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Home good sales are high during pandemic despite supply chain shortages and rising costs

Posted at 9:27 PM, Jan 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-24 10:23:58-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The President and CEO of Phillips Collection at the World Market Center Mark Phillips touts his brick-and-mortar shop as one where people from all over the world can find furniture, unlike anything they've ever seen.

It's what people are looking for when attending the bi-annual Las Vegas Market trade show where people gather to see the newest in home goods supply and connect with customers.

"We are proud to be a year-long exhibitor around here," Phillips said.

Phillips said the pandemic has had an odd effect on his industry as, unlike many other businesses, home goods sales have continued to rise throughout the years-long spread of the virus.

He said his sales have risen 38% over last year alone.

"That's an astonishing number," Phillips said.

He said people have extra cash on hand, less entertainment and services to blow it on, and being isolated inside of a home with inadequate decor hasn't hurt his bottom line.

"I'm not sure exactly what we've done so right to experience the great growth in business that we have," he said, "but apparently people being forced to rethink the time they'll be spending at home has made them appreciate the differences in home furnishings."

On the other hand, International Market Centers Chairman and CEO Bob Maricich said Phillips and many others in the industry have faced significant hardships with a near broken supply chain and rising costs.

"It's been very disruptive," Maricich said, "and what used to take 16 weeks now is sometimes unknowable, and, of course, container prices pre-COVID, which were once $2,500 for a container, got as high as $25,000."

Maricich said the complications with getting raw materials or furniture have left new businesses struggling for a foothold in the industry as large or old businesses with lasting relationships with suppliers hold an advantage on placing and receiving orders.

"We're seeing businesses grow with us, their showrooms, but we're not seeing the cycle of new business creations," he said.

Las Vegas Market trade show representatives expected attendance at 65% of pre-pandemic levels as most foreign travel is still restricted in many countries and many large companies continue to limit travel.