New Las Vegas Dates Overlap September 2009 N.Y. Market

The Las Vegas Market has pushed back the dates for its summer 2009 show to September and will shorten the market to a four-day event, Sept. 14-17, precipitating a conflict with the HFPA-sponsored New York Home Fashions Market, which will run Sept. 14-18.

The HFPA dates aren't going to change, according to association president Barry Leonard, president and ceo of Ex-Cell, who told HTT, "It appears they didn't look at a conflict calendar."

There is some speculation that the new Vegas dates had more to do with pressuring the High Point furniture market, which usually holds a preview market in September ahead of its October show. As of today, the High Point Market Authority has not set preview dates for fall 2009.

While it was built first as a furniture and hard home décor event, the Las Vegas Market has expanded to include soft home exhibitors, especially in the area rug category. Several rug resources spoke to HTT about the scheduling conflict.

Steve Mazarakis, president, Hellenic Rug Imports, told HTT, "New York is a major market for us, but it's by appointment. We'll just have to juggle the two markets like we juggle everything else. I expect that between now and then, New York market will change its dates [to avoid the overlap with Las Vegas World Market]. But if they don't change it, we'll be at both places. We'll have someone in New York for our appointments, and then a larger crew in Vegas, because that is a bigger market for us," concluded Mazarakis. Hellenic leases permanent showrooms both in New York's 295 Fifth Avenue and at the World Market in Las Vegas.

Another rug supplier with permanent showrooms in both cities is Momeni. "I guess we'll have to split up our staff, because both of those markets are important for us," said Reza Momeni.

Diane Carleo, director of sales and marketing at United Weavers, concurred, "I guess we'll have to be at both markets. But some of our clients attend both markets, so we'll just have to see how it goes. If we have appointments for New York, we'll have someone there. But we'll definitely be in Vegas." United Weavers shows at 7W NY in a temporary space for now and leases a permanent showroom at the Las Vegas World Market.

Seth King, vp business development at rug resource Surya, which also has permanent showrooms both in New York and at World Market, said, "We basically will handle the situation like anybody else. We will have both showrooms fully stocked and staffed. Our customers will dictate to a certain degree who [from Surya] is at what market. It will be a challenge, but situations like these arise often and we handle them the best we can."

Jesse Galili, vp, Hallmart Collectibles, a fashion bedding resource, had a different take: "With the softening economy, Vegas isn't a venue for home textiles bread and butter. It has been a weak market for us – it's just a San Francisco replacement with a lot of hype."

Bob Maricich, president and ceo of the World Market Center, said, "Our research clearly shows that buyers and exhibitors don't want more days in a market; rather they want to focus on a market that is convenient and productive and is respectful of the value of their time and money."

Maricich said the new dates occur when hotel rates in Las Vegas and other travel costs are "quite reasonable."

Since its inception in the summer of 2005, Las Vegas Markets have been held in late January and late July. Dates for next year's winter show in Las Vegas, a five-day event beginning Feb. 9, remain unchanged.

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