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Inaugural Marketing Campaign for Home Furnishings Industry "Is it Home Yet?" Inspired Consumers, Engaged Retailers

 

2010 Event Dates Set for September 18-26;

Partners to Enlist Retailer Participation at Upcoming Las Vegas Market

 

January 27, 2010 - Marking an historic effort for the home furnishings industry, the first-ever, multi-channel marketing campaign, Is it Home Yet? and the campaign’s inaugural event National Home Furnishings Month (NHFM), successfully reached its first-year goals—to unite home furnishings retailers with a cohesive branding and sales event, while inspiring today’s “everywoman” to reconnect with her home through furnishings-related content, information, and ultimately driving to retail.

Created by World Market Center Las Vegas, the home furnishings industry’s leading international marketplace, and launched in partnership with eight industry associations, the advertising campaign—developed by Ogilvy North America—was the first-ever industry-wide initiative that encouraged consumers to celebrate the idea of “home” and refresh their living spaces through new home furnishings purchases. In addition to room makeover sweepstakes, the campaign’s website, www.homeyet.com, featured advice from top designers with home makeover tips and trend information. Exclusive information about sales and promotions at participating retailers across the country was also available online.

More than 7,000 retailers nationwide participated in the program and were included on the site’s store locator section. Geographically, the campaign saw broad support from retailers across the country: 49 percent of retailers from the west; 19 percent from the Midwest; 23 percent from the South; and 9 percent from the Northeast.

Nearly 2,000 retailers downloaded the National Home Furnishings Month Retailer Toolkit, which equipped them with marketing tools to support the initiative in their advertising programs.

The average age of consumers who engaged with the campaign was 49.9 years old. Of all consumer respondents, which skewed 2:1 female, 78 percent said they planned to make home furnishings purchases in 2010, with the living room ranked as the first choice of rooms to be refurnished in their home. Consumers also indicated that blogs and online are the dominant sources of information that influence them to make furniture purchases, followed by in-store visits.

The campaign—which centered on a robust digital strategy aimed at retail activation, industry partnerships and print and outdoor placements—generated an unprecedented 500 million impressions in paid, earned and donated media. Additionally, during the course of the month, www.homeyet.com attracted 340,000 views with nearly half being unique visitors.

“This was an ambitious undertaking and we are extremely pleased with what we accomplished during the first-ever National Home Furnishings Month,” said Robert Maricich, president and chief executive officer of World Market Center Las Vegas. “The launch was a homerun by all measures, although nothing will be as critical to future successes as retailer activation in order to truly capture consumers’ share of mind and wallet. For over a decade our industry has lost a share of consumer spending, and only with a broad-based, cohesive and focused message can we turn around this disturbing slide.”

One the country’s fastest growing retailers, Jerome’s Furniture in San Deigo, was excited to support the National Home Furnshings Month campaign because it reinforces what they believe is a strong and timely message to consumers: The home and home furnishings as the positive center of peoples’ lives. Jerome’s executed the Is it Home Yet? message with a paid campaign in San Diego on TV, in print, online and in their showrooms. In addition, Jerome’s sponsored a Home Makeover promotion, in partnership with a local ABC-affiliated TV station, which ran from September through December.

“It was exciting to see this campaign executed on a national level. We felt it was important to rally behind a cohesive message that creates true, long-term demand for our products and services for our industry. The ‘Home Yet’ campaign was a big first step in that direction. National Home Furnishings Month made implementation easy by providing marketing materials and resources that were easy for us to adopt into our own messaging,” said Lee Goodman, president and chief executive officer of Jerome’s. “Our involvement in National Home Furnishings Month campaign helped us increase traffic to our website and showrooms. It was a huge success overall.”

What’s Next: The Drive for Retailer Participation in 2010

Plans for 2010’s National Home Furnishings Month are already underway; the 10-day sale event has been set for September 18-26 and World Market Center and its industry partners plan to engage retailers at the upcoming Las Vegas Market, Feb. 1 – 5, 2010. Upon visiting the National Home Furnishings Month kiosk in World Market Center’s Grand Plaza, retailers will be able to get their complimentary listing on the store locator, which is live on the newly revamped www.homeyet.com website, as well as get the information and tools required to participate in this year’s national event.

“Our goal for 2010 is to make this a national sales event for retailers by providing the creative content and free tools for them to ‘plug and play’ this campaign with their own brand and in their own markets which, in essence, will multiply the collective voice and effect we can have on consumers buying for their home,” said Maricich.

World Market Center has also extended a partnership with Sale-in-a-Box, America’s premier supplier of sales event materials for the retail industry, to ensure the toolkit is easy to adopt and “turnkey” for store owners and marketers. Sale-in-a-Box will produce printed materials for retailers who want to activate the National Home Furnshings Month campaign in their store and will be taking pre-orders at the upcoming market in Building C, Space 512.

Retailers are also encouraged to complete a short survey at www.surveygizmo.com/s/212435/nhfmpostsurvey to share feedback on the National Home Furnishings Month campaign and new ideas for 2010.

Maricich cites recent reports from U.S. Census, where retail sales in September and October of 2009 compared to a year ago declined far less, after 18 months of almost unrelenting double digit declines. This is viewed by some industry analysts as signs of a flattening of the downturn in 2010, and positioning the economy for a rebound as the attention turns back to home. With consumer confidence rebuilding in 2010 and into 2011, Maricich believes this campaign is uniquely positioned to enlighten, inform and educate consumers and drive traffic to stores.

 “As these retail sales trends improve, even anecdotally, our collective efforts certainly cannot be overlooked,” added Maricich. “We recognize this is a large and diverse industry, and we always viewed this as a project that required partners in order to make an impact over the long term. With expanded partnerships and retailer participation in Is It Home Yet? and National Home Furnishings Month, we are confident that we will continue making progress.  There was a tremendous amount of data and perspective gained in this important first step which we will use to foster new, creative ideas into the future.”

About World Market Center Las Vegas

World Market Center Las Vegas is an integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and trade complex. The state-of-the-art campus showcases furniture, decorative accessories, gift, lighting, area rugs, home textiles and related segments, as well as the Las Vegas Design Center (LVDC), now open daily to consumers and designers.  World Market Center currently hosts Las Vegas Market™ biannually in February and September – the preeminent total home market.  Additionally, making its debut in February 2010, InspireDesign™ at World Market Center represents a dynamic alternative for manufacturers and companies serving the hospitality design marketplace. In 2010, World Market Center will launch the inaugural Gift + Home™ show catering to the gift, decorative accessory and seasonal industries.

For more information on World Market Center Las Vegas, visit www.LasVegasMarket.com.

 

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