Chicago’s International Home + Housewares Show (March 2-5) attracted a notable turnout of high calibre retail buyers – reportedly the ‘strongest in years,’ according to organiser, International Housewares Association (IHA).
The Show was sold-out with 2,205 exhibitors from 43 countries. Its special features included a conference bringing together social influencers/bloggers, an area of smart/connected products with associated talks, and a Trending Today focus on beverage products.
IHA president Derek Miller commented: “Over and over we heard from exhibitors that the quality of the buyers and attendance of key retailers was the best in years. Senior-level attendance from both retailers and suppliers was particularly strong.” He continued: “Exhibitors also noted strong international buyer attendance as well.”
UK buyers at the show included the Lakeland team, Robert Dyas, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and independents including Trevor Mottram and gia UK winner, Potters Cookshop.
This year’s show included the inaugural “The Inspired Home Influencer Conference,” bringing more than 145 high-quality social media influencers and bloggers for educational sessions and speed-dating with more than 100 exhibitors on March 1.
Beverage products were also in the spotlight before the official start of the show, with the well-attended Trending Today Preview on Saturday morning (as well as an exhibit area within the Wired + Well Expo). Products for water, coffee, wine and cocktails were all well represented.
CellarDine’s managing director Peter Dunne presented the new ZOS wine preservation system to the US market at the Trending Today Preview event, with excellent follow-up. Peter reports that retailers such as Williams Sonoma, Bed Bath and Beyond, Sur La Table, Cost Plus and The Grommet “have either listed the product or engaged in negotiations to trial the product.” Having developed ZOS with US colleague Greg Luziach, Peter reflects: “We wanted to create something very unique with a bit of “table talking” theatre as we felt the sector was lacking in real innovation in recent years.” Peter is currently working on further innovations.
The recent show was the last to be called “International Home + Housewares Show,” as next year’s event becomes: “The Inspired Home Show, IHA’s Global Home + Housewares Market,” (March 14-17) with an increased focus on lifestyle.
Top: View of the busy Trending Today area at the 2019 IH+HS.