International Market Centers (IMC) will conduct a survey of 200,000+ home furnishings, gift and apparel buyers that will result in a real-time representation of the state of the industry during the COVID-19 crisis. As part of ongoing support efforts for the retail, design and wholesale communities as they work toward recovery, 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.
“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.”
IMC’s survey has four goals:
- Assess the current retail climate in terms of business operations, product sourcing and consumer sales.
- Understand how market-makers, vendors and sales agencies can best support the retail community during recovery.
- Inform market planning through year-end by understanding health and safety concerns and travel sentiment.
- Explore the utility of digital tools – both B2B and B2C – for sourcing and selling.
The survey will be distributed to buyers via email. IMC has commissioned Stax, an independent global strategy consulting firm with more than two decades of experience providing actionable, data-driven answers to clients' critical strategic questions, to administer the survey and tabulate responses. Results of the initial benchmarking survey, which will be analyzed by region, category interest and business type, are expected in early May 2020 and will be available, in aggregate, to the gift, home furnishings and apparel industries by June 1. Over the next six months, IMC is also planning a regular series of follow-up surveys to track the pace of recovery.
“In this unprecedented time, we are all looking for answers. Our hope is that through this survey, we can bring some clarity to the current situation and allow for better planning not just for IMC, but for the manufacturers, sales agencies, retailers and designers who make up our industry,” adds Maricich. “We believe that recovery is something we should and will approach together, and we are proud to support our industry as we look towards the future.”
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.