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Casual Market Chicago
Experiences Strong Attendance

Thursday, October 15, 2015

VORNADO | Merchandise Mart announced today that the 2015 Casual Market Chicago, which was held at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, September 16-19,  welcomed 500 new attendees with strong representation in key U.S. regions including the Southeast, Northeast and Pacific Coast. For more than 35 years, Casual Market Chicago has been the most complete collection of furniture, trends and accessories for outdoor living. In addition to seeing the latest products, attendees participated in special events and presentations by top industry leaders. The Market reported positive feedback from the temporary exhibitors and permanent showrooms.

“At this year’s show, we saw an increase in attendance, including buyers and retailers who haven’t attended the Market in recent years,” said Susan McCullough, senior vice president, VORNADO | Merchandise Mart.

“We have had a flurry of leasing activity over the past 12 months, and now boast over 47 permanent tenants and welcomed just under 200 temporary exhibitors to Casual Market Chicago. The importance of this growth segment for mainstream furniture retailers is likely a key component to our success,” said Byron Morton, vice president, VORNDAO | Merchandise Mart.

Many permanent showroom representatives and exhibitors had very positive feedback at the Show.

Daniel Jelley, Senior Vice President of Product Design and Development, Veranda Classics by Foremost

“In our new Merchandise Mart showroom we were able to double our square footage and show more of our products. As in all real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. This is where Casual Market Chicago is and we need to be where the action is. My advice to retailers and other manufacturers is, if you’re not coming to the Casual Market, then you’re not seeing 90 percent of the product in the casual industry.”

Gloster Furniture, Eric Parsons, President

“We added a fresh look to the showroom, and there has been a lot of energy with our new look and products. Buyers are coming to the Casual Market because it is the pinnacle of outdoor furniture.” 

Kolo Collection, Greg Martin, Owner

“You’re crazy if you don’t visit Casual Market Chicago. There is a lot of synergy between the exhibitors and showrooms, and sharing of ideas. Between the roundtables and seeing different showrooms and seminars, it has been a great learning process for us.”

Tuuci, Ward Usmar, Senior Vice President

“We’ve experienced great traffic and nice presence from all over the country, Canada and Latin America. We had a major showroom expansion, adding 30 percent more space including a wetbar, casual dining area and accessory pieces, which enables us to show more products. The Show is good because every major player exhibits, important retailers attend and the overall feeling is positive. Casual Market Chicago is the center for the outdoor furniture industry.” 

Elaine Smith, Elaine Smith, Owner

“Traffic has been non-stop since we opened the doors at 8am. We have seen buyers from across the country, and from Canada to the South. Traffic is amazing and being surrounded by the best of the best neighbors has really elevated our brand. We have been in the casual industry for 11 years and the transition to a permanent space has been very exciting.”

Klaussner Outdoor, Gary McCray, President

“There has been a lot of traffic in the building since opening and this Market is the place to be for the casual furnishings industry. At the Casual Market, all of the manufacturers are here – furniture, rugs, lighting, umbrellas, everything is here in one place on three floors. The Mart has done a lot of work to bring more dealers in and we think there are 400 new dealers we will see throughout the show, which is important for us as manufacturers.”

Yellow Leaf, Joe Demin, Owner

“This targeted show is the ideal market for us. We’ve always seen a lot of our competitors here, lot of synergies between other products, and it’s a natural fit for us to be here. It’s definitely quality over quantity. (We’ve) opened up some great new accounts and people are really connecting with our products.”

Attendees were the first to explore 250+ leading manufacturers of casual/outdoor furnishings in more than 350,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space including 45 permanent showrooms on floors 14-16. Manufacturers unveiled their latest products in a multitude of categories, including Furnishings (wrought iron/aluminum, cast metal/cast combination, rattan/wicker/woven materials, tubular materials, resin/fiberglass and wood), umbrellas, hammocks, grills, outdoor lighting, outdoor carpeting and rugs, garden accessories, tabletop, statues, fountains, outdoor bars, outdoor hearth and heating products, alternative tabletops and pool and spa accessories.

“Casual Market Chicago is the only place in the world where you can see the latest products in the casual furnishings industry from 250+ manufacturers all in one place, the historic Merchandise Mart in Chicago,” said Julia Chappell, managing director, Marketing, VORNADO | Merchandise Mart.

“In addition to the opportunity for buyers and sellers to connect, we also hosted networking events, keynote presentations, an Opening Night Backyard BBQ Party, dozens of showroom events and the ICFA Gala at the Field Museum in conjunction with the International Casual Furnishings Association.”

For more information about Casual Market Chicago, visit www.casualmarket.com

Casual Market Chicago is a four-day trade show that provides retailers with an outlet to find all things related to outdoor and casual living. Featuring the latest products and trends in the industry, the Casual Market features permanent showrooms and temporary exhibitors totaling approximately 350,000 sq. ft. of exhibit in The Mart. 

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