From Home Furnishing Business
IMC Unveils Major Capital and Strategic Investment Plan, Atlanta NEXT
International Market Centers (IMC) has announced the launch of Atlanta NEXT, a multi-stage capital and strategic investment plan that will transform the AmericasMart Atlanta business through enrichment of all categories and improvements to all buildings at its 7.2 million square foot campus in downtown Atlanta.
Stage 1 begins with Home Category enhancements including a renovation of the Building 1 lobby; remerchandising of the home décor and open daily resources; and strategic coordination with the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) to present the Southeast’s dual-venue, comprehensive design destination.
“IMC is making investments to elevate the market experience and deliver more value to our customers,” said Bob Maricich, IMC CEO. “This multi-stage plan begins with the home décor category. Initiatives supporting our gift and apparel offerings are also in development and will be announced soon.”
IMC’s complete remodel of the Building 1 lobby is designed to create an efficient and inspirational arrival experience for buyers and exhibitors during market and year-round. The new two-story lobby features flexible lounge, meeting and work spaces; newly configured registration areas; premium showroom space; and digital signage offerings – all connected via a new escalator to the second floor. Improved amenities include a new full-service restaurant and a new grab-and-go café to supplement the existing Starbucks café. At the street level, the redesign creates a seamless entry experience from Peachtree St. and John Portman Blvd. by removing elevation changes in the lobby and adding outdoor lounge spaces and digital signage. The new lobby design is by ASD | Sky.
Beyond the lobby and Floor 2 levels, IMC is remerchandising and rebalancing its Building 1 home décor showrooms to create a more effective, efficient and compelling experience for buyers. Improvements also include further integrating rug merchandise into the home décor offerings, consolidating open daily showrooms on consecutive floors and creating a cross-category lifestyle remerchandising of showrooms to align with the current retail landscape.
In support of the redesigned open daily marketplace, IMC will add a new reception desk to welcome designers and assist in finding what they need; streamline the registration process; and present a full slate of events throughout the year.
As part of the collaboration between ADAC and IMC, the sister design centers will work together to promote the campuses as a comprehensive design destination beginning with the combined Fall Design Week and Discover ADAC in September 2019. Complete details will be announced soon.
Supporting these initiatives are the previously announced Buyer Services team and Atlanta Call Center. IMC’s Buyer Services Team now features category specialists tasked with supporting key and national accounts across IMC’s three nationwide campuses. Five Atlanta-based full-time call center representatives are dedicated to buyer outreach by providing one-to-one contact with key retailers and designers to identify their market needs and product preferences.
“We know that one of the most effective ways to tell our transformation story in Atlanta is through direct connection to buyers and designers,” added Maricich. “So, a major component of our massive marketing effort is a robust buyer services team complemented by a highly-trained, in-house call center to reach thousands and thousands of buyers on a grassroots level. We already have the largest population of buyers and sellers at our Markets, but we want to make the experience even better.”
Changes to the Building 1 lobby will begin immediately after the Summer 2019 Market with major updates completed by Winter 2020. The final lobby reveal is slated for Winter 2021. Specifics related to future phases of the Atlanta Next transformation, including enhancements to Buildings 2 and 3, will be announced in the coming months.