Atlanta Market confirmed its place as the top Summer 2021 buying destination for the national retail and design industry with better than projected attendance and reports of record-breaking shows across its home and gift collections at the closing of its seven-day run, July 13-19, 2021 at AmericasMart Atlanta.
“Atlanta Market was exactly what buyers and sellers needed right now,” said Bob Maricich, International Market Centers (IMC) CEO. “The buzz about market quickly traveled through the industry, and the brands and buyers who did not attend were really feeling like they missed out. We’re confident that their need to be a part of Atlanta Market will accelerate the growth of the Winter Market in 2022.”
Pent-up demand for inventory led to aggressive buying by retailers and designers. Upticks in Key Account attendance – with nearly 100 top retailers including Anthropologie, Ballard Designs, Barnes & Noble, Bath & Body Works/White Barn, Bealls, Belk, Buc-ees, Cracker Barrel, Dillard’s, Francesca’s, Food 52, Hallmark Cards, Hamricks, Hobby Lobby, The Home Depot, Joann Stores, Macy’s, Michael’s Arts & Crafts, Nordstrom, Old Time Pottery, Paper Source, Plow & Hearth, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Sharper Image, Swoozies, Tuesday Morning, Urban Outfitters, Von Maur and more – also sparked high-volume orders.
Buyers from all market verticals – Gift, Home Décor and Apparel – were well represented with growth in all three categories over the Winter 2021 staging. Attendees hailed from all 50 states, with notable growth from the Midwest and continued recovery of international traffic with buyers from some 36 countries.
Overall, the Summer 2021 Atlanta Market well outpaced the Winter 2021 staging, growing by nearly 55% in attendance and ultimately beating IMC’s pre-market projections with more than 85% of the Summer 2019 turnout.
Buyers Choose Atlanta Market to Get to Business
Many retailers and designers chose Atlanta Market as their first market after a pandemic hiatus or as their first market ever.
“Coming back to the Atlanta Mart has felt like a homecoming,” said Jorge Gonzalez, buyer and general merchandising manager for Draeger’s HOME & Market with four stores in California. “The safety measures and the graciousness of the Atlanta Market staff has left me with a smile on my face an incredible hope for the future of our business and brick and mortar stores!”
“This is our very first market as buyers and it’s been a great experience!” said Madison Clayborn, founder of new online retailer Clayborn Collection. “We found a lot of what we were looking for to start our company by coming to Atlanta Market. We’ll definitely be coming back in the future.”
Tammy Lopez and Maddie Morden of Personify Shop in Duluth, GA posted on Instagram, “I think this was our most successful week at Atlanta Market yet! So fun to see our reps and brands that we haven’t seen in a while. We wrote about 75 orders… I cannot wait for all of the new to start trickling into (or pouring might be more accurate) the store… This holiday season is going to be [on] fire!”
Brands Find the Right Buyers at Atlanta Market
Atlanta Market’s exhibitors felt the impact of buyers getting back to business with a surge in order writing resulting in many record shows. Buyers sourced from 8,000+ lines showing gift, gourmet, home décor, juvenile, lifestyle, personal care, stationery, tabletop and more including 1,000+ in the temporary exhibits, which doubled over the Winter 2021 staging. The market’s 1,000+ gift and home décor showrooms featured nearly 60 new, relocated or expanded brands.
“The market has been spectacular,” said Peter Schauben, principal of Appelman Schauben (representing 68 lifestyle lines). “It is amazing to see IMC’s vision for Atlanta Next come to life at this market.”
“It was great to be back in full force with all our product partners and territory managers in the showroom,” said Cody Ables, CEO + Founder of CODARUS (representing 13 home décor lines) “It was so nice to see accounts we have not seen at market since January 2020!”
"Atlanta Market this week felt like old times,” said Paul Adams of PARC Packaging. “We have not written this much business in years!"
“We’re super excited to have our brand-new showroom in AmericasMart open at last on the 14th floor of Building 1,” said Caroline Hipple, president of Norwalk Furniture. “We have entertained lots of old and new friends upon opening and look forward to being a more permanent part of this vibrant creative community!”
Brands from across Atlanta Market’s categories had record breaking shows. Hali Vradelis, National Sales Director of Vietri reported “our biggest day of sales ever — and not by a small margin!” Jack Abelarde, owner 3 Kids Kompany said "July Atlanta Market has been a CRAZY good show — RECORD-BREAKING!"
Atlanta Market also was an opportunity for brands to return to in-person events. “This was our first time exhibiting in a trade show in 18 months!” said Henry Cornell of M. Cornell. “We greatly missed the personal interaction with customers during that 1.5 years. There simply is no substitute for personally meeting customers. Atlanta is back and we’re so grateful!"
Market Events Return
The staging of at-Market events by IMC, exhibitors and industry organizations created a buzz around the market.
The Market Kick-Off party was a standing-room-only event where attendees mixed and mingled, many for the first time in more than a year. Tastemaker Danny Seo brought the Demonstration Kitchen back to life with an engaging presentation and tasting of healthy desserts. Throughout the three-building campus, vignettes of Market Snapshot and LOUIES finalists and photo-ops – featuring sayings like “Growing My Business with Atlanta Market,” “Sweeter than Peachtree” and “Market is the Only Language I Speak” – were hits with hundreds of social media posts.
Exhibitor events also returned including a progressive buying experience hosted by Ben Tally, Kitchen 2 Table and The Ryan Group; a ribbon cutting celebration for the lobby-level Currey & Company showroom; a retail and design Q&A in Norwalk Furniture; a 75th anniversary celebration for Werner Frank; and more. Industry groups gathering included the Gift and Home Trade Association (GHTA) and Culinary Futures. Gift For Life’s “Feed the Hungry, Feel the Good” campaign raised more than $40,000 for World Central Kitchen.
The Winter 2022 Atlanta Market is Tuesday, January 11 – Tuesday, January 18, 2022 (temporary exhibits Wednesday, January 12 – Sunday, January 16).