Home Furnishings Retailers Seek Easy-to-Ship Items at Las Vegas Market, Ongoing | News
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — Thousands of people flocked to the World Market Center in downtown Las Vegas on Sunday for the start of the Las Vegas Market, a massive furniture trade show.
“Everyone kind of missed the opportunity to be face to face, versus a Zoom call,” said Terence Morris, senior vice president of gift rentals at Las Vegas Market.
Despite Omicron’s ramp-up in Southern Nevada, a furniture retailer told FOX5 he’s grateful the event wasn’t canceled because amid shipping delays and shortages of workforce, he said the event’s opportunity for in-person networking brought “tremendous value” to his business.
“Everyone is masked. There’s a lot of precautions, they’re doing social distancing, and they’re really enforcing it, so that’s good,” said Jerry Burdick, owner of Ideal Furniture in Las Vegas.
For retailers and even wholesalers, the in-person show could mean more product on local shelves, with faster shipping times, according to event attendees.
“We give buyers and sellers the opportunity to meet, converse and do business,” Morris said. “Anything you might find in store right now, that manufacturer is probably here and retailers are out there buying it.”
Burdick echoed that sentiment.
“This trade show – for me personally, I can speak – is about walking in and talking to manufacturers that we’re working with, or potential manufacturers, and saying, ‘Where are you at, man? Can we just be honest with each other “Where are we at getting products right now?” Burdick said.
Morris said he expects around 30,000 people to attend the Las Vegas market this winter, which runs through Thursday.
“It’s definitely down from the last few years, but I would say it’s definitely a bit more of the summer show, so that’s encouraging,” Burdick said.
Demand has been high for home decor and furnishings during the COVID-19 era, especially since the lockdowns were put in place.
“During a pandemic, business has always been extremely strong,” Morris said.
However, restocking shelves has been an ongoing struggle, as we’ve reported, without enough product to fill orders in a timely manner.
“With labor increases, and just labor shortages and trucking shortages,” Burdick said.
Burdick said the disruptions caused shipping delays of up to ten months for some of his furniture.
“It’s always kind of an uncomfortable conversation, when people need a product right now,” Burdick said.
But he said he hoped the trade show would be helpful in getting the goods into the hands of consumers at businesses like his.
The market takes place twice a year and is set to return to the World Market Center for its summer show July 24-28.