The International Casual Furnishings Association is canceling the Preview Show slated for July 14-16 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and has shifted its focus toward Casual Market Chicago scheduled in September.
“ICFA continues its commitment to the health and safety of its members along with other professionals who contribute to the hosting of the casual furnishings trade shows at theMART in Chicago,” stated Joe Pucci, president of Great Gatherings and chairman of the board, following a conference call of the ICFA Executive Committee last Friday.
Pucci noted that the leadership group and theMART management team have been monitoring the evolving situation over the past seven weeks in preparation for possible disruption of the business cycle that would affect retailers, manufacturers, sales representatives and industry suppliers. Both groups circulated surveys to their constituents to gain input for this decision.
“We recognize that the majority of retailers and manufacturers were forced to suspend their business operations at the height of the selling season for outdoor furnishings,” he continued. “The overriding opinion at this time is that dealers want to reopen their stores in coming weeks and respond to the pent-up consumer demand for outdoor furniture by providing outstanding service.” Inventory levels are currently high from orders delivered at the beginning of the year, he added.
Casual Market Chicago remains scheduled on September 22-25.