Winter Las Vegas Market - January 2016
The Las Vegas Market continues to be a powerful part of the furniture industry, and this winter market did not disappoint. Crowds were good and most exhibitors and visitors were upbeat. The Market team did a good job with added amenities: did you see the Lyft (not Uber) curbside area as you entered?
Cautious optimism was the predominant mood of the Winter Las Vegas Furniture Market. With China upside down and stock market dips to start the year, there is some anxiousness among many furniture CEOs. Hot topics from this market included:
- The currency advantages and disadvantages with the RMB, Mexican Peso, Euro, and Canadian Dollar;
- Difficulty of finding skilled labor for US manufacturing;
- Continued access to inexpensive capital is making financial leverage on businesses and real estate more attractive;
- E-commerce and internet behemoths changing the game;
The wild card, and frequent brunt of jokes in the halls, was the insanity of Presidential politics. No one is quite sure what impact this could have on business in 2016, if any.
Mergers & Acquisitions were the #1 topic this market, given the recently announced Hooker-HMI transaction. Congratulations to both companies! We believe this is terrific news for all of us in the industry, as smart people committed $100 million of new capital to our industry and have provided guidance of growth and positive outlooks for the furniture world. We can all take comfort from this deal, plus the many unannounced transactions from the past year. 2015 was the best M&A market ever, in all sectors, and most prognosticators believe 2016 will remain very strong. We have several new transactions in the market, and expect to have another great year. Call us and let’s get talking.
We are pleased to welcome Stuart (Stump) Mullens to our firm as Vice President and a principal in the firm. Stuart continues the 3rd generation development of future leaders of The Stump Companies. She was a Jefferson Scholar at the University of Virginia followed by career steps at McKinsey & Company and Georgia-Pacific, where she was involved in Fortune 100 strategic planning, merger integration, Internet of Things, and Board of Director advisory. Her skills will bring additional strength to our team. Stuart will be joining the Investment Banking Group, working closely with her father Tim.
Quote of the market:
"Now we have two furniture economies: brick & mortar and e-commerce" noted one industry veteran.
Call us and let us help you navigate our exciting and ever-changing industry.