlanta and Las Vegas, the Summer and Casual Furniture Manufacturers Association has signed a new 10-year agreement with Merchandise Mart Properties to keep the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market in Chicago. The 2006 Casual Market, scheduled for Sept. 13-16, marks the twenty-fifth show held at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. This year’s Market and the 2007 Casual Market are the last under the current 6-year agreement. Both the AmericasMart in Atlanta and the World Market Center in Las Vegas fought hard to make a switch attractive for the SCFMA. “The SCFMA and casual furnishings industry have developed a very strong partnership with the Merchandise Mart over the years in building the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market,” says Joseph P. Logan, SCFMA Executive Director. “Nevertheless, there are other viable and attractive venues, and the SCFMA Board could not ignore the very appealing offers placed on the table, especially by Atlanta.” “In the end, however, Merchandise Mart Properties made an extremely attractive offer to the SCFMA Board which made it clear to our leadership that it was in the industry’s best interest to remain in Chicago.” “We are extremely pleased with our continued partnership with MMPI in producing and hosting the International Casual Furniture Market,” states Dudley Flanders, president of Lloyd Flanders and chairman of the SCFMA. Among provisions in the new agreement are additional savings for both temporary and permanent showroom exhibitors who are members of the SCFMA. In addition to a discount on exhibit space, other incentives are available to current Association members and new members through the recently signed agreement. Also, temporary exhibit space for the Pre-Market held in July would continue to be available only to SCFMA members who have leased space for the September market. The Summer and Casual Furniture Manufacturers Association was established in 1959. Now known as the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market, the trade show was developed by SCFMA in partnership with the Casual Furniture Retailers Association. Following its start in another Chicago trade show venue, the first Casual Market was hosted at the Merchandise Mart twenty-five years ago. The Summer & Casual Furniture Manufacturers Association is headquartered in High Point, N.C. – the furniture capital of the world – and represents more than 80 leading manufacturers of summer and casual products. It is a division of the American Home Furnishings Alliance.

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