Despite wintry conditions and COVID concerns, the show reported a year-over-year attendance increase of 70%.

Jan. 20, 2022

Atlanta Market was the epicenter of the nation’s gift and home décor buying with brands and sales agencies reporting record sales at the close of the Winter 2022 edition, January 11-18, at AmericasMart Atlanta.

“Buyers meant business in Atlanta this week, says Bob Maricich, CEO, International Market Centers (IMC). “They came ready to source with the confidence that Atlanta Market would deliver the must-have product needed for the new year. Based on the reports of record-breaking sales and growth in order size, it appears that buyers found what they were looking for – and more.”

Market attendance at the Winter 2022 edition outpaced Winter 2021 by nearly 70%, despite wintery weather conditions and lingering pandemic-related issues. As industry recovery continued in Atlanta, all market verticals – gift, home and apparel – recorded growth, with especially strong attendance in the gift category. Ultimately, buyers attended from all 50 states and 39 countries.

Across Atlanta Market’s 2,000-plus permanent showrooms and temporary exhibits – including more than 200 that were new or expanded this January – sellers reported healthy orders from enthusiastic buyers sourcing from in excess of 8,000 lines.

“The energy at Atlanta Market was electric,” says Fred Pannek, president of Mud Pie, which offers clothing and home decor. “We saw buyers from the gift, decor and apparel industries flood in from all over the country to see, touch and feel the new product. Mud Pie achieved record-breaking days in Atlanta, where buyers spent roughly 30 percent more per order than last year.”

“This was the busiest January Atlanta Market I have seen in several years,” says Dan Loughman, president and CEO of Roman, a manufacturer of Christmas and inspirational products. “Our show sales were the highest in 17 or 18 years with average order sizes significantly larger than in the past, and we opened dozens of new accounts. It was great to see Roman customers at market again – for some it was the first time in two years.”

“This market was magnificent,” says Frank Thomas, principal of Frank Thomas Art & Design. “It’s amazing how far clients came to visit us at Atlanta Market. We wrote so many orders and almost sold out. I wish I would have brought more product to market.”

Exhibitors took to social media to share their enthusiasm for the market. Brad Rosenkampff, managing partner/ CPO of The Link Companies (representing 79 lines) shared, “despite obvious health challenges, a few cancellations and then snow, it was a monster show – Record-breaking and well beyond expectations. We are extremely excited about this amazing start of ’22.”

Austin Rockwell, wholesale manager for Teaspressa, posted: “Just hit record breaking sales at AmericasMart Atlanta today! It was absolutely wild. Didn’t stop writing orders from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.”

Augmenting strong order writing from independent stores were key accounts and buying groups that returned to the market in force. Key accounts confirmed at Atlanta Market included Aarons, Amazon, Anthropologie, Arhaus Furniture, Ballard Designs, Bassett Furniture, Big Sandy Superstore, Chair King Backyard Store, City Furniture, HSN, QVC, RC Willey, Rue Gilt Groupe, Slumberland Furniture, The Roomplace, Walter E. Smithe Furniture, Weekends Only, Weirs Furniture Village and more. Many of these high-volume buyers were using the market to discover new brands.

First-time temporary exhibitor Arrkeicha Danzie of Good Boy Goodies, who joined the market as part of the Georgia Grown pavilion, reported placing an order with 12 Ace Hardware stores and meeting with a buyer for Buc-ee's 40-plus locations. “All my expectations for Atlanta Market were exceeded,” Danzie says. “Being here and meeting people from so many different states gives me the opportunity to expand my footprint. I got a lot of great feedback and compliments on my product.”

The 11 buying groups Atlanta Market hosted further amplified buying. Among them was MAI Retailers, which bills itself as a premier retail networking organization.

"MAI Retailers’ estimated buying power is over $25 million and a quarter of our members are larger stores who came in on Sunday and stayed the whole week,” says Amanda Bollenbach, MAI executive director and owner of Daisy Day Brands in Walton, Florida. “Our stores get together and share what orders have been written, so we were essentially crowdsourcing hot product for more than 50 buyers.”

Atlanta Market attendees were eager to participate with in-person programming presented during the four days of market. The eight seminars and cooking demonstrations featured standing-room-only crowds with buyers actively engaging in the sessions.

Juniper celebrated the launch of JuniperMarket, IMC’s new B2B ecommerce marketplace, with a packed Market Kickoff Party. Buyers who signed-up for JuniperMarket while on-site in Atlanta received a $10 lunch voucher, a JuniperMarket swag bag, and qualified to win one of five daily $5,000 cashback giveaways. To further bridge IMC’s physical and digital markets, JuniperMarket is offering all winter 2022 Atlanta Market retailer and designer attendees a ‘Better Together Atlanta Market Special,’ with $100 back for spending $1,000 on the platform before February 1.

The next Atlanta Market is July 12-18, 2022, at AmericasMart Atlanta.