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MMPI to redesign 16th floor of Chicago's Merchandise Mart

Vornado, Merchandise Mart confirm commitment to permanent showroom tenants and Casual Market
Design CenterCHICAGO - MMPI's parent company, Vornado, has reaffirmed its commitment to The Merchandise Mart's residential/outdoor industry and has invested significant funding and efforts to improve the facility for its clientele. "The Mart building remains the pre-eminent location for residential and contract furniture showrooms and its related trade shows," according to Vornado's latest annual report.

Part of The Mart's commitment to the industry includes the redesign of the 16th floor to complement the 15th floor's new look. Since early 2012, more than 65 residential and outdoor furnishings tenants were relocated into new spaces. The redesign has improved the shopping experience by creating a more concentrated, easily navigable showcase of the top names in outdoor furnishings for buyers during the annual International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market and the trade that shop on a daily basis.

The Merchandise Mart has been home to the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market for more than 35 years. While MMPI's current contract with the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) for the annual Casual Market runs through September 2017, a significant number of permanent tenants have extended their leases beyond 2017.

Today, 55% of the Mart is dedicated to showroom tenants including 45 casual showrooms totaling more than 256,000 square feet on floors 15 and 16. In addition, there are many other tenants offering outdoor furnishings resources on the 14th floor. Overall, from 2003 through 2012, MMPI increased its permanent casual showroom space by approximately 43%.

In addition to expanding and improving The Mart's permanent showroom offerings, marketing efforts have aggressively increased during both the annual Casual Market and on a day-to-day basis over the years in order to bring more revenue streams to permanent tenants year round. Additionally, MMPI supports the ICFA on many of its initiatives including the financial support of the Apollo Awards, coordination of the Design Excellence Awards and assistance with its membership outreach.

"With the unwavering support from Vornado, MMPI remains dedicated to its Casual industry and all of our permanent tenants," said John H. Brennen III, executive vice president, MMPI. "We anticipate a hugely successful Casual Market in September and look forward to showing buyers the major improvements to the showrooms since 2012."

When it comes to casual furniture, accessories and outdoor living trends, The 2013 International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market is the epicenter of exciting innovation in the industry. With more than 350,000 square feet of exhibit space, showcasing casual indoor and outdoor furniture, umbrellas, grills, accessories and more, the Casual Market at Chicago's Merchandise Mart is the one-stop shop for buyers' outdoor living needs. Buyers can register now for the Casual Market, Sept. 17-20, at www.casualmarket.com.

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