National, regional and independent housewares retailers shopped the Atlanta Market this past week for fourth-quarter opportunities.
The show at AmericasMart provided a key checkpoint for suppliers and retailers heading into the back half against continuing economic headwinds that put a premium on pinpointing available products and promotions that could help drive earlier holiday traffic and sales.
Off-price operators were among the most active national retailers in Atlanta, suggesting such retailers were looking to pounce on products stranded by other major retailers reluctant to commit to orders amid surplus inventory concerns. Among the off-pricers reported to be in Atlanta were Ross Stores, Home Goods, Marmaxx (Marshalls/TJ Maxx) and Macy’s Backstage.
The market attracted its share of other notable chains, including Dillard’s, Neiman Marcus and Bed Bath & Beyond (seasonal and decor), an encouraging sign, vendors noted, that many retailers are proactively reconnecting with suppliers to identify productive near-term opportunities while looking ahead to 2023.
Another noteworthy retail shopper in Atlanta was Walmart’s marketplace group, said by vendors to be seeking, among other objectives, to expand its third-party seller mix to include more higher-end brands.
The show marked the return of GC Buying Group activities to Atlanta, this time in a new GCX: Expo & Education event partnership with show operator International Market Centers. The two-day GCX product showcase and educational program attracted more than 50 GC-member independent retailers, said Janis Johnson, president of GC Buying Group.
Johnson noted the importance of vendors and retailers working closely, collaboratively and flexibly to work through the challenges presented by the current market and zero in on opportunities for which the independent retail channel as a collective presents meaningful business potential.
David Shull, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Jura, Inc., noted the growing interest during the show among independent retailers to lean into added vendor marketing support, such as video and other digital content, that can help drive traffic and convert sales.
Several housewares suppliers said they left Atlanta not only with added insight to direct their follow-up activity, but also, more importantly, with orders in hand.
“It’s been steady, consistent,” said Gene Markham, president of Synergy Sales, a Southeast housewares sales rep agency at AmericasMart, “If retailers are here, they’re here to write orders.”
Pictured above: Chef Brian Malarkey in the Kitchen2Table showroom during the recent Atlanta Market.