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Casual Market promises to showcase top brands

Preview Show set for July 17-19 at Chicago Merchandise Mart

CHICAGO - Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. announced the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market will be held Sept. 20-23, at the Chicago Merchandise Mart, which is the casual industry's leader in product exhibition and permanent showroom displays. The four-day market event will feature the trade's top manufacturers, most innovative product introductions and a complete range of new furniture and accessories for outdoor living.

As the only market 100% dedicated to the outdoor furnishings industry, the Casual Market encompasses 350,000 square feet of exhibit space with more than 45 permanent showrooms and hundreds of temporary exhibitors in the Market Suites. It also is the only market exclusively endorsed and sponsored by the International Casual Furnishings Association.

Attendees from across the globe will have the opportunity to view the latest outdoor and casual product introductions from the industry's leading manufacturers in a variety of categories. Outdoor/casual furniture will include beach chairs, benches, deep seating, dining collections, hammocks, folding/stacking furniture, cast metal/cast combination, rattan, wicker, woven, resin/PVC, tubular, fiberglass, wood, wrought iron, wrought aluminum and mosaic tabletops. Manufacturers with outdoor accessories and specialty products will exhibit the latest in tabletop items, statuary, fountains, fabric, outdoor bars, hearth and heating products, outdoor rugs and flooring, cushions and pillows, pottery and planters, fire pits/features, umbrellas/awnings, grills, outdoor kitchens, garden accessories and other items.

Retailers and buyers will have the opportunity to gain insights regarding color and design trends affecting consumer purchasing behaviors as well as the most recent product introductions for their comprehensive seasonal and annual inventory needs. Attendees will include trade professionals working in many fields including specialty casual furniture stores, full-line home furnishing stores, department stores, pool and spa stores, garden centers, hearth and fireplace stores, catalogs, hardware centers, discount/mass merchandisers, interior design, hospitality specification, landscape design and landscape architecture.

Permanent showrooms, situated on floors 15, 16 and 17, will offer attendees an informative view of some of the top businesses in the casual furnishings industry, thousands of outdoor furniture selections, and well-appointed accessories. Brown Jordan, JANUS et Cie, Gloster, TUUCI, Agio International, Pride Family Brands, OW Lee, Lloyd/Flanders, and Treasure Garden, will showcase wide-ranging selections, just to name a few.

Market Suites' temporary exhibitors will display new product innovations and collections on floor 8. From casual furniture and fire pits to outdoor kitchen products and fabric options, the Market Suites are slated to include resources for every retail and design need. Examples of temporary exhibitors include Oxford Garden, Caravita USA, TAG, Ltd., Z-Line Designs, Saber Grills and Sunbrella by Glen Raven, among hundreds of others.

Returning to Casual Market by popular request is the Garden Accessories Courtyard. A 10,000-sq.-ft. area dedicated to accessories will be located on the northwest side of the 8th floor Market Suites. The Garden Accessories Courtyard is home to exhibitors featuring decorative outdoor accessories, lighting, hearth products, tabletop items, rugs, pottery and much more. Elaine Smith, Inc., Couristan and Merritt International will exhibit new and enhanced product offerings amid more than 25 courtyard exhibitors in this special area that tends to draw crowds in the aisles.
Casual Market planners are vamping up other well-known areas for the 2012 show, with new additions to the New Product Gallery, a comprehensive overview of the newest casual furniture and outdoor accessories on floor 1 of the Merchandise Mart; The New Exhibitor Showcase, which includes "New Exhibitor" signage to flag new products in the 8th floor Market Suites; and the ICFA Lounge, a private space located in the Club Room on floor 8 where members can check email, hold small meetings or simply relax and read collected catalogs and collateral materials.

The International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market dates and times:
Permanent Showrooms, Floors 15, 16, 17:
• Thursday, Sept. 20 - Saturday, Sept. 22, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
• Sunday, Sept. 23, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Temporary Exhibitors, Market Suites Floor 8:
• Thursday, Sept. 20, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m.*
• Friday, Sept. 21 - Saturday, Sept. 22, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
• Sunday, Sept. 23, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

*Market-goers will be able to stay late for the Market Welcome Party on the 8th floor, Thursday, Sept. 20.
For more information, visit www.casualmarket.com.

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