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Best-Attended Dallas March Market in More Than a Decade: 23% Increase in Attendance; Record Number of New Buyers

—Retailers from all 50 states descended on Dallas as exhibitors reported steady, deep order writing

DALLAS – April 1, 2021 – March market in Dallas, including Apparel & Accessories Market, Total Home & Gift Market, and KidsWorld, was the best-attended spring show in more than a decade. Dallas Market Center reported a 23% increase in buyer attendance versus March 2019. Buyers from all 50 states attended the show, and the greatest attendance gains were from the Midwest, which was up 70%, the Southeast, which was up 97%, and the West, which was up 126%.

The show also experienced a record number of first-time buyers: 27% of buyers at the show attended for the first time, according to the market center, which is a significant increase from previous years.

“Dallas is a national marketplace welcoming buyers from across the country and where more business is being done than any other venue,” said Cindy Morris, president and CEO of Dallas Market Center. “Historic numbers of new buyers are coming, matched by an expanding number of exhibitors. The energy is high, the ordering is deep, and the confidence is tremendous.”

Independent retailers from across the country were joined by multi-location retail, buying groups, and major stores at the March event offering a once-a-year opportunity to source products from multiple shows simultaneously. The spring edition of Apparel & Accessories Market marked the debut of fall fashion and includes more than 1 million square feet of styles and trends at all price points. Total Home & Gift Market presents home décor, gifts for all occasions, and access to full holiday lines in select showrooms. KidsWorld is the nation’s leading event for baby, children’s, and juvenile products.

Inside the marketplace, more than thirty new and expanded permanent showrooms joined hundreds of Temps on recently expanded floors. Among the growing product categories on the fashion floors is footwear, which experienced a 44% increase in exhibitors versus March 2019.

Socially distant special events and promotions took place across all neighborhoods. Health & safety protocols, including face coverings and temperatures, remained in place supporting the comfort and well-being of all customers.

Among the historic number of new buyers was Hailey Wood with Southern Swank Boutique in Princeton, North Carolina: “Seeing in person is a lot different than online. It allows me to meet new vendors that I have not met before. I will be back to shop for every season.” Another first-time buyer was Katie Laughridge with Nell Hill’s of Kansas City, Missouri. “Coming to a new place allowed us to not only fill in gaps but find new and fresh and fun. We are only here for couple of days but we can get everything that we need to get done accomplished. We have found so many great things.”

Los Angeles-based new exhibitor Shayna Regenhardt cut the ribbon on The Landa Agency, her showroom of contemporary womenswear. “Just the sheer amount of buyers that come into this building … we knew we needed to be here. The type of stores that are shopping here—from high-end stores down to moderately priced stores—I just feel like you can do a lot of volume out of this building.”

Other exhibitors echoed the enthusiasm. “Dallas is the center of the wholesale universe right now,” said Kande Hall, founder of Los Angeles-based fashion accessories company French Kande, following the grand opening of their new, expanded showroom. “We called all of our buyers from New York to Los Angeles and told them to see us in Dallas. We’ve never seen so many people … ready to buy.”

“This is our first March show and it’s been non-stop,” said Betsy Blancett Nacrelli, the founder and CEO of Joya, a new fashion accessories company from St. Louis in the Temps. “We have been thrilled. We picked up lots of new accounts in new areas of the country. Dallas has great buying power and lots of multi-location retailers.”

“I had to call in extra help it’s been so busy,” said Julia Higgins with the gift, home, and fashion brand Two’s Company. “We saw lots of diverse store types from across the country and they were high-quality, serious buyers.”

“This will end up being the best March market in the history of our six-decade-old company,” said Jill Kimbrough, Director of Sales at gift and toy showroom Diverse Marketing. “Traffic has been steady and retailers are reordering items that have done particularly well the first few months of the year as well as new summer product. Retailers are excited to be open for business and have a positive outlook on 2021!”

Health & Safety Guidelines Supporting Buyer Comfort

Supporting the comfort, health and safety of all attendees, the market center continues measures that include mandatory face covering and temperature screening for every person entering the marketplace every day. Other efforts include enhanced cleaning with hospital grade products, hundreds of hand sanitizing stations, limited food service, no gatherings, and signage for social distancing. Along with these new steps, there are safety measures that are part of the design of the marketplace: open parking, large entryways, quick registration in multiple areas, wide hallways, multiple escalators to each floor, and showrooms with controlled access to allow for the appropriate distance between customers.

Additional Spring and Summer Trade Events

The marketplace will welcome buyers in the coming weeks for Dallas Design Week (April 5-8), May First Monday & Tuesday (May 3-4), Apparel & Accessories Market (June 15-18), Total Home & Gift Market (June 23-29), KidsWorld (June 23-29), Lightovation (June 23-26), and the Dallas Men’s Show (July 31-August 2).

For upcoming markets, visit the Dallas Market Center website and download the Dallas Market Center mobile app. Also, keep up-to-date on all information by visiting Dallas Market Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the DMC Daily Dose.

About Dallas Market Center

Dallas Market Center is a global business-to-business trade center and the leading wholesale marketplace in North America connecting retailers and interior designers with top manufacturers in gourmet and housewares, home décor, holiday/floral, gifts, lighting and apparel. Inside its dynamic, five million square foot campus, nearly 200,000 customers from all 50 states and 85 countries seek industry trends, business education and new products from exhibitors throughout the year via dominant trade events for gift, home décor, holiday and floral; the nation’s most comprehensive apparel and accessories markets featuring the latest styles from East Coast and West Coast designers; the largest residential lighting trade event in North America; and the largest and most successful open-daily design center. The marketplace is located in the strongest economic zone in the country. In addition, more than 80% of Dallas Market Center buyers report that they do not shop other market centers. To make plans for upcoming markets, visit the Dallas Market Center website and download the Dallas Market Center App. Also, keep up-to-date on all information by visiting Dallas Market Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the Dallas Market Center blog.