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AmericasMart Brings Retail Buyers, Exhibitors Together

Manufacturers, dealers and suppliers of consumer goods from around the globe are flocking to the AmericasMart in downtown Atlanta – the world’s largest permanent wholesale marketplace.

The facility provides both permanent showrooms and temporary exhibit space where exhibitors can display their products for retailers and buyers from across the United States and Latin America. Exhibitors come from Asia, Europe, and the Americas to take part in the largest single product collection in the U.S. “As the leading international source for consumer goods, AmericasMart remains unmatched in convenience, amenities and professional,” the group states on its web site (www.americasmart.com).

AmericasMart Atlanta is the nation’s only global marketplace. It offers the largest collection of home, gift, area rug, and apparel products within the biggest trade mart and tradeshow complex in the world. The complex has four buildings housing more than seven million square feet of space specifically designed for trade shows, conventions, and special events.

The center hosts 13 major markets and shows each year, including spring and fall gift markets, holiday markets, and bridal markets. The largest is the January Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market and the Atlanta International Rug Market, which draws buyers from every U.S. state and more than 90 counties. Products are displayed in the more than 1,400 permanent showrooms, with another 2,500 temporary exhibiting companies taking part in the event. AmericasMart also hosts a number of other events throughout the year.

Another major show is the Atlanta Apparel Market in early February. Retails can shop three floors of temporary booths and eight floors of permanent showrooms with products in such categories as women’s and men’s contemporary, ready-to-wear, shows, jewelry and accessories, and children’s products. “From established brands to up-and-coming names, the local, national and international designers that retail seek will be in Atlanta,” the center stated. A schedule for all the events during the current year can be found at www.americasmart.com/market-info/market-dates.

While some companies only participate through the temporary exhibits available at the large market events, others find having a permanent showroom at AmericasMart is more beneficial. A permanent facility provides improved access to the large crowds that flock to the major shows. However, the permanent location also provides a year-round sales outlet for buyers who prefer quieter times, longer shopping opportunities, and more personal attention outside of the hectic market events.

AmericasMart is not open to the general public, focusing instead on wholesale customers and buyers for retailers ranging from major department stores to small boutiques. Only buyers who have provided proof of a valid business license and provided identification when they register are admitted. Security officers are on duty to escort parties without valid buyer or exhibitor badges from the buildings. Buyers who want to bring guests can obtain a badge for those visitors for $50. Children under the age of 12 are not admitted.

The complex is easily accessible to visitors from around the world. It is located in downtown Atlanta only a block away from MARTA, the public transit system. The MARTA subway system provides direct access to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and international flights spanning the globe. The AmericasMart complex is connected to the 1,100-bed Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. There are also more than 10,000 hotel rooms within walking distance in the downtown area.

AmericasMart began more than 50 years ago, and has grown in both size and stature over the years. It was founded in 1957 as the “Atlanta Market Center” by John C. Portman Jr., the Atlanta-based architect. (His work around the world includes the Shanghai Center, the Beijing Yintai Centre, Marina Square in Singapore, the New York Marriott Marquis, and several landmark hotels and office buildings in Atlanta,) Portman has served as board chairman and chief executive officer of the Atlanta marketplace since its inception. His son, Jeffrey, is president and chief operating officer of AMC Inc., the parent company of AmericasMart Atlanta.

AMC brings tens of thousands of visitors to the city each year, contributing more than $478 million in economic impact and allowing Atlanta to claim the title of America’s wholesale/retail trading capital. AmericasMart provides “a huge global stage on which manufacturers, designers and sales representatives unveil new lines, launch new designs and introduce new categories – for the benefit of buyers seeking all that is fresh and first in the home, rug, gift and apparel arena,” the company states on its web site.

By providing a unique, world-class facility specifically tailored to the international consumer products industry, AmericasMart offers manufacturers and distributors with sales, marketing and branding opportunities that cannot be overlooked – and that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Questions or comments? Please email Michael Fenton at mfenton@atlantapacificgroup.com