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Strong Forecast Leads the Way to Casual Market Chicago

February 2017

Looking beyond their back doors to entertain and recreate like never before, American consumers propelled the outdoor market to grow an impressive 4 1⁄2 percent in 2015, now representing nearly $7 billion in sales, according to research shared by Casual Market Chicago. Particularly noteworthy are the exciting new product categories and channels of distribution that are gaining momentum. With product innovation and consumer interest at an all-time high, this year’s forecast for the outdoor market is particularly bright.

Here are just some of the recent statistics that signal clear skies ahead for both manufacturers and retailers of outdoor products:

  • Nine out of 10 newly constructed homes in 2014 showcased outdoor features, with home builders and architects reporting an ever-increasing demand for outdoor rooms and spaces. Landscape architects and interior designers as well are nding their projects expanding to include places and furnishings for outdoor dining, conversation and entertainment.

  • Outdoor furniture is one of the fastest-growing categories within the entire furniture industry, with chat groups, shade products and “other seating,” such as lounges, benches and hammocks, registering the fastest growth.

  • Furniture stores grew their sales by 5.3 percent in 2015, outpacing the growth of home improvement centers, discounters, warehouse membership clubs, specialty stores and “other” venues.

  • With consumer con dence edging upward and economic growth moving into the black as well, outdoor furniture sales continue to grow as the demand for outdoor living – be it decks, patios, balconies, porches, gardens or poolside – continues to build.

  • Eating tops the list of activities outdoors, with dining sets accounting for a substantial market share for all outdoor furnishings.

    Every September, all facets of the outdoor market come together in Chicago to celebrate the myriad of product available, as well as the surging momentum found in the statistics.

    “Casual Market Chicago is the ultimate destination for all things outdoor. It is the premier marketplace for all new product debuts, trends and offers vital networking opportunities. Our contract with the International Casual Furnishings Association to produce Casual Market Chicago shows our united commitment to this ever important, ever growing furnishings category,” says Julia Chappell, Managing Director, Marketing, Merchandise Mart. “Join us in the Windy City September 20-23, 2016, for an unparalleled buying experience.”