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  • Jennifer Marks

Show Me the Market(s)

Yes, the New York Home Textiles Market is really just five weeks away. The New York Home Textiles Show and the New York International Gift Fair are six weeks away.

The showroom-oriented Market isn't supposed to start until Monday, Aug. 7. Some retailers and suppliers are sticking with the new No Weekend Appointments policy, some aren't. (There's another new rule for the new August Market: casual dress. Not really hearing anyone talk about this one.)

The Market officially ends on Friday, Aug. 11. The Gift Fair starts on Saturday, Aug. 12 and the Home Textiles Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion starts on Sunday, Aug. 13. For suppliers booking appointments during all three events, August is shaping up as one lonnnnng month.

Then there's the Las Vegas factor. The third Las Vegas Market kicks off three weeks from now, on July 24.

Based on the chatter around New York showrooms during the April market, interest in Vegas is picking up. There will be 47 companies displaying bedding this time, including 100% Pure/ Custom Comfort, Peacock Alley, Pacific Coast Home Furnishings/Austin Horn Collection, Louisville Bedding Company, Hudson Industries and Melrose Home. There will be roughly 40 rug companies exhibiting at the show, including Capel, cmi Colonial Mills, Trans-Ocean, and The Rug Market.

A lot of people in the industry have talked about streamlining the number of shows in which they participate, but instead the calendar seems to be getting more crowded. In large measure, that's because suppliers are looking to branch out beyond their core, large-volume accounts.

As has been noted in this space previously, suppliers are exploring everything from the hospitality sector to pet beds in a quest to restore margin to their businesses. One New York showroom regular earlier this year landed a bedding contract with the White House — not the retail chain, but the president's residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The company came into contact with the account after it added the High Point Furniture Market to its exhibition roster.

More New York showrooms are hooking up with reps who can show their lines in gift markets like Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago. A few are exhibiting at overseas shows.

As maddening as markets and trade shows can be for exhibitors, the mood of the moment seems to be trending toward more shows, not fewer.

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