IMC Launches B2B E-commerce Division for Gift and Home Furnishings Markets
International Market Centers, the world’s largest operator of showroom space for the furniture, gift, home décor, rug and apparel industries, has launched a new B2B digital and e-commerce division. Dubbed IMC_di (the “di” stands for digital innovation), the new division comes alongside IMC’s acquisitions of two technology companies specializing in the gift, home and apparel industries: Pharos, an integrated sales, marketing and commissioning software; and RepZio, a patented B2B sales platform and digital marketplace.
The resulting e-commerce platform - currently in development - will be designed to bridge physical and digital sales to help IMC vendors reach new buyers, capture leads and grow sales, while allowing buyers to carry out transactions either in-person or online through one integrated account.
According to IMC officials, IMC_di will build upon the nearly 20 million square feet of furniture, gift, home décor, rug, and apparel markets that the company owns and operates in Atlanta, Las Vegas and High Point, N.C.
“This is a game-changing opportunity for IMC and the industries we serve,” said Bob Maricich, CEO of IMC. “IMC_di’s customer-centric digital tools will connect physical and digital markets and will amplify the business-to-business and person-to-person experiences that make our markets so special.”
He continued, “This new digital platform will enhance and extend IMC’s physical markets — connecting hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers — and open new business opportunities for customers. We look forward to delivering a seamlessly integrated omni-channel B2B commerce platform to the industry.”
IMC_di’s digital transactional marketplace will be one of three products available to industry buyers and sellers. The other two, which are currently available, include sales and marketing automation software (sales scanning apps, product management and email tools, CRM systems and ecommerce website) and at-market smart showroom tools (badge scanning, data capture and sales).
In addition to supplier and buyer benefits, IMC_di’s products will also work in harmony with multi-line sales agencies to provide for seamless commissioning execution.
IMC_di’s leadership will include principals from both Pharos, RepZio and IMC, with Pharos Founder Eric Dean taking the helm as IMC_di’s president. RepZio Founders Max and Alex Fraser, as well as Brandon Ward, who currently leads IMC’s digital services, will serve as senior vice presidents.
“Our industry is in need of easy-to-access tech solutions that reduce friction, and IMC’s ownership and stewardship will enable us to make that software solution a reality,” Dean said. “IMC’s physical markets and web platforms already deliver a global and highly-engaged audience. After watching this need develop in the industry for more than 20 years, I’m excited to have the talent and resources to realize this vision and fully address the opportunity in the market.”
The division’s new team of 47 will include engineers, developers and software marketers. Within the next 12 months, an additional 50-75 full-time employees focused on solution-based product development, hands-on customer success and on-boarding, and user experience will be hired, according to IMC officials.
“Since its founding in 2011, IMC’s mission has been clear and consistent: to provide the most effective, efficient and compelling B2B Marketplace for the industries we serve – for both buyers and sellers,” Maricich explained. “IMC_di is the logical next step in our commitment to this mission, making discovery more efficient, relationships more valuable, and our physical markets more effective for our industry.”
Learn more about IMC_di by watching this short video.