The Merchandise Center, or TMC, is a collection of professional showrooms located just one-half mile from the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. TMC holds seven trade show events every year, each show lasting three days. Show owner Mark Passis says, “We have the majority of the leading players in the closeout and general merchandise industry here at our show.”
TMC is an ideal merchandise source for swap meet, flea market and value priced sellers because of the show’s heavy focus on closeout and general merchandise suppliers. The ninety vendors that exhibit at The Merchandise Center all sign leases ranging from three to five years for each of their showrooms. This means buyers can rely on the consistency of the wholesale exhibitors at TMC for repeat orders and steady inventory. “We have the biggest collection of permanent showrooms in the business,” says Passis. Exhibitors offer a variety of closeout and discount housewares, hardware, seasonal goods, accessories, toys, home décor, health and beauty, and name brand goods. Many national brands such as Christmas Tree Shops®, Family Dollar®, and more all attend The Merchandise Center’s events for quality products priced below regular wholesale rates.
The average showroom is between 600 – 700 square feet, with some larger showrooms reaching several thousand square feet. Large showrooms and a comfortable environment means buyers can look through exhibitors’ entire collections, have one-on-one conversations with suppliers, and really take time to build business relationships. “Buyers can spend more time talking with vendors and really learning about each other’s businesses in a more comfortable and private setting,” explains Passis. “Our buyers and sellers really value being able to spend time working together in a slightly more private setting. You can get more attention from vendors at our show than a traditional trade show,” says Passis. “Vendors have more time to devote to each retailer. They can address specific needs and be more helpful.”
TMC’s seven annual shows are designed to accommodate all buying seasons. “We’re very accessible,” says Passis. “Whatever season you are trying to buy for, we have a show to accommodate you.” In addition to being right outside the airport, TMC arranges special rates and accommodations with surrounding hotels that are within walking distance to the showrooms. Buyers are encouraged to register in advance online. For more information visit www.tmcexpo.com.
The Merchandise Center
February 13th – 15th, 2017
May 1st – 3rd, 2017
June 26th – 28th, 2017