Interior designers, furniture makers and retailers gathered Monday at the World Market Center in downtown Las Vegas to identify trends around all things home.
The 2022 Summer Las Vegas Market kicked off on Sunday for industry members to tour the center’s showrooms, make connections and identify popular styles for the upcoming season. The biannual show runs until Thursday and features more than 2,500 brands in the furniture, home decor and apparel sectors.
Participants in 2021 said shipping delays were the top issue as they faced higher than expected consumer demand. And this year, retailers and brands say they are still facing supply chain issues that have plagued the global economy.
Jimmy Norris, vice president of business development at Houston-based lighting company Visual Comfort & Co., said the supply chain issues plaguing the industry still presented challenges.
“The container problem has gotten better, but it’s not great,” Norris said, referring to higher shipping container rental costs and bottlenecks at some US ports. “But being able to get a product a little faster is better and the price has come down a bit. That’s going to be with us, probably until the end of the year.
Norris said Visual Comfort & Co. caters to a luxury buyer, who often spends several years planning and building their home. They are able to inform customers about long waits and explain what to use in the meantime.
“Consumers are much more tolerant than they were three or four years ago,” he said. “They were building something and business was going like gangbusters, their expectations were inflated, ‘I want it now.’ Now it’s like, ‘How long will it take and what do I have to save myself for the next eight to 10 months before I actually get the furniture?’
Sukanya Bishnu, a Boston-based buyer at online furniture retailer Wayfair, said she works with suppliers to get their products into Wayfair’s internal network. She said a central issue within the supply chain is rising costs at multiple points.
“The main thing is that costs have gone up everywhere,” Bishnu said. “It’s not like with a single company or any of its components, the overall cost has gone up a lot.”
Bishnu said she and her team at Wayfair are trying to solve the problem by using machine learning to identify future trends so businesses can sell their products on Wayfair at the right time.
Heather Carson, designer and owner of home goods store Field Study in St. George, Utah, had to change the way she does business.
“It’s been a roller coaster,” Carson said. “There was nothing, and then there were things being shipped to us that we had ordered a year in advance. I was just trying to follow what happens, what doesn’t.
“Before, I used to design a whole collection of whatever I wanted in my shop and then order and it all happened. But now things happen so randomly that you kind of have to design on the spot and stuff. what happens is what you work with. So it puts a damper on some of your plans,” she said.
The Las Vegas Market returns for its winter show from January 29 to February 29. 2.
McKenna Ross is a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms. Contact her at [email protected] Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.