July 1, 2014

Las Vegas Summer Market - July 2014

Our summer visit to the Las Vegas Market reminded us why we love this industry, with such great people to meet and talk with. Yet we still shake our head at the crazy amount of high fixed cost permanent shows we must attend. With temperatures well over 100 degrees and attendance expectedly poor, we had plenty of time to meet with our clients (indoors) and get an update. Most companies are enjoying good business, with an anticipated strong Fall at the retail level. Upholstery is stronger than casegoods and promotional price points are faring better than the high end. There continues to be a rising desire for "made in America" goods, and most manufacturers are re-shoring, near-shoring and on-shoring raw materials and finished goods as fast as possible (we remain unclear what the differences in these new words are, but all are actively used these days!). E-commerce remains a hot topic as well.

The Vegas market has a very strong mattress/bedding presence, and the World Market Center has done a good job bringing energy and focus to this sector. With our recently announced sale of Jamison Bedding to Solstice Sleep Products, we were busy on the bedding floors actively talking‎ with buyers and sellers. Expect continued consolidation in this space.

Mergers and Acquisitions in furniture are heating up, and we are in deep discussions in all sectors. Large companies are anxious to grow, and have the capital to make things happen‎. The announced purchase of DWR by Herman Miller and Holly Hunt by Knoll highlight the blurring of contract and residential channels, and we expect to see more of these type deals.

Logistics, freight cost management, SKU control and new product development seem to be taking an increasing role in business success, with smart companies investing in these ‎functions as key differentiating characteristics.

Quote of the Market: ‎"My promise to you is that I will sell you and your competitors, but I will absolutely protect your company with unique products, supported by our staff, to assure that you are successful because you do business with us." as one CEO opined about a recent conversation with a top prospective customer.

May we all be this zealously ambitious for our own company's success while ‎making sure to take care of our clients and customers at the highest levels.

Have a great rest of the summer and let us know how we can be of assistance.

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