LAS VEGAS— Gourmet housewares exhibitors at the recent Las Vegas Market reported productive meetings with buyers from the western U.S. region.
The winter Las Vegas Market marked the second show since the formal launch of the C11 floor as a permanent showroom hub for gourmet-focused products during last summer’s show at the World Market Center’s gift-and-home décor-concentrated Building C.
Gourmet housewares suppliers in showrooms on C11 said buyers came prepared to write orders, and many did.
“I’m excited: There were lots of first-timers [to the Las Vegas Market],” said Katherine Waymire, president of Talisman Designs, a specialty kitchenware marketer that took space in a new shared showroom on C11 with such other housewares marketers as USA Pan, Frieling, Wellness Mats, Epicurean, Victorinox, Peugeot and Simply Baked.
Marie Vavassori-Fundis, brand manager for mill and barware supplier PSP Peugeot, echoed those sentiments, noting she met with kitchenware retailers from as far away as Hawaii who said they don’t generally attend the gift and home markets in Atlanta and Dallas or the housewares show in Chicago.
Bobby Griggs, vp/global sales director for cookware and cutlery supplier Hammer Stahl, showing in the Kitchen Source showroom on C11, said he wrote orders and picked up new accounts during the early stages of the show.
Colleen Stephens, the Seattle-based sales rep who opened a showroom last July on C11 featuring such brands as Microplane, Luigi Bormioli, Omega and Qroquade, said she expects a steady buildup of exhibitors and gourmet housewares buyers in Las Vegas.
“It’s still early,” Stephens said of the gourmet housewares initiative at the Las Vegas Market. “I think it will continue to grow. It’s good for our vendors and accounts. Independents need a comfortable place, and Las Vegas has been very welcoming of the independents.”
Officials from housewares companies, including woodenware specialist Enrico and barware/wine accessories supplier True Brands, said buyer traffic in the Las Vegas Market Pavilions, which showcased temporary booths in gift and home products, was notably heavier at the recent winter market compared to the previous summer show.
Las Vegas Market officials have built its gourmet, gift, tabletop and home décor exhibitor base in Building C the past four years in an effort to present an advantageously located, one-stop trade marketplace alternative for west coast sales organizations and retailers.
Dorothy Belshaw, president of gift and home décor for International Market Centers, which operates the World Market Center and Las Vegas Market, reiterated the market center’s commitment to support its effort to enlist more gourmet housewares exhibitors with an active push to recruit attendance by relevant buyers in the western region.
Belshaw said C11 occupancy, at about 40% during the winter market, doubled compared to its July 2015 launch and is progressing toward a sellout by the end of the year. Belshaw cited Las Vegas Market historical data suggesting it takes up to five market cycles for a newly assigned floor to reach full-scale exhibitor/buyer participation.