International Casual Furniture Market to stay in Chicago
Powell Slaughter -- Casual Living, August 16, 2006
Despite attractive offers from Atlanta and Las Vegas, the Summer and Casual Furniture Manufacturers Association has signed a new 10-year agreement with Merchandise Mart Properties to keep the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market in Chicago.
The 2006 Casual Market, scheduled for Sept. 13-16, marks the 25th show held at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. This year’s Market and the 2007 Casual Market are the last under the current 6-year agreement. Both the AmericasMart in Atlanta and the World Market Center in Las Vegas fought hard to make a switch attractive for the SCFMA.
“The SCFMA and casual furnishings industry have developed a very strong partnership with the Merchandise Mart over the years in building the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market,” SCFMA Executive Director Joseph P. Logan said. “Nevertheless, there are other viable and attractive venues, and the SCFMA Board could not ignore the very appealing offers placed on the table, especially by Atlanta. In the end, however, Merchandise Mart Properties made an extremely attractive offer to the SCFMA Board, which made it clear to our leadership that it was in the industry’s best interest to remain in Chicago.”
“We are extremely pleased with our continued partnership with MMPI in producing and hosting the International Casual Furniture Market,” said Dudley Flanders, president of Lloyd/Flanders and chairman of the SCFMA.
Among provisions in the new agreement are additional savings for both temporary and permanent showroom exhibitors who are members of the SCFMA. In addition to a discount on exhibit space, other incentives are available to current association members and new members through the recently signed agreement. Also, temporary exhibit space for the premarket in July would continue to be available only to SCFMA members who have leased space for the September market.
The Summer and Casual Furniture Manufacturers Association was established in 1959. Now known as the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market, the trade show was developed by SCFMA in partnership with the Casual Furniture Retailers Association. Following its start in another Chicago trade show venue, the first Casual Market was held at the Merchandise Mart 25 years ago.
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