With AmericasMart Temporarily Closed, New Owner IMC Taking Tradeshows Digital

Wholesale retail world going virtual as fate of planned tradeshows unknown amid COVID-19 pandemic.
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International Market Centers (IMC), the company that acquired AmericasMart Atlanta from Portman Holdings, and is planning a major redesign of the downtown facility, is moving its massive tradeshows online.

Kind of.

IMC’s digital innovation division IMC_di announced Friday that free subscriptions and transactions will be offered through the end of the year on the company’s B2B digital platform ShopZio to its customers like Atlanta-based celebrity jewelry designer Mark Edge (pictured above.)

Edge, whose company Mark Edge Jewelry is expected to vend at the upcoming Atlanta Gift Show, jumped at the opportunity.

“This could be a fantastic way to navigate the new normal,” Edge in a telephone interview Friday told What Now Atlanta.

“My gut feeling is that the [Gift Show] will happen because it’s 100 days away, but we don’t know for certain.”

While Edge retails his necklaces, bracelets, and earings online at MarkEdge.com, and has since 1990, a sizable amount of the entrepreneur’s business is conducted through wholesale at tradeshows where buyers include boutiques and stores around the world.

His wares have adorned the likes of Dolly Parton and The Bachelorette’s Hannah Brown.

“It’s the largest and most important gift show in the country,” Edge said.

“It’s where retail store owners buy goods for holiday business.”

All marketplace fees will be waived for the balance of the year for both new and existing ShopZio customers like Edge.

“The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted business quickly and significantly,” Bob Maricich, the CEO of IMC, said in a prepared statement.

“While ensuring the health and safety of our staff and customers is our top priority, we also have been able to start planning for recovery and we will use our virtual market tools to help our customers do the same. To that end, we are offering gift, home, and apparel suppliers virtual market tools—at no charge through the end of the year—to help our customers maintain visibility, market available products and transact business digitally as recovery begins.”

In addition to AmericasMart in Atlanta, IMC is the operator of the High Point and Las Vegas Markets.

“As recovery begins and the American public emerges from this difficult period, one thing is certain: people will reach for the things that provide comfort, beauty, and solace—the very things that our industries design, produce and sell,” Maricich said.

“As retailers reopen for business and begin to restock, these virtual market tools will have established a pipeline to jump-start much needed economic recovery for the gift, home and apparel industries.”

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Mark Edge | Photo: Erin Ashford Photography

[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]

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