Nov. 18, 2016

New York Hospitality Show: BDNY - November 2016

With construction on every corner, a cool fall breeze, and a contentious election finally over, there was a vibrant and upbeat backdrop for BDNY (Boutique & Design: New York). We spoke with over 100 hospitality CEOs who all, despite a sluggish fall for many, seem optimistic about the growth in the hospitality sector and a clear path of continued strong growth through 2017 and likely into 2018.

Quote of the Market #1: “I don’t believe this period of hospitality industry growth is ending, I think we have several good years ahead, but we are now growing at a more sustainable pace than the craze of 2015 and early 2016.”

The format of the market, limited time (just 2 days) and temporary booths, continues to be successful.  The exhibitors get the opportunity to write or quote business at BDNY (and BD-West) with real customers in a low cost, high impact environment. 

President-Elect Trump was a frequent topic of conversation given his active role in the hospitality sector, with his many hotels and real estate investments. A number of CEOs even had personal anecdotes to share about working with him on various projects. Observations such as his “attention to detail” and “diligent listening” were particularly interesting, and perhaps provide a glimpse into the next four years. Also, most executives believe his pro-business policies will bode well for strong new construction (and furniture sales) in the future.

With BDNY on the heels of the Residential High Point Furniture Market, the contrasting importance of e-commerce was striking. Hospitality’s reliance on a more complex selling system of specifiers, dealers, purchasing agents, and hotel flags has diminished the inroads that the big internet players like Wayfair and Amazon have been able to make to date. We did notice that Wayfair had a booth at the show, along with other lifestyle retailers such as Mitchell Gold, Restoration Hardware and DWR.  The blurring of channels, “hospi-dential” or “resi-mercial”, continues to be a trend we are watching as retail, e-commerce, office and residential sectors are continuing to enter the hospitality sector. 

Mergers & Acquisitions remain a hot topic, and activity and valuations are strong.  As we saw at the High Point residential show in October, larger companies are seeking add on companies for market share growth, product expansion, and customer/channel bolt-ons, and there is also an abundance of PE and international buyers. 

What is your company worth?  Call us and we will be pleased to walk you through the math and science of valuation, as well as the art of understanding what buyers want. Call us and let us help you navigate our exciting and ever-changing industry.

Quote of the Market #2: “Last year’s cool tones of silver were the fashion trend in furniture, now I’m seeing bronze and gold toned furnishings everywhere!! … maybe it is Trump’s preference for gold driving the trend.”

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