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In this Issue

NRF Forecasts Retail Sales to Increase 4.1% Over Last Year


Klaussner Home Furnishings to Open Klaussner Outdoor Showroom in Chicago’s Mart

SunVilla to Open Showroom at Chicago’s Mart

Leasing Activity at the Merchandise Mart



NRF Forecasts Retail Sales to
Increase 4.1% Over Last Year


The National Retail Federation has released its 2015 economic forecast, projecting retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) will increase 4.1 percent*, up from the 3.5 percent growth seen in 2014. NRF expects non-store sales in 2015 to grow between seven and 10 percent. The 4.1 percent increase would mark the biggest annual growth since 2011 when retail sales for the year increased 5.1 percent.

“Already facing far fewer obstacles than this time last year in terms of growth opportunities, retailers are optimistic about the potential that exists for healthy growth in retail sales and consumer engagement in 2015,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “While our outlook for the year ahead is positive, we aren’t quite out of the woods; in order to see continued momentum we need a commitment from our leaders in Washington to pass legislation that will encourage investment, create jobs and set us on the path toward sustained, long-term economic growth.”

“The economy appears to finally have gained some real traction and, after a somewhat turbulent 2014, we expect to see continued gains in economic activity in the year ahead,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “While Americans are benefiting from a pickup in wages and jobs and gains in the U.S. stock market, economic slack has been reduced. We still, however, have a ways to go in order to achieve sustainable economic growth. There are a few wild cards that the retailers will need to keep an eye on, like global economic growth, energy prices and even inflation.”

*  Retail industry sales, according to NRF, include most traditional retail categories including auto parts and accessories stores, non-store categories, discounters, department stores, grocery stores, and specialty stores, and exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations, and restaurants.


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Klaussner Home Furnishings to Open
Klaussner Outdoor Showroom in Chicago’s Mart

Klaussner Home Furnishings, the leading solutions provider for the home furnishings industry, will open the nation’s first Klaussner Outdoor showroom at the Mart in 2015. The Mart, host of the Casual Market and home to 45 permanent outdoor showrooms, is the world’s largest resource for custom home furnishings and interior design. The Klaussner Outdoor showroom will be located on the 16th floor with a debut planned in time for the Casual Pre-Market in July.

After a successful debut of the Klaussner Outdoor collection at the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market at the Mart in September 2014, Klaussner Home Furnishings made the strategic move to open its first outdoor showroom at the Design Center at The Mart. Led by outdoor furniture veteran and International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) chairman Gary McCray, president of Klaussner Outdoor, the new showroom will feature a wide variety of products across its Premier, Select and Limited product lines.

“The addition of this permanent showroom solidifies Klaussner’s long-term commitment to the outdoor business and no venue confirms that commitment better than The Mart in Chicago,” said McCray. “We previewed our line at the Casual Pre-Market and launched the full introduction at the Casual Market last year to a tremendous response from both specialty retailers and furniture stores attending those shows.”

“As chairman of the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA), I believe that Chicago is the best possible location and the Mart team, strong partners in fostering the legacy and future growth of the Casual Market,” added McCray."   

About Klaussner Home Furnishings
Headquartered in Asheboro, North Carolina, Klaussner Home Furnishings has grown to become one of the largest furniture companies in America with showrooms in High Point, Las Vegas and Chicago. As the leading solutions provider for the home furnishings industry, Klaussner’s breadth of product is unrivaled and its service is unparalleled with guaranteed delivery of its domestic products in 21 days or less. Its comprehensive selection and divisions include: Domestic Upholstery, Imported Upholstery, Domestic Motion, Case Goods, Enso Sleep Systems, Comfort Design and Klaussner Outdoor.

Visit the website.


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SunVilla to Open Showroom at Chicago’s Mart

The Mart, host of the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market and home to 45 permanent outdoor showrooms, is pleased to announce SunVilla will open a permanent showroom within the Design Center this Spring. SunVilla is synonymous with elegance and sophistication, with an attention to detail that is just as exciting as the overall appeal.

“We were a part of the 2014 International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market at The Mart and we were blown away by the tremendous retail audience in attendance,” said Matt Weiss, VP of SunVilla. “We know our permanent home at the Mart will bring us even more success as we can tap into the vibrant designer audience shopping the showrooms on a daily basis and deliver an even greater presence during the September Market.”

SunVilla offers unique product collections including Dining Sets, Bistro Sets, Fire Pit Chat Sets and Deep Seating Conversation Sets all boasting superior craftsmanship that is sure to enhance any outdoor living space. 

Visit the website.


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Leasing Activity at the Merchandise Mart

The Mart, host of the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market and home to 45 permanent outdoor showrooms, is pleased to announce Brown Jordan International (BJI) companies including Brown Jordan and Tropitone will extend their leases in suites 1510 and 1523 respectively and Winston will relocate to suite 1515.

“We are invested in our Chicago showrooms. We renewed and strategically reconfigured our lease to showcase Brown Jordan, Winston and Tropitone in a manner befitting each brand while achieving operational efficiencies,” said Gene J. Moriarty, president and CEO of BJI. “Having a permanent showroom to host our specialty dealer customers at Casual Market has a big impact on our service and sales and allows us to better support the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA). Also the year-round designer business at the Mart is a big plus for all of our brands.”

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