A screen at Dallas Market Center reminds buyers to “mask up” during its January market.

Source: www.giftsanddec.com, November 2021

This year’s show saw a 20 percent increase in buyers compared with 2019, and a 67 percent increase in retailers attending for the first time.

October Apparel & Accessories Market and KidsWorld Market, which ran Oct. 26-29, welcomed a record number of exhibitors and more buyers from coast to coast.

The October shows were the largest in more than 7 years — with more top brands exhibiting across 1 million square feet of showrooms and temporary space and more retail buyers representing 49 U.S. states. Additional temporary show space was designated to handle the overflow of brands seeking access to the increasing number of loyal and new buyers attending the show.

“The final market of the year in Dallas delivered big,” said Cindy Morris, president and CEO of Dallas Market Center. “We continue to be the center of commerce for the business of fashion. We had more retail buyers from coast to coast matched by more exhibitors eager to expand their business. Looking ahead to 2022 we are anticipating a banner year as buyers seek a single location to discover new styles and place orders first.”

Attendance highlights include a 20 percent increase in buyers compared with the October 2019 show and a 67 percent increase in retailers attending for the first time. The marketplace also extended its reach nationally with a 12 percent increase in buyers from the West, a 65 percent increase in buyers from the Southeast, a 71 percent increase from the Midwest, and a 104 percent increase from the Northeast.

Exhibitor Mike Stevison with Dressed2Kill noted the strong traffic changes: “So many of our buyers are making the shift to attend Dallas as their new market. We had a great show.”

French Kande’s Lenn Grabiner observed: “October was a critical market for us based on it being our last market of the year and for achieving the goals we set as a company. The market was a major success for French Kande, and it deepened our commitment to Dallas.”

Alexis Rayon of UnCommon Fashion noted the geographic strength of Dallas: “The strongest markets for our industry continue to thrive in the southern region of the U.S., [and] Dallas continues to be consistent.”

Added Mark Meyers of the Remedy showroom: “More and more we hear how stores prefer to come to Dallas over anywhere else in the country. Our average order was up [and] customers were in a buying mood.”

Contemporary Brands, Hot Sellers Added to Marketplace

Dozens of new exhibitors debuted inside the marketplace. On the 13th floor, footwear resources continue to expand together with premier brands and new trends in the apparel and accessories permanent showrooms and temps. Featured brands on 13 for October included Agency Showroom, Line & Dot, 8th Story, Benazir Collection, Emelda Leather, and SCHUTZ.

On the 12th floor, the temporary tradeshow space was once again sold out. Recent expansions added space for more brands arriving from the west coast. To meet demand, temporary show space was expanded into the 11th floor, where exhibitors showed alongside Immediate Goods on 11, the section of curated fashion brands available for purchase.

New Buyer Applications Continue to Surge

In addition to new exhibitors, the number of new buyers continues to surge. New buyer applications are more than 50 percent ahead of 2019, reflecting both the marketplace’s position as an inspiring center of fashion and its momentum as a national marketplace attracting buyers from coast to coast. Independent retailers from across the country were joined by multi-location retail, buying groups, and major stores. Getting a jump on 2022 styles, filling depleted inventories, and efficiently shopping across lifestyle categories were the key reasons given by buyers regarding their decision to visit Dallas Market Center. 

For more info on upcoming markets, visit the Dallas Market Center website.

Lenise Willis, editor in chief; Anne-Marie Earl, managing editor; and Alex Herring, senior editor; make up the editorial team at Gifts & Decorative Accessories. The team stays on top of the latest product trends, market debuts, consumer insights and business news in order to keep retailers up to date on what’s happening in the gift industry. With the GDA team’s reports, retailers are able to raise customer engagement, diversify their product mix and more.