HD Expo Vegas Recap
Las Vegas delivered a huge win for the hospitality industry last week, with over 10,000 attendees at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the annual HD (Hospitality & Design) Expo. Following more than two years of COVID-interrupted lifestyles, with limited travel and hotel visits, the world is indeed traveling again with hotel occupancy surging. The major hospitality flags are now spending and up-fitting hotels. There is great excitement in this sector, which is a welcome trend following the gloom-and-doom of COVID years.
With ocean container rates back to pre-COVID levels, many vendors are eager to source from Asia as costs can be more favorable than North American made goods. Though we heard from several new or expanded Mexico factories that are on-line, working well, and delivering cost-competitive goods. In the US, the remaining hospitality suppliers are wide open making upholstery and soft seating. So much domestic capacity was abandoned in the past few years due to business failures – or simply exiting the sector – that quite a bit of market share is now up for grabs.
NEW DEAL ALERT
Royal Custom Designs sold to Makers & Craftsmen LLCREAD MORE
A Look Ahead
We expect to see more M&A in the hospitality sector in the coming year as the industry outperforms residential and commercial channels, and as Private Equity (PE) investors continue to focus on building out their existing portfolio companies. Also, with HNI’s pending acquisition of Kimball International, it will be interesting to see if changes are made strategically to Kimball Hospitality’s direction.
We love Springtime with its back-to-back markets. Starting in High Point last week, then Las Vegas in May, and concluding in Chicago with Neocon in June (we missed the Milan Fair due to an overlap with High Point – but we are going next year!). Markets provide a great time to meet people and network with old friends, while discussing new products and projects. AI, zoom, and drone tours will surely continue to reduce some business travel, but there will always be a role for face-to-face meetings.