Vendors see fewer buyers but more spending at Las Vegas Market

Handbag label Pixie Mood drew in a steady stream of retail buyers — one proclaimed “this is adorable” while another swooned over colors including a sage green and a soft blue — Monday afternoon at the biannual trade show Las Vegas Market.

The show, which started Sunday and runs through Thursday, brings together more than 4,000 gift, home decor and furniture brands across four buildings at the World Market Center in downtown Las Vegas — giving plenty of purchase options for retail buyers and interior designers.

While organizers expect to draw about 60 percent of the attendance it had in pre-pandemic years, many wholesale vendors including Pixie Mood are finding that those who are in town have been spending more.

Val Wright, Pixie Mood’s representative, said that the show has been “amazing” and that it feels like the sentiment for 2022 is one of confidence and a willingness to spend.

“I think that the retail buyers have proven that they are still buying and feel more safe to take the risk to purchase,” Wright said. “I think they needed to wait out the economy and people’s personal views on what they want in terms of newness like, ‘Am I going to keep recycling my clothes or am I going to go online and buy a new outfit?’”

The Canadian company, dubbed one of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2019, makes vegan leather handbags and accessories with a focus on sustainable manufacturing and materials.

But its sleek designs are what attracted Amanda Rydell to scoop up several handbag styles in multiple colors for her retail boutique Handpicked Goods in Fargo, North Dakota.

Rydell said her shop specializes in gift and party supplies as well as vintage home decor. She was on the hunt for furniture and accessories at Las Vegas Market.

It was her second time attending the trade show, adding that her first visit in 2020 coincided with the opening of her store, now in its second year.

“We had never bought wholesale before so it was my first wholesale experience,” said Rydell. “I feel like I’m not as nervous now. It’s easy. I know what to expect and how to do orders.”

Less foot traffic, higher spending

Leather sectionals in a rich cognac color and accent chairs covered in an ivory boucle fabric were just a couple of the many designs at the Primitive Collections showroom. The company has a permanent location inside the World Market Center and found this year’s trade show to be its busiest.

“It’s been outstanding. Probably second best in two years — a record market,” said Michael Papadakis, executive vice president of Primitive Collections.

Even though the trade show may have pulled in fewer buyers, those who are visiting are spending more and because the company is fully stocked, it’s been able to meet demand.

“If you have it in stock, which we do, it sells,” he said.

Meanwhile, Atlanta-based firm Accent Decor spent nearly three weeks designing its large exhibit space at the market. The wholesale company offers ceramics and glassware for the floral and event industries as well as home decor accents.

“We as a company really enjoy putting our customers in an immersive experience to really drive how the products can be used. So we do live plants and floral installs,” said Samantha Brower, marketing coordinator for Accent Decor.

For example, one section of its space was titled “Plantshop Vibes” and had the same look of a trendy plant shop with colorful pots such as one featuring a pink and red snake wrapped around a clay pot.

“We released about four new trends. One being the ‘Plantshop Vibes’ because of the increase of the plant parent during the pandemic,” Brower said. “So we honed in on that. We wanted to create that live experience like you’re at a plant shop.”

Messages Floral Design Studio owner Denise Redmond was browsing the displays at Accent Decor. She said her Tulsa, Oklahoma, studio offers custom floral designs.

“We’re mostly looking to see what’s new and trending,” said Redmond. “This is our first full day here, but I’m pleased that people are turning out in person. To me, that makes a big difference.”

International Market Center spokeswoman Chelsea Bohannon said the combination of gift, home decor and furniture brands on display makes it the only trade show in the country to have all three industries at once.

And the timing is perfect, said Bohannon, since consumers are spending more on home goods and furniture, keeping retail buyers and wholesale vendors busy.

“The number of actual people walking in the door (at Market) is not back to pre-pandemic levels, but the spending is,” Bohannon said. “We’re seeing a lot of consumption. People are still not traveling so a lot of people are buying things for their home.”

Contact Subrina Hudson at [email protected] or 702-383-0340. Follow @SubrinaH on Twitter.