Mercato Place wants to be the 2.0 of sample markets

Managing samples, from acquisition and storage to replenishment and replication, can be a hassle for any busy interior designer. Today, a new online platform designed to streamline the process is entering the market. Meet Mercato Place.

Developed by Thoroughbred Fulfillment, a Zeeland, Mich.-Based marketing services provider, the sourcing tool leverages the company’s existing (and large) pool of partner brands and leverages its in-depth knowledge of the industry. “We’ve been in this business for a long time serving furniture companies, retailers, architects and designers,” says Ray Sayers, President of Thoroughbred Fulfillment and Founder of Mercato Place. “Channel partners and furniture companies are actively looking for an alternative channel to distribute these samples to designers. “

Ray Sayers, founder of Mercato Place and president of Thoroughbred Fulfillment.

Photography courtesy of Mercato Place

With supplier relationships and compatible distribution channels already in place, it was natural for Sayers and his team to rise to the challenge. The close proximity of the distribution center to some of the biggest players in the industry, namely MillerKnoll and Steelcase and their portfolios of design brands, will certainly be a competitive advantage. “We wanted to keep track of the niche that we have,” Sayers told AD PRO.

Kravet Contract, Fil Doux, Designtex and HBF Textiles are among the more than 20 brands involved in the official launch. In the portal, designers and architects can access information on textiles and wall coverings presented by partner brands. Once users are ready to order samples, they can do so from multiple vendors knowing that they will deliver them all in one box, saving them time and simplifying tracking. Creating a profile and sourcing from Mercato Place are free for design professionals. (The site does, however, collect information that can be shared with partner brands.)

Thoroughbred Fulfillment’s 150,000 square foot distribution facility in Zeeland, Michigan will also be the basis for the new Mercato Place concept.

Photography courtesy of Mercato Place

While demonstrating the portal, Sayers says the site is designed “to give the designer as much information as possible” about the products available through Mercato Place. From the categorical lists, users can go directly to the specific product or landing pages of a channel partner. Contact details for each supplier’s regional sales representative are also readily available.

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