International Market Centers is commissioning a survey of more than 200,000 home furnishings, gift and apparel buyers that will generate a real-time representation of those related sectors during the COVID-19 crisis.
In its continuing support of the retail, design and wholesale communities, IMC has committed to making the results available to the industry as a benchmarking and planning tool in addition to using the results to inform its own summer and fall market planning.
The survey has four goals: to assess the current retail climate in terms of business operations, product sourcing and consumer sales; to understand how market-makers, vendors and sales agencies can best support the retail community during recovery; to inform market planning through year-end by understanding health and safety concerns, and travel sentiment; and to explore the utility of digital tools, both B2B and B2C, for sourcing and selling.
IMC commissioned Stax, an independent global strategy consulting firm, to administer the survey and tabulate responses. Stax should have the survey results compiled in early May 2020, analyzed by region, category interest and business type. To follow up over the next six months, IMC plans to initiate a regular series of surveys to track the pace of recovery.
“With our expansive buyer base, we have the ability to get a true pulse of the industry right now,” said Bob Maricich, IMC CEO. “Through our markets and market centers in Atlanta, High Point and Las Vegas, we have a critical mass of buyers of diverse location, size, product mix and longevity that presents us with a unique opportunity to create a tool that will be of great value to the industry as it looks forward.”