Western & English Today

FALL 2015

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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FALL 2015 Western & English Today 13 F A L L 2 0 1 5 W e s t e r n & E n g l i s h T o d a y 1 3 LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION FIRST POINT OF REFERENCE IS THE DENVER MART: 451 E. 58TH AVE. IN DENVER AT I-25, JUST NORTH OF DOWNTOWN DENVER. AS YOU NAVIGATE DENVER, CHECK OUT THESE HIP 'HOODS, WITH THEIR BORDERING STREETS INDICATED AFTERWARD. Downtown: Broadway, Colfax, Speer Boulevard, Larimer and Park Avenue. The pedestrian 16th Street Mall has trolley service and is lined with shops and eateries. LoDo and Ballpark: Larimer, Speer, Wewatta Street and 30 th Street: Home of Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies! Highland and West Highland: Sheridan, 38 th Avenue, Zuni, 23 rd Avenue and Lowell. LoHi: West 38 th Avenue, I-25, Zuni Street and Speer Street. RiNo: No, not that large horned mammal. It's the River North Art District: I-70, I-25, Park Avenue West and Lawrence. W e've all heard it: "Oh, September is a slow market." But really, what does that mean? Mostly less foot trafc, it seems. Play it smart and leverage that to your advantage. First of all, exhibitors will not be as likely to have back-to- back appointments booked, so they will be able to give you the attention your store deserves. Book your appointments in advance, and make a list of questions and/or topics beforehand; you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish when that exhibitor is neither running late from a previous appointment nor eying the next buyer tapping her foot impatiently in the hall. Second, 75 percent of retailers will be buying for Spring 2016 at this September WESA Market. Before attending meetings to place orders, "walk the show" to get an overall sense of trends, textiles and colorways and how you will interpret these for your region of the country and your clientele. Not only will you make better buying decisions, you'll be much more prepared to coach and inspire your sales associates when you can clearly communicate to them what's on trend and why. Tird, do a bit of self-examination by examining your "Open to Buy," which is crucial to maintaining inventory control and ensuring a sound fnancial future for your store. Check out csgnetwork.com/opentobuycalc.html for an easy-to-use OTB calculator. If you are carrying too much inventory and running too many markdowns/sales, it may be time to ask yourself if you truly understand what your customers want and need. Finally, take a little time to rejuvenate yourself as you may not get another break until afer the holidays once you get back to your store. Denver's weather is typically spectacular in September, and you won't have to worry about snowfall, freezes and road closures. WESA president Scott Piper, a resident of nearby Golden, says, "I tell all my accounts that this show, compared to January, is a little bit more laid back, so you can spend more quality time with people you need to meet. You can also spend more time enjoying beautiful Colorado." Tis fall, Piper is particularly motivated by what he calls a resurgence of the Western lifestyle; "almost catching fre," he says. "Tis country misses the American cowboy and that code of ethics that is a very positive image. It's about who they are, how they think and, of course, what they wear." WESA director Amy Dill anticipates approximately 1,200 buyers and 350 exhibitors, based on historical data. On-site, you're invited to a lively complimentary cocktail hour with the exhibitors in the temporaries on Friday night. Ten Saturday night, try your luck at a casino night, with a complete dinner to satisfy any "losses" at the tables. If you're staying at the show's headquarters hotel, the Crown Plaza, you can catch a shuttle to and from the market. Expect a convenient set schedule morning and afernoon, and "on call" in between. "It's defnitely going to be a great market," Dill says. "Te economy has turned around, and we're going to see some new faces here." Whether that's you, or you're a seasoned market veteran, plan to make it a September to remember. Savvy retailers know how to capitalize on their fall buying experience By Stephanie Stephens A September to Remember

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