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Merchandise Mart Readies for Casual Market

By Home Furnishings Business in Markets on May 21, 2013

The International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market will host a number of shopping areas, including redesigned casual showroom floors, temporary exhibits in the Market Suites and more.

Held at the Chicago Merchandise Mart Sept. 17-20, the market is a four-day trade show that offers retailers access to a wealth of casual living products in 35,000 square feet.

This year, the Casual Market will debut two dedicated casual showroom floors. Floors 15 and 16 have been redesigned to give retailers and designers the ability to view outdoor seating collections, dining sets, and display vignettes with product demonstrations and merchandising ideas. 

More than 20 showrooms relocated during the past year to new spaces on the 15th and 16th floors. Since this transition, some showrooms have expanded their new spaces. 

"The September Casual Market is the first time the majority of buyers and designers will see the new redesigned and dedicated casual floor plan, which has been designed to give attendees the ability to easily navigate through showrooms more efficiently," said Jaclyn Kelly, senior director of marketing for the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market / MMPI. 

By request, the 2013 Casual Market will again feature the Garden Accessories Courtyard. This 10,000 square-foot-area located on the Northwest side of the 8th floor Market Suites, is dedicated to showcasing new accessories. The Garden Accessories Courtyard is home to exhibitors highlighting decorative outdoor accessories, lighting, hearth products, tabletop items, rugs, pottery, statuary, and much more. 

New and returning temporary exhibitors in the 8th Floor Market Suites will display their product innovations and collections in an advanced look at 2014 options. From casual furniture, umbrellas and fire pits to outdoor kitchen appliances, fabric options, and a variety of accessories, the Market Suites are slated to include plentiful resources for all retailers' inventories and designers' specifications. 

"Since the Chicago Merchandise Mart is the casual industry's leader in product exhibition and permanent showrooms, the combination of these display areas creates a broader range of purchasing opportunities for retailers, buyers and dealers," Kelly said. 

While the Casual Market's New Product Gallery has always been known for revealing select product debuts and new exhibitors on the 1st floor of the Chicago Merchandise Mart, a New Exhibitor Showcase will be featured on the 8th floor. Those in attendance will have the ability to discover new exhibitors along the main aisle on floor 8 of Market Suites. A signage wall-display will provide a colorful glimpse of new exhibitors' product photos as attendees enter the floor from the elevators. New exhibitors include Big Green Egg, Lounge Factory, Outdura, Desert Steel, and Outdoor Interiors.

Attendees have the ability to gain insights regarding color and design trends affecting consumer purchasing behaviors as well as recent product introductions for their comprehensive seasonal and annual inventory or catalog needs. Attendees will include trade professionals working in many fields including specialty casual furniture stores, full-line home furnishing stores, department stores, pool and spa stores, garden centers, hearth and fireplace stores, catalogs, hardware centers, discount/mass merchandisers, interior design, hospitality specification, landscape design, and landscape architecture. 

The Casual Market's redesigned Web site includes information for exhibitors and attendees. 

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