During the Mid 2000’s the momentum was all in favor of the new World Market Center in Las Vegas,NV becoming the largest (in sq. feet of showrooms) and best international furniture market in the world. Fast Forward to January 2012, over 6 million square feet of planned new showrooms have gone undeveloped, and the much anticipated opening of Building 3 has fizzled out and the building is half full, mainly with furniture manufacturers who signed long term leases and can’t get out of them without paying a hefty cost.
The High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina is still the largest and best market to work. Since Mueller Furniture focuses on selling higher quality merchandise, and much of that furniture is still made in North Carolina, we get a first-hand look at companies like Bradington Young and Bernhardt that we can’t see in Las Vegas. But, In Vegas I can still see 80% of the product I carry. Vegas has become a west coast dominate furniture market. What that means is that many of the showrooms are full of the same cheap imported bedroom, dining room, and accent furniture that all lands in California ports and is retailed by big box stores on the West Coast and Southwest United States. This is the definition of “furniture as a commodity” and it’s a terrible thing for business. I will defend that statement in next week’s column. However, there is some really unique companies offering contemporary living room furniture manufactured in California by people pushing the boundaries of furniture engineering and art. Seeing this high level of creativity and engineering excellence bodes well for the future of the industry, and being around those people are inspiring. The reasons to go to the Las Vegas Furniture Market definitely outweigh the reasons not to go.
My biggest regret of 2011.
2011 was a banner year for Mueller Furniture; we’ve worked hard enough over the last several years making some key strategic decisions that worked out very well. We’ve opened the new Sleep Sanctuary, and built a line-up 40 + of mattresses that I would go head to head with Mattress Firm, or any other mattress store in the St. Louis area. Our customer’s compliment our sales people all the time that our huge selection gave them all of the choices they needed to feel good about their mattress purchase. “You never have to think, ‘is there any other kind of mattress I need to try out before I decide to buy?’” We have the best selection of Tempur-Pedic in St.Louis, a great value on Sealy Posturepedic, and the best kept secret in the mattress world right now, is the unbelievable comfort and value of the Bemco Latex mattresses. My biggest regret of 2011 is that I failed to discover the iComfort Series from Serta at last year’s Las Vegas Market. It’s been incredibly popular with customers this past year. It’s high quality memory foam with a twist. It’s infused with a high tech gel to reduce the stored heat of the foam. This is designed to give you a cooler night’s sleep and give you all the traditional benefits of memory foam (pressure relief, not waking up when your partner gets out of bed).
I do not want to miss out on this year’s iComfort, Im going to Vegas to find mattresses that really make a difference in a person’s daily performance. Our time is in higher demand, we are constantly demanding more from our bodies. People want to look better, work harder, and provide more. We can’t reasonably demand more without providing better rest and relief for our bodies. The only way our brain can defragment, our bodies can repair muscles, and heal pain is through healthy sleep, 7.5-8.5 hrs/day. So I’m learning from my mistake of 2011 and travelling to find the secrets of sleep so I can provide my customers better beds, better moods, and happier days.
So wish me luck and send me a lucky number, cause I’m going to Vegas, and I will report on my findings when I get back.
P.S. The Serta iComfort Series including the best-selling “Revolution” will make their debut at the Sleep Sanctuary February 5th
At Mueller Furniture, it’s our goal to transform your house into a home! Choose from hundreds of home furnishing items including: sofas, recliners, bedroom sets, Tempur-Pedic mattresses and much more. Shop online at muellerfurniture.com or stop by our luxurious Belleville showroom and see what the buzz is all about.