IMC Provides Key Info On Government Relief Programs—And New Digital Sales Opportunities

In an effort to address business disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, International Market Centers (IMC) is offering a variety of valuable resources for retailers. First, to assist its customers in understanding and accessing financial aid opportunities, the company’s legal and government affairs team is offering summaries of key government relief programs. Additionally, IMC is offering free subscriptions and transactions through the end of the year on its B2B digital ecommerce platform ShopZio.


Government Relief Program Summaries

In addition to providing link to key government relief programs, IMC’s synopses detail eligibility and provisions. “IMC is committed to supporting our customers throughout the COVID-19 crisis,” said Bob Maricich, IMC CEO. “We hope these easy-to-digest summaries will help business owners navigate the process related to securing government assistance during these unprecedented times.”

The link to a 27-page document detailing the below packages is here:

  • Small Business Paycheck Protection Program
  • Disaster Assistance Loans and Advances
  • Other Types of SBA Assistance Measures (SBA Access to Capital, SBA Exporting Assistance)
  • Employee Retention Tax Credits
  • Unemployment Insurance & Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

ShopZio B2B Digital Marketplace

Along with its new digital division, IMC_di, IMC recently announced that free subscriptions and transactions will be available for IMC customers through year-end on ShopZio. Recently acquired as part of the IMC_di initiative, ShopZio is a fully-functional B2B platform that facilitates product and resource discovery as well as transactional e-commerce. In support of economic challenges caused by the current disruption, all marketplace fees will be waived for the balance of the year for both new and existing ShopZio customers.

“The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted business quickly and significantly. While ensuring the health and safety of our staff and customers is our top priority, we also have been able to start planning for recovery and we will use our virtual market tools to help our customers do the same,” said Maricich. “To that end, we are offering gift, home and apparel suppliers virtual market tools — at no charge through the end of the year — to help our customers maintain visibility, market available products and transact business digitally as recovery begins.”

As an added benefit for both new and existing customers, ShopZio will be linkable directly from IMC’s market websites – AmericasMart.com, IMCHightPointMarket.com and LasVegasMarket.com – enabling robust product discovery and referrals to vendors’ e-commerce platforms. IMC’s websites currently receive more than three million unique visitors annually. Combined with IMC’s attendee marketing, which reaches hundreds of thousands of qualified buyers, the sites will help vendors engage buyers and drive traffic and e-commerce sales.

“As recovery begins and the American public emerges from this difficult period, one thing is certain: people will reach for the things that provide comfort, beauty and solace – the very things that our industries design, produce and sell,” said Maricich. “As retailers reopen for business and begin to restock, these virtual market tools will have established a pipeline to jump-start much needed economic recovery for the gift, home and apparel industries.”

Following the initial announcement, adoption of the ShopZio B2B digital platform has surged – with more than 100 new vendor registrations in less than one week. These newcomers, which include top industry brands and broad category representation, nearly double the number of vendors on the platform. Among notable suppliers in home décor and furniture are: Amity Home, Arcadia Home, Authentic Models, Bassett Mirror Co., BedInABox, Dôme Deco, Eichholtz B.V., Feizy Rugs, Kalco Lighting Ltd., Johanna Howard Home, OW Lee, Park Hill Collection, Saatva Mattress, Simply Amish, Specialty Sleep Industries, Uttermost and others.

“Buyers and suppliers are hungry for solutions to the economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and IMC_di is eager to help facilitate recovery with virtual market tools like ShopZio,” said Eric Dean, president of IMC_di. “ShopZio’s tools for product discovery and sales transactions, coupled with the unparalleled scope and reach of IMC’s marketing capabilities, offer our industry a unique opportunity to conduct business digitally in the short-term and to build a critical mass of content to augment markets when recovery comes.”

For companies interested in utilizing the ShopZio platform, the IMC_di team offers demonstrations and training for how to prepare their product and SKU-level data for upload. New customers will be on-boarded on a first-come, first-served basis. IMC tenants and exhibitors can sign-up now and connect with the IMC_di team here.


Future Market Planning Continues

IMC is continuing to plan for summer Markets to be held in High Point, Atlanta and Las Vegas. “We hope to have the opportunity to produce physical Markets this summer – although we recognize they may look and feel slightly different given the impact of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with customers if postponement is deemed necessary,” said Maricich.

The current schedule is:

High Point Market: June 12-14
Atlanta Market: July 14-20, at AmericasMart
Las Vegas Market: July 26-30, at World Market Center Las Vegas

IMC_di also is accelerating development of its new digital market experience, which—when launched in Fall 2020—will create new opportunity and streamline digital tools for the industry. By combining IMC’s online discovery and e-commerce capabilities with its unparalleled scale, reach and buyer engagement, IMC can help accelerate sales across the industry.

For more information, visit IMCenters.com.

About International Market Centers: International Market Centers (IMC) is the world’s largest operator of premier showroom space for furniture, gift, home décor, rug, and apparel industries. International Market Centers owns and operates nearly 20 million square feet of world-class exhibition space in High Point, N.C., Las Vegas and Atlanta. IMC’s mission is to build and operate an innovative, sustainable, profitable and scalable platform for the furniture, gift, home décor, rug and apparel industries.

About IMC_di: IMC Digital Innovations (IMC_di) is a stand-alone division of International Market Centers (IMC), the world’s largest operator of premier showroom space for the home furnishings, gift, and apparel industries. Launched in January 2020, IMC_di will build an industry-changing platform including a global B2B e-commerce marketplace, a full suite of integrated marketing and sales automation software and smart showroom tools. With bold people and bold ambitions — and by investing as much as $100 million — IMC_di will change and grow the industries IMC serves.