A dazzling new home for 130 outdoor furniture exhibitors will greet
retailers at AmericasMart in July.
There’s a major change coming in 2023 for outdoor furniture as buyers set
their sights on a new show venue, Casual Market Atlanta at AmericasMart, in
July. Furniture World asked Jackie Hirschhaut, executive director of the
International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA), to share her thoughts
about what Furniture World readers can expect to find.
“Construction,” she explained, “has been ongoing for over a year resulting
in four floors of permanent outdoor showrooms and one-and-a-half floors of
temporary spaces that will be ready for the opening. It’s a dazzling new
home for 130 outdoor furniture exhibitors whose showrooms will be separated
by glass perimeter walls to let buyers see what showroom assortments look
like before they step inside.
“Excitement is building for the debut. Furniture retailers that haven’t
visited AmericasMart in the past few months will be amazed. They will see
the whole gamut of outdoor furniture, ranging from moderately priced to
high-end designer lines. Also, decorative accessories, including umbrellas
and pavilions, outdoor rugs, planters and wall décor will be displayed.
Permanent showrooms will occupy floors two, three, four and five. Temporary
exhibitors will occupy half of the sixth floor and the entire seventh
Hirschhaut noted that compared to the High Point and Vegas shows, a
different mix of industry people attend the Casual Show. “There’s a mix of
outdoor specialty store buyers as well as full-line brick-and-mortar
furniture retailers and professional designers,” she observed. “You can’t
experience such a wide variety of products for outdoor living anywhere else.
Casual Market Atlanta will open on July 10, one day before the summer
Atlanta Gift and Home Market opens and will continue through Thursday, July
Casual Show Events
The July show will include lots of events including ICFA’s 65th
Birthday Bash on Monday evening, an Outdoor Living Seminar on Tuesday
afternoon and, to promote the Association’s philanthropy partnership
with City of Hope. ICFA is hosting ‘Pink Out Atlanta.’ Show
participants are invited to wear pink apparel on Tuesday. Attendees can help
increase awareness and show support for breast cancer research by picking up
a pink stone bracelet or hot pink pocket square in the ICFA Member Lounge
with a donation of $50 or more. “Our slogan is, ‘Show your
support for those remembered, today’s fighters, survivors and City of
Hope!,’” she added. For more information or to donate, visit
Hirschhaut explained that ICFA has always held its Awards Gala at special
venues and this year will be no different. “We’re excited about going to the
Georgia Aquarium, a landmark attraction,” she said. “It’s a couple of blocks
from AmericasMart. Folks that attend the gala will see amazing aquatic
displays while catching up with friends and colleagues.
“At the Gala, ICFA will recognize excellence in the outdoor furniture
industry, presenting a number of awards, including the Lifetime Achievement
and the Apollo and Design Excellence awards. We’re introducing the Dudley K.
Flanders Future Leadership Award this year to recognize a rising young
Outdoor Design Days
In addition to events during the July show, two floors at AmericasMart will
have showrooms that remain open to retailers and designers on weekdays
throughout the year. ICFA will also host Outdoor Design Days in
mid-September at AmericasMart, a three-day event on September 18-20
providing programming and networking opportunities for professional
designers. “This event is also ideal for store owners who are too busy in
July to leave their stores to attend Casual Market Atlanta or other buyers
who want to check inventory levels at the end of the season before placing
In addition to organizing the Casual Show, ICFA provides services such as
sales training and retail operations programs for its members. “Our
members,“ she said, “include retailers, manufacturers, independent sales
representatives, designers and the Solution Partners supplier companies,
making ICFA the heart of the outdoor furniture industry.
“We host an annual educational conference where members enjoy keynote
speakers, panel discussions and networking time with industry peers. On
February 18-21, 2024, the educational conference will take place at
Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho, a mid-century modern, boutique hotel. It’s
close to great retail stores in the Scottsdale marketplace for our retail
design tour. More information will be available at Casual Market Atlanta.
“This in-person event supplements ICFA’s mobile app that members use to
communicate year-round. The app is useful for keeping track of what their
industry peers are doing as well as discuss business opportunities and
Furniture World asked Hirschhaut if full-line furniture retailers that might
already belong to HFA, might benefit from joining ICFA. “Yes,” she replied.
“We have some shared members who benefit from our focus on casual home
furnishings. For retailers, joining ICFA is affordable. Dues are based on
the number of retail stores a company operates. The annual fee is $300 for
one, two or three stores. Retail operations with six or more stores pay just
$600 annually. It’s a tremendous value due to the financial support for
programs provided by outdoor furniture manufacturers and ICFA Solution
Outdoor Trend Research
ICFA’s annual consumer study conducted by Wakefield Research asks shoppers
to share what they are thinking about purchasing for their outdoor spaces.
“We all know that for most people, the value of outdoor spaces increased
dramatically during COVID,” Hirschhaut told Furniture World. “That explosive
growth has cooled, but strong demand continues.
“ICFA’s national research shows that 54 percent of the thousands of
households that interviewed in January 2023, planned to purchase items for
their outdoor spaces this year. Seating is still a key item on their lists,
but there’s a stated shift toward looking for items such as outdoor
lighting, umbrellas, pergolas, awnings, fire pits, cushions, pillows, rugs
and other decorative items to add personal touches to their spaces. Also,
water features and outdoor kitchens to complete the experience.”
Additional ICFA Wakefield Research findings:
64% of Americans said that they spend a lot more time in their outdoor
spaces compared to a year ago.
80% said their outdoor living space is more valuable than ever.
Americans (with outdoor living spaces) spend an average of nine hours
per week enjoying them, compared to seven hours last year.
For more information on the International Casual Furniture Association,
visit www.icfanet.org, or contact Hirschhaut at