CHICAGO -- General merchandise buyers apparently are planning to turn out in force for this year's International Housewares Show, despite some vendor cancellations and the overall decline in travel since September.
Buyer registration for the show, scheduled for Jan. 13 to 15 here, is on a pace to exceed last year's attendance, according to the International Housewares Association, Rosemont, Ill. Buyer registration is on track to surpass last year's turnout of nearly 17,000 by 2% to 3%, IHA said.
Although all of the exhibit space for the show is sold out, several key vendors, including Sunbeam Products, Rubbermaid, Catalina Lighting and Applica, maker of Black & Decker branded small appliances, have said they will not display their products at this year's event. IHA said nearly 400 new exhibitors would be among the 1,750 vendors on the show floor at McCormick Place.
Supermarket nonfood buyers contacted by SN said they expect business as usual at this year's show.
"As a company, we feel there's a return on the investment that we get from attending," said Joel Wilson, general merchandise coordinator, Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa. "I really don't see that changing."
He said Hy-Vee would have four people in attendance at the show, about as many as the chain usually sends.