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February Off-Price Specialist Show Brings it Home!
Exhibitors and Satisfied Buyers Report Heavy Buying Activity; Big Presence from New Boutique Customers, Internet Retailers & International Buyers
The Off-Price Specialist Show on February 15-18, 2009 was a huge success for the 450+ exhibiting on 4 levels of the elegant Venetian Grand Ballrooms in Las Vegas. Over 10,000 buyers, retailers and industry professionals – an increase of 10% from the last show – came to the official Off Price Show of Las Vegas Fashion Week to find great values in all categories of apparel – from basics to popular brands to top designer – as well as accessories, handbags and footwear.
“The best news of the show, of course, was the order-writing of the buyers,” said David Lapidos, Vice President for the Off Price Show. “Our vendors are happy and the buyers seem to be very satisfied with their purchases. We are also thrilled to see a lot of new faces from the retail community who need our off price specialists to add more excitement to their stores.”
New buyer Angelo Petta of The Urban Boutique in Thunder Bay, Ontario said “the show exceeded my expectation. I left with many, many key contacts, made some great purchases and am very excited about the future thanks to Off Price.” And Matthan Walker of Progressive Unlimited in Harlem was quite impressed with the “really nice prices on good quality stuff” during his first visit to Off Price. Walker and partner Chink Pope are also opening a new store on Chicago’s south side, so they were pleased to have written one of their best winter orders for their mostly women’s apparel and jewelry concepts.”
David Abbate of Lady Rose Shops in West Hempstead, New York witnessed other new buyers getting into the act while leading the buyer tours. “One new buyer – an internet retailer – began writing orders with an exhibitor right after the tour was over. She saw a handbag that she liked at one of the booths and went straight to the salesman to do business.”
"The Off-Price Show in February was extremely important to the continuation of building the price value relationship of our retail offerings,” said AJ Nepa, Vice President / General Merchandise Manager for Variety Wholesalers, Inc. in Henderson, North Carolina. “It also allowed us to continue building business opportunities with current resources and add additional resources in all categories. We were able to fill our specific needs."
Joni Dahan of Sapman Sportswear, Inc. in Los Angeles commented that “The buyers were behaving as though business was booming. They were aggressive and satisfied with their purchases. It didn’t feel like a sluggish economy at all as we had one of our best shows.”
One aspect of the Off Price Show that wasn’t new was another exciting first day with heavy buying activity. Josh Fhima of LA-based DeLUXE Off-Price said his company had a “phenomenal first day,” while Tony Christian of Character Marketing of Gardena, California wrote “more orders in the first day at Off Price than at three shows put together at another (industry) venue.” And Allen Bayer of Design Ideas Ltd./AJB Associates in New York said his group had “the best first day ever. We moved all of our most exciting products.”
Fhima and several other exhibitors were very impressed with the number of boutique customers coming through the show. While Sapman and new exhibitor Moussy Hamadani of Freddy’s Jeans in New York met a lot of international buyers at the February Off Price. Another trend exhibitors experienced was more in season buying – that is, spring instead of fall. “We sold men’s spring and ladies’ swim at this show more than ever,” said Joe Angers of New York-based Bounty Trading.
The next Off Price Specialist Show takes place August 28 – September 1, 2009 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas. It is the largest and only Off Price Show in the apparel industry, and is proud to be the official Off Price Show of Las Vegas Fashion Week. The August Show will feature a new home & gift expansion called “Home” to offer retailers new and exciting categories for their product mix.