CHICAGO, IL -- theMART recently announced that 11 leading manufacturers have established new showrooms and 19 other existing tenants have renewed or expanded their spaces ahead of NeoCon 2021, the world’s largest platform for the commercial furnishings industry. The news underscores the continued importance of brick-and-mortar showrooms in successful omnichannel business practices.

“Even with the setbacks of COVID-19, a showroom at theMART continues to play a pivotal role in the overall marketing and sales strategies of top brands,” said Byron Morton, vice president of showroom leasing at theMART. “It’s clear that their commitment to the building and NeoCon is critical to marketing their solutions, connecting with decision makers and delivering a dynamic, in-person experience.”

Overall, the new movements in the building represent robust leasing activity in the contract industry. Bernhardt Design has returned to theMART with a new 7,500-square-foot showroom on the third floor designed by the Chicago design firm, Kuchar Studio. Pedrali has leased a suite on the third floor, which will serve as the brand’s launchpad for its growing U.S. business. Momentum Textiles & Wallcovering and Watson have both doubled the size of their showrooms and relocated to the third floor for long-term leases.

Additionally, theMART and NeoCon have welcomed several new brands, including Claridge Products, Formaspace, Zgo Technologies, Loftwall, HOWE, OM Seating, Ethnicraft and KFI Studios.

Recent long-term renewals include Keilhauer, Arcadia, Andreu World, WIELAND, ALUR, Arc-Com Fabrics and CF Group. The activity extends into the home furnishings sector of theMART, as HOLLY HUNT, A. Rudin, Kravet and Fabricut, Inc. have recommitted to their leases. The Bright Group and Michael-Cleary have also renewed their leases, while also expanding their spaces -- Michael-Cleary has doubled in size. theMART’s ground level LuxeHome Boutiques also remain a vital destination for both trade and the public to source kitchen, bath and building products. Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove, and Miele have both extended their leases; Gaggenau, Thermador, Bosch has expanded their space, and new showroom; BauTeam German Kitchen Tailors has opened its doors in LuxeHome, the world’s largest collection of premier boutiques for home building and renovation.

“Our leasing activity in 2019, throughout 2020 and in early 2021 reinforces that theMART is the place to be in Chicago, and that NeoCon is the essential product launch platform for the contract industry,” Morton said. “We can’t wait to see everyone at NeoCon from October 4 to 6, 2021.”