trade shows | Jan 19, 2023 |
Shoppe Object is coming to High Point Market

Nearly a year ago, International Market Centers acquired Shoppe Object—the New York–based home and lifestyle trade show positioned as a more artisan-centric alternative to its larger corporate counterparts—along with the show’s Shoppe Online B2B e-commerce platform. Among other investments in Shoppe Object’s growth, the purchase promised to take the budding fair beyond its semiannual New York showings by exploring regional extensions in IMC venues across the country.

Now, that vision is coming to life. IMC announced last week that it would be launching another edition of Shoppe Object at High Point Market starting in October 2023. The satellite fair will present more than 100 artisanal brands in a re-imagined exhibit space located on the third floor of High Point’s Market Square. While Shoppe Object’s past iterations have more widely encompassed lifestyle and gift products, that mix will receive a decor- and home-furnishings-focused edit, featuring some of the fair’s veteran exhibitors along with first-timers that didn’t make it onto the trade show floor in previous years either due to the show’s waitlist or space constraints.

As for the temporary exhibit’s new home at Market Square, Shoppe Object founder and show director Jesse James says the decision to house the fair in the former factory building was strategic—but started with a sudden spark. “I’ve gotten lost a few times wandering those halls and just sort of feeling like it was a magical, untapped opportunity,” says James.

There, the fair’s neighbors will include the adjacent Suites at Market Square, which is home to temporary exhibits like Salon and Hospitality Design Studio. With the introduction of Shoppe Object, the area will continue serving as a destination for more eclectic, maker-driven exhibitors, according to IMC executive vice president, chief customer and marketing officer Dorothy Belshaw, rather than the major heritage brands that once inhabited the space.

“Market Square tends to house newer, up-and-coming lines, lines that were a little bit off the beaten path,” says Belshaw. “Salon is reminiscent of that, and we think Shoppe Object is going to kind of take that to the next level—the mix of product is more home-leaning, but it will be resources that are completely new to Market. It’s an interesting opportunity to put a lot of different discovery zones on the same property.”

For James, it’s a bonus that the selection of antiques vendors on the building’s bottom floor provides an enticing entry point for a broad swath of designers and retailers. Together with Shoppe Object, the combination of offerings is a juxtaposition that may reflect today’s mix-and-match decorating habits. “There was a really wonderful synergy thinking about today’s transitional interiors and the way that people might blend beautiful old things, and wonderful artisanal, new things—that was the answer,” says James.

While Shoppe Object is still finalizing which vendors will exhibit at High Point this fall, James is particularly looking forward to exposing the New York fair’s brands (the majority of which are only seen at Shoppe’s biannual event) to an entirely new buyer pool. Combining the extension with Shoppe Online’s e-commerce component, which will eventually onboard all brands exhibiting at High Point, the announcement may mark the start of a new era for Shoppe Object under IMC.

“High Point is the first foray into another market, and it’s a very logical one from our perspective,” says James. “It’s wonderful to me that we’re able to do it within the world that IMC has created, because there’s a lot of support that we’ll get in making that a new part of what Shoppe Object is all about.”

Homepage image: Shoppe Object 2018 | Courtesy of Shoppe Object

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