International Market Centers (IMC) announced today a three-year, $280 million-dollar investment in new initiatives to enhance its markets in Atlanta, High Point and Las Vegas. Elements of the plan, which will be implemented over the next six-24 months on all three campuses, include category enrichment and extension, launch of new verticals, strategic remerchandising of existing resources, digital and mobile platform enhancements, and physical improvements in arrival areas and public spaces.
“IMC has a long-standing history of strategic reinvestment and commitment to customer experience for tenants, exhibitors and buyers,” said Bob Maricich, CEO of International Market Centers. “Planned improvements will be significant and tangible, and are designed to create value for our tenants and deliver a world class experience for their customers.”
The ambitious slate of initiatives was developed in response to three months of industry research and outreach which identified each market’s strengths and opportunities for new value creation. These strategic capital projects are designed to: enhance category assortment and presentation in Atlanta, High Point and Las Vegas consistent with each market’s unique market attributes; increase buyer traffic at all major markets; increase and enhance off-market traffic at open daily venues; improve arrival experience and amenities for buyers; and create best-in-class digital platforms to connect buyers and sellers more effectively and efficiently both at and in-between markets. Planned enhancements will build on the industry leading positioning of each of IMC’s three market locations in Atlanta, High Point and Las Vegas.
Behind-the-scenes work has already started on these initiatives. The first of these capital projects will commence Jan. 28 with the groundbreaking of the Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas, a new 315,000-square-foot facility yielding 110,000 net square feet of rentable temporary exhibit space contiguous with Building C. The construction of this state-of-the-art facility will allow for growth and expansion of Las Vegas Market’s tradeshow presentation, driving new resources to campus and enriching the pipeline for permanent showroom presentations. Construction is scheduled for completion in June 2020.
A second major initiative that impacts all three markets is the launch of a strategic information technology roadmap which includes creation of a unified CRM system, scheduled for completion by the end of 2019. The CRM project will enable IMC to better capture, manage and analyze audience data across all of its markets. A related effort will migrate AmericasMart gift, home and apparel markets to a more user-friendly website and mobile app designed to enable product discovery and market planning consistent with the new Las Vegas Market website launched in May 2018. These new platforms will deliver robust and accessible information regarding buyer attendance patterns and category interest to inform category development and merchandising strategies and enable customized buyer outreach addressing specific interests and needs.
“With 22 markets a year in Atlanta, High Point and Las Vegas, IMC is exceptionally positioned to deliver an unprecedented platform for B2B commerce in North America for both sellers and buyers,” said Maricich. “These plans are just the beginning of IMC’s continued investment in our campuses, and our Markets which collectively serve four major industries representing more than $500 billion in consumer spending. The industry at-large and our customers in particular can expect continued customer focus, and sustained growth across all of our properties and Markets.”
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL MARKET CENTERS
IMC, which Blackstone and Fireside Investments acquired in 2017, is the world’s largest owner and operator of premier showroom space for the furnishings, home décor, gift, and apparel industries, with 20 million square feet of world-class exhibition space in High Point, NC, Las Vegas, NV, and Atlanta, GA, connecting 8,500 exhibitors and lines with hundreds of thousands of buyers annually. The Company’s mission is to build and operate an innovative, sustainable, profitable and scalable platform for the furnishings, home décor, gift and apparel industries. For more information please visit www.imcenters.com.
Karen Olson, International Market Centers
Cathy Steel, Steel Associates